The Illegal Trade in Chemicals

The manner of enforcement

The actual implications of illegal trade are determined by the manner in which these obligations are enforced and the resulting consequences of that enforcement. Neither the Montreal Protocol, nor the Minamata, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions explicitly define “illegal trade” or otherwise stipulate specific consequences if the export or import takes place contrary to the convention and protocol rules. In contrast, Parties to the hazardous waste conventions (i.e. Basel, Bamako, and Waigani Conventions) are required to treat illegal traffic as criminal acts under domestic law, and to impose criminal penalties on all persons who have planned, committed, or assisted in such illegal traffic. In addition to implementing international obligations, States can also impose domestic requirements that will determine whether trade is legal or not. Under domestic legislation on chemicals, a number of countries prohibit the import of unregistered pesticides or chemicals, allow import only when notification requirements have been met, and/or require

importers to be licensed. Domestic laws may also impose labelling requirements and may protect the intellectual property of the producers, banning fake and counterfeit chemicals. Countries impose fewer restrictions on the export of chemicals than on their import, and some allow the export of chemicals not permitted domestically, but other countries prohibit these exports or require that importing countries be notified about the export of chemicals which are domestically listed as harmful. Hence, the domestic legal framework specifies the consequences of illegal trade in chemical products and wastes – whether a State is enforcing its international obligation to criminalize illegal traffic in hazardous waste or addressing illegal trade in chemicals purely as a domestic legal issue. The penalties for illegal trade can be administrative, civil or criminal.

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


Made with FlippingBook HTML5