The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


exports (UNEP 2016) while 122 countries have no regulations at all in place. In addition, national legislation banning trade in lead paint often allows exemptions for industrial uses, and the paint can end up in consumer markets in countries with weak or poorly enforced regulations. The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint is a voluntary partnership formed by UNEP and the World Health Organization to prevent exposure to lead, with a goal of phasing out lead paints by 2020. The Alliance has drafted a model law and guidance for regulating lead paint with the primary objectives of setting legal limits for lead in paint and of prohibiting the manufacture, sale, distribution and import of paints exceeding the lead limits. In a resolution passed in December 2017 to address lead paint, the third United Nations Environment Assembly encouraged governments, among other institutions, to develop, adopt, and implement legislation and regulations. The resolution also requests that UNEP assist countries in eliminating lead paint by providing tools and capacity-building to develop national legislation and regulations.

The Rotterdam Convention regulates some trade in asbestos. There are two classes of asbestos – amphibole and serpentine. The Rotterdam Convention includes all types of the amphibole group in its Annex III of substances subject to the prior informed consent procedure. Despite the fact that the 2006 Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention decided that chrysotile asbestos, the only type of asbestos in the serpentine class, meets the requirements and the criteria for inclusion in Annex III, the Parties have so far failed to agree to include it, with a handful of countries blocking its inclusion. Thus, trade in chrysotile asbestos, the most commonly used type of asbestos, is regulated solely at the national level, if at all. About one third of countries have banned the use of all forms of asbestos, with a number of important industrial nations declining to implement a ban or even to allow listing asbestos under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention, thus imposing the requirement of a global PIC procedure on its trade.

The International Labour Office and WHO (2007) recommend that States use import and export taxes to reduce the use

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


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