The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


Themethodologyunderpinning theanalysis of the illegal trade in chemicals in this report includes primary and secondary sources. To establish the bases for illegal transboundary activities involving chemicals, the review focuses on international legal instruments and national legislation in selected cases analysed specifically for this purpose. The analysis draws on the Comtrade Database, Knoema, the FAO database and national statistics. The methodology used here cross-checks data from various sources, and with regard to pesticides, compiles the results of six assessment steps: gap analysis, statistical analysis, industry reports and studies, market analysis, interviews with stakeholders and media reports. Figure 1 depicts the six steps, and Table 1 covers the purposes and challenges. Expert knowledge and interviews with people either researching specific cases or working on the subject of illegal trades inform the analysis. This approach allows the development of a comprehensive market analysis and an understanding of the market structure. Themethodology underpinning themercury analysis includes a review of recent papers published in technical journals, consultant reports and information in the press; contacts and interviews with government officials, ASGM experts, mercury traders and key delegates to the Minamata Convention; case study research and a review by relevant stakeholders; and an analysis of relevant and available trade data.

This report benefits from engagement with stakeholder groups at the grassroots level. Local NGOs directly concerned with the use of chemicals in their countries provided reports from the front lines. These reports cover how citizens encountered chemicals in their daily lives, and document the absence of information on labels, the packaging techniques used by illegal traders and the availability of illegal products. The reporting involved fieldwork and interviews with local suppliers, vendors and users of chemicals, and was supported by desktop research and reviews of national legislation focusing on international trade, monitoring and enforcement. The report builds upon the 2018 Basel Secretariat survey on preventing and combating illegal traffic and trade. The survey seeks a better understanding of areas requiring the improvement of legal clarity for preventing and combating illegal traffic of waste and chemicals. Additional guidance in the development of this report came from an advisory group comprising international stakeholders and experts from UNEP, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the United Nations Office onDrugs andCrime (UNODC) Container Control Programme, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Health and Environment Justice Support (HEJSupport) and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN).

Evaluating the market share

Gap analysis

Media check

Statistical analysis

Industry reports and studies

Questionnaires and interviews

Consumption analysis

Figure 1: Evaluating the market share

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


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