The Illegal Trade in Chemicals

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Initiatives

areas for the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, while chapter 20 focuses on four objectives for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes. Both chapters include specific objectives related to illegal international trade. In 2002, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation renewed the commitments to chemical management in Agenda 21 and set a target that by 2020 chemicals should be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. To achieve this 2020 target, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management was set up to provide a non-binding policy framework for chemicals management. SAICM is a policy framework developed by the International Conference on Chemicals Management, comprising the Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management, an Overarching Policy Strategy and a Global Plan of Action. The Overarching Policy Strategy contains five Strategic Objectives, one of which seeks to prevent illegal international traffic in hazardous, banned and severely restricted chemicals, for example by strengthening domestic and regional implementation of relevant multilateral agreements and the capacity of countries to prevent and control illegal international traffic. SAICM provides direction and identifies approaches to combat illegal international traffic, and recommends improved governance, capacity-building, and technical cooperation as well as building on existing enforcement initiatives. The SAICM Global Plan of Action identifies specific activities to implement the Overarching Policy Strategy. SAICM has a sunset date of 2020. As of September 2019, discussions are ongoing among SAICM stakeholders on the future overarching policy approach to the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, building on the experiences of SAICM to date. In 2015, the General Assembly on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted a resolution including 17 global Sustainable Development Goals. Several goals and specific targets feature sound chemical and waste management. Implementation of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (i.e. SDGs 2.4, 3.9, 6.3, 12.4, 12.5), which address sound management of chemicals and waste, can significantly contribute to combatting the illegal trade in chemicals. Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals with close links to sound chemical and waste management requires a systematic approach and cooperation among actors from chemical producers to consumers. The Sustainable Development Goals Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

OECD activities against the illegal trade in pesticides in 2010 resulted in the formation of the OECD Network on Illegal Trade of Pesticides (ONIP) – a working group of experts, national regulators, inspectors and customs officials seeking to strengthen and harmonize national regulatory frameworks to counter the illegal international trade in agricultural pesticides. ONIP actively engages in bringing countries together to exchange information and collectively counter illegal trade in pesticides, and in 2012 established the Rapid Alert System, which is used to disseminate information among OECD member countries about suspect shipments. Recently OECD released best practice guidance (OECD 2018) for inspectors and regulatory authorities on identifying and tackling illegal pesticides from manufacture through formulation, trade and use to destruction. ONIP developed OECD recommendations – adopted in February 2019 – on countering the illegal trade of pesticides (OECD 2019). This legal instrument promotes greater cooperation between countries and between custom authorities and regulatory and compliance and enforcement agencies in their efforts to identify and respond to illegal trade in pesticides. OECD has also published Guidelines on Pesticide Compliance and Enforcement (2012), which include recommendations to strengthen control of pesticides at national borders. Through the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, countries are working together against illegal trade in general, including chemicals. Additionally, OECD advocates due diligence in supply chains by helping to guide private sector actors in reducing the environmental and other impacts of the supply chain, for example encouraging the private sector to prioritize gold that is not produced with mercury. International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, provides bestpracticesandtechnicalguidelinesformanagingpesticides throughout their life cycles. The code underlines the need for governments to detect and control illegal trade in pesticides through national inter-agency and intergovernmental cooperation and information sharing, and emphasizes the importance of enforcement to ensure compliance with pesticide legislation, including trade restrictions. The code states that with respect to highly hazardous pesticides, trade measures may be considered if “risk mitigation measures or good marketing practices are insufficient to ensure that the product can be handled without unacceptable risk to humans and the environment.”The code also reinforces the obligation

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


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