The Illegal Trade in Chemicals

Governance strategies

consumer goods in national markets by strengthening the human capacities to perform the regulatory functions, and by strengthening national regulations and enforcement. Countries that have no empty container management system enable illegal traders to buy used containers, fill them with substandard or obsolete stocks, and sell them to unsuspecting buyers. National legislation can provide for measures to ensure that hazardous waste and pesticide containers do not return to the market in a new supply chain, and to require due diligence national reporting on the generation and management of hazardous waste. These measures may include collection schemes, deposit systems or something similar. The development of toxic-free alternatives may reduce the demand for toxic, hazardous and banned or severely restricted chemicals, especially the demand served by illegal trade, and national policymakers may find ways to encourage this approach with special projects through agricultural or environmental ministries or agencies in collaboration with NGOs and civil society partners. This same type of partnership may also help raise awareness among vendors, local farmers, rural communities and private landowners about the health and environmental risks associated with pesticides. National policymakers can adopt knowledge and information strategies that focus on the needs of consumers and communities in ways that support the fight against the illegal trade in chemicals and contribute to public health and environmental protection. Both men and women who are directly exposed to chemicals should receive specific attention in domestic knowledge and information strategies. In concert with risk reduction strategies to raise awareness, countries can support stewardship programmes on organic and ecosystem- based approaches to agriculture with the participation of industry, NGOs and others. Agricultural extension services can assist in this work, and developing or strengthening extension capacities to assist micro-, small- and medium-scale farmers is a logical complementary strategy. National leaders may also have opportunities to fashion information and education products and programmes tailored to the specific needs of their communities and end users and targeted at the most relevant health and environmental effects of concern. Policymakers at the national level can follow the same approach as global and regional policymakers, and can encourage the development of comprehensive baseline data and support further study of the global and regional dynamics of the illegal trade in chemicals. Knowledge and information strategies

In conjunction with other efforts to reduce the illegal trade in chemicals, national policy can support strategies for the seizure and proper disposal of illicit pesticides as a sound approach to removing material from the illegal market. This approach may also encourage the development of a norm that seized illicit pesticides be treated as waste, but it requires that countries have a clear system in place to handle the waste in an environmentally sound manner. The developing trend of marketing of pesticides online is global in scope, but national policy – as demonstrated by the efforts in China and the US – can intervene effectively to protect uninformed buyers simply by encouraging service providers tocombat the illegal trade. Further stepsmay include establishing an effective regulatory policy on online pesticide marketing and negotiating an ultimate ban on marketing of unregistered or banned plant protection products. National enforcement strategies are likely to benefit from the use of education and awareness campaigns targeted to authorities who may come into contact with illegal products, but who are unaware of the criminality or associated health and environmental risks. Even among customs and competent authorities, the scale of the illegal trade in chemicals is not well understood, and a key challenge to effective enforcement is that frontline officers are rarely trained to detect and recognize chemicals. Appropriate law enforcement training to sensitize agents to the illegal trade in chemicals at all levels is a potentially effective response to this situation. Similarly, national strategies may include programmes intended to enable national stakeholders (i.e. enforcement authorities, customs, regulators, civil society) to identify illegal supply chains. The rationales for cooperation and coordination at the global level apply equally to the national level, and national strategies for strengthening coordination may include concrete mechanisms for exchange of information among law enforcement agencies and competent authorities. Likewise, the rationale for capacity-building applies at the national level, and policymakers can work to ensure that sufficient human resources are available on the front lines, and that officers have the technical means necessary to combat illegal trade. Additional cooperation strategies may include the development of intelligence systems for sharing information among agencies and the coordination of transnational enforcement operations similar to Operation Silver Axe. Enforcement strategies

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


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