The Illegal Trade in Chemicals

Enforcement strategies

The Parties to the Minamata Convention have agreed that implementing the mercury supply restrictions in primary mining and chlor-alkali and other prescribed controls are priority measures. As the countries focus on implementing these measures, they may advance the cause by improving the capacity of customs and law enforcement officials – especially at the field level – to deal with illegal mercury trade. As in any enforcement function, the fight against the illegal trade in mercury requires adequate human resources and the necessary technical and legal means. The legal measures might include: • Criminal and civil liabilities or penalties along the entire illegal supply chain • Seizures of property or equipment used to conduct illegal activities

Seaports that serve as import and export hubs are choke points in the regional mercury supply chains, and coordinated regional trade control strategies that focus resources on these hubs may be an effective enforcement strategy. Devoting special attention to the role of organized crime and other armed groups in the mercury trade is likely to be an effective complementary approach. An array of monitoring and control measures is available to enforcement authorities, and depending on the circumstances and resources available, further monitoring and control measures may include surveillance, electronic controls, obligatory reporting and other appropriate steps. Policymakers everywhere should encourage the wide sharing of best practices among enforcement authorities.

The Illegal Trade in Chemicals


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