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[Senate Treaty Document 106-21]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


106th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
 2d Session                      SENATE                          106-21


                          INTERNATIONAL TRADE







  February 9, 2000.--Convention was read the first time, and together 
  with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign 
      Relations and order to be printed for the use of the Senate


79-118                     WASHINGTON : 2000       

                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                                 The White House, February 9, 2000.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior 
Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and 
Pesticides in International Trade, with Annexes, done at 
Rotterdam, September 10, 1998. The report of the Department of 
State is enclosed for the information of the Senate.
    The Convention, which was negotiated under the auspices of 
the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations 
Food and Agriculture Organization, with the active 
participation of the United States, provides a significant and 
valuable international tool to promote sound risk-based 
decisionmaking in the trade of certain hazardous chemicals. 
Building on a successful voluntary procedure, the Convention 
requires Parties to exchange information about these chemicals, 
to communicate national decisions about their import, and to 
require that exports from their territories comply with the 
import decisions of other Parties.
    The United States, with the assistance and cooperation of 
industry and nongovernmental organization, plays an important 
international leadership role in the safe management of 
hazardous chemicals and pesticides. This Convention, which 
assists developing countries in evaluating risks and enforcing 
their regulatory decisions regarding trade in such chemicals, 
advances and promotes U.S. objectives in this regard. All 
relevant Federal agencies support early ratification of the 
Convention for this reason, and we understand that the affected 
industries and interest groups share this view.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Convention and give its advice and consent 
to ratification, subject to the understanding described in the 
accompanying report of the Secretary of State.

                                                William J. Clinton.

                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL


                                       Department of State,
                                    Washington, September 24, 1999.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you the 
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure 
for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International 
Trade, with Annexes, done at Rotterdam September 30, 1998. The 
United States signed the Convention, subject to ratification, 
on September 11, 1998. I recommend that the Convention be 
transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to 
    Advances in chemical synthesis and production in this 
century have been responsible for many important benefits 
currently enjoyed by modern society. The introduction and use 
of chemicals and pesticides into the environment, however, also 
carries with it inherent risks. The United States has made 
great strides to address these risks since the dangers of 
indiscriminate pesticide use were highlighted some thirty-five 
years ago. Each year, chemical manufacturers and developed-
country governments such as the United States spend many 
millions of dollars to test and assess chemicals to ensure that 
they can be managed in a sound manner once they are introduced 
into commerce. The Environmental Protection Agency and other 
state and federal agencies employ a great number of experts to 
decide which chemicals can be used safely and to ensure their 
safe use.
    Outside the developed world, however, countries simply do 
not have these resources at their disposal, and the United 
States and other developed countries have long recognized the 
critical role they play in sharing their experience and 
knowledge with developing countries and to help alert them to 
significant chemical risks. With the current pace of 
globalization and associated increases in chemical trade, the 
need to promote good risk-based decision-making is also 
increasing rapidly in many countries.
    The Rotterdam Convention is a substantial new tool to 
promote this goal. The Convention establishes a procedure to 
promote shared responsibility in the international trade of 
certain hazardous chemicals through the exchange of information 
about these chemicals and the communication of national 
decisions about their import and export. Under the Convention, 
each Party agrees to inform the Secretariat of its national 
decisions regarding the import of certain listed chemicals, and 
each Party is required to ensure that exports from its 
territory comply with those import decisions. This mechanism is 
known as the prior informed consent, or ``PIC'', procedure. The 
Convention also required each exporting Party to provide export 
notifications to importing Parties with respect to eachchemical 
that the exporting Party has banned or severely restricted under its 
domestic law.
    The Convention builds on voluntary guidelines for the 
exchange of information on chemicals in international trade and 
on a parallel international code of conduct for the 
distribution and use of pesticides (the ``voluntary 
procedure''). The United States helped develop the voluntary 
procedure, which was designed to give developing countries 
information about risks posed by especially hazardous chemicals 
and to assist them in enforcing their decisions regarding trade 
in such chemicals. Over 150 countries currently participate in 
the voluntary procedure, which has been operational since 1992. 
Major chemical producers and environmental groups from the 
United States and abroad have supported the voluntary procedure 
and endorsed its being strengthened into binding obligations. 
The Convention includes in its original list of chemicals 
subject to the PIC procedure the 27 chemicals that were listed 
in the voluntary procedure at the time the Convention was 
    The United States played a leading role in negotiating the 
Convention, which was developed under the joint auspices of the 
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 
and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Throughout 
the negotiations, the Department of State and interested 
federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection 
Agency, the Department of Commerce, the United States Trade 
Representative, and the Department of Agriculture, consulted 
with the Congress, industry, and environmental organizations. 
The relevant federal agencies support expeditious ratification 
of the Convention by the United States. The Convention has the 
support of U.S. industry and environmental organizations.
    The following analysis reviews the Convention's key 
provisions and sets forth the proposed understanding of the 
United States with respect to several elements.


    The Preamble emphasizes that the Convention shall not be 
interpreted as implying in any way a change in the rights and 
obligations of a Party under any existing international 
agreement applying to chemicals in international trade or to 
environmental protection. The text thus clarifies that the 
convention does not affect the rights and obligations created 
by agreements such as the Agreement establishing the World 
Trade Organization. This text was agreed to in recognition of 
the fact that the Convention can be implemented by Parties in a 
manner fully consistent with such agreements.

                         article 1 (objective)

    This article sets out the objective of the Convention, 
which is to be pursued in accordance with the specific 
operative provisions. The objective is to promote shared 
responsibility in the international trade of certain hazardous 
chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment.

                        Article 2 (Definitions)

    Paragraph (a) expressly provides that the term ``chemical'' 
includes a substance ``whether by itself or in a mixture or 
preparation.'' In defining a ``chemical,'' paragraph (a) 
further provides that the term consists of two categories: 
pesticide (including severely hazardous pesticide formulations) 
and industrial. These categories are significant because the 
responses of importing countries are tied to a specific 
category of use, as are the obligations of exporting Parties 
under the Convention. This approach is consistent with the 
distinction between pesticides and industrial chemicals under 
U.S. law, and with the implementation of the voluntary 
procedure in the United States.
    Paragraph (b) defines a ``banned chemical'' as a chemical 
all uses of which within the pesticide and/or industrial 
categories have been prohibited in order to protect human 
health or the environment. Paragraph (c) defines a ``severely 
restricted chemical'' as a chemical virtually all use of which 
within the pesticide and/or industrial categories has been 
prohibited, but for which certain specific uses remain allowed. 
These definitions expressly include a chemical that has been 
refused approval or withdrawn by industry when there is clear 
evidence that such action has been taken in order to protect 
human health or the environment. This definition reflects the 
fact that chemicals are sometimes withdrawn prior to a 
regulatory determination, based on the anticipation that they 
would be subject to a ban or severe restriction if the 
regulatory process were carried through to conclusion.
    Paragraph (d) defines a ``severely hazardous pesticide 
formulation'' as ``a chemical formulated for pesticidal use 
that produces severe health or environmental effects observable 
within a short period of time after single or multiple 
exposure, under conditions of use.'' In developed countries, 
such formulations are likely to be subject to stringent 
handling requirements, such as application by means of closed 
tractor cabs or fully enclosed suits with respirators. These 
requirements would not give rise to a definition as a 
``severely restricted chemical'' under the Convention, but 
nonetheless may be difficult or impossible to put into effect 
in many developing countries. The Convention therefore sets out 
a specific procedure for the inclusion of such formulations in 
the PIC procedure.
    Paragraph (e) defines ``final regulatory action'' as an 
action the purpose of which is to ban or severely restrict a 
chemical, and which does not require subsequent action. As 
discussed below, a Party's adoption of a ``final regulatory 
action'' with respect to a particular chemical gives rise to 
certain notification requirements. This definition makes it 
clear that interim domestic regulatory measures do not trigger 
such obligations.

                  Article 3 (Scope of the Convention)

    This article specifies that the Convention applies to 
banned or severely restricted chemicals and severelyhazardous 
pesticide formulations. It also specifies that the Convention does not 
apply to: narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; radioactive 
materials; wastes; chemical weapons; pharmaceuticals, including human 
and veterinary drugs; chemicals used as food additives; food; and 
chemicals in quantities not likely to affect human health or the 
environment, provided they are imported for the purpose of research or 
analysis or by an individual for his or her personal use in quantities 
reasonable for such use.

              article 4 (designated national authorities)

    Each Party shall designate one or more national authorities 
to perform the administrative functions required by this 
Convention. In the United States, the Assistant Administrator 
for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances of EPA 
currently serves as the designated national authority for the 
voluntary PIC procedure, and it is anticipated that this 
arrangement would continue under the Convention.

   article 5 (procedures for banned or severely restricted chemicals)

    Article 5 describes the mechanism for global notification 
of national decisions to ban or severely restrict chemicals. 
Under this mechanism, each Party shall notify the Secretariat 
when it adopts a final regulatory action to ban or severely 
restrict a chemical. The notification shall include certain 
information regarding both the chemical and the regulatory 
action, such as the basis for the regulatory action. The 
information requirements for such notifications are contained 
in Annex 1. In addition, this article sets out the procedure by 
which a banned or severely restricted chemical is considered 
for inclusion in the list of chemicals subject to the PIC 
procedure (Annex III).
    Pursuant to paragraph 5, when the Secretariat has received 
notifications regarding a national decision to ban or severely 
restrict a particular chemical from at least two countries from 
different regions of the world, it forwards these notifications 
to the Chemical Review Committee established under the 
Convention. This two-region process ensures that chemicals of 
concern to only one region will not be subject to consideration 
for inclusion in the globally binding PIC procedure. The 
composition of the regions will be designated in a future 
decision of the conference of the Parties, based on the 
regional groupings used in the FAO.
    Following transmittal of the notifications pursuant to 
paragraph 5, the Chemical Review Committee then considers the 
chemical for possible inclusion in the PIC procedure. Paragraph 
6 requires that, in reviewing a notification, the Committee 
consider several criteria, including whether the regulatory 
action has been taken on the basis of a risk evaluation, and 
whether the considerations giving rise to the regulatory action 
are based on limited geographical or other circumstances. The 
criteria are set out in Annex II. Based on its review, the 
Chemical Review Committee then makes a recommendation to the 
Conference of the Parties whetherthe candidate chemical should 
be added to Annex III and thereby made subject to the PIC procedure.

  article 6 (procedures for severely hazardous pesticide formulations)

    Article 6 establishes distinct procedures and criteria for 
considering inclusion of severely hazardous pesticide 
formulations in Annex III on the basis of actual problems in 
developing countries or in countries with economies in 
transition. Under paragraph 1, any developing country Party or 
Party with an economy in transition that is experiencing 
problems caused by a severely hazardous pesticide formulation 
may propose it for listing in Annex III. The proposal shall 
contain certain specified information, including a description 
of incidents related to the substance, such as adverse effects 
and the way in which the formulation was used, and any 
regulatory measure taken or intended to be taken by the 
proposing Party in response to these incidents.
    Paragraph 2 requires the Secretariat to verify whether the 
proposal contains the required information, and, if so, to 
forward within six months a summary of the information to all 
Parties. Paragraph 3 further requires the Secretariat to 
collect certain additional information, including, for example, 
information on the properties of the formulation, the existence 
of handling restrictions in other States, and information on 
incidents in other States.
    Pursuant to paragraph 5, when the requirements of 
paragraphs 2 and 3 have been fulfilled, the Chemical Review 
Committee reviews whether the pesticide formulation merits 
inclusion in Annex III. As with a banned or severely restricted 
chemical, the Convention specifies certain criteria that the 
Committee shall consider in its review, in order to help 
Parties determine the reliability and seriousness of incident 
reports and the degree to which they support the pesticide 
formulation's listing in Annex III. The criteria include, for 
example, the reliability of the evidence linking the 
formulation to the reported incidents, and the relevance of 
such incidents to other States with similar conditions. The 
criteria are set out in part 3 of Annex IV. Based on this 
review, the Chemical Review Committee then recommends to the 
Conference of the Parties whether the proposed pesticide 
formulation should be added to Annex III.

             article 7 (listing of chemicals in annex iii)

    This article sets out the procedure for the addition of a 
chemical to Annex III. For each chemical that the Chemical 
Review Committee decides to recommend for listing in Annex III, 
it shall prepare a decision guidance document and forward that 
document along with its recommendation to the Conference of the 
    The Conference of the Parties then makes a decision whether 
the chemical is to be listed in Annex III. Pursuant to 
paragraph 5(b) of Article 22, those decisions are taken by 
consensus and become binding on all Parties. This special 
procedure ensures that there is widespread support for the 
listing of a particular chemical, andthat the list of chemicals 
that are subject to the PIC procedure is uniform for all Parties.

article 8 (chemicals in the voluntary prior informed consent procedure)

    As noted above, Annex III currently consists of the 27 
chemicals that had been subject to the voluntary PIC procedure 
at the time the Convention was concluded. Because it was 
intended that the voluntary procedure would continue during the 
period before the convention's entry into force, however, 
Article 8 ensures that any new chemicals added to the voluntary 
procedure during that interim period will be fully considered 
before inclusion in the Convention. As with all decisions 
regarding the addition of new chemicals to Annex III, pursuant 
to paragraph 5(b) of Article 22, such decisions will be taken 
by the Conference of the Parties by consensus.

          article 9 (removal of the chemicals from annex iii)

    Article 9 sets forth the procedure for proposing the 
removal of a chemical from Annex III. A Party may submit 
information that was not available at the time the decision to 
list a chemical was made. The procedure under which such a 
proposal is considered closely parallels the procedure for 
adding chemicals, as set forth in Articles 6, 7, and 8.

 article 10 (obligations in relation to imports of chemicals listed in 
                               annex iii)

    Article 10 sets forth obligations on Parties with respect 
to the import of chemicals listed in Annex III. Pursuant to 
paragraph 2, for each chemical listed in Annex III, each Party 
shall transmit a response with its decision concerning the 
future import of that chemical; that decision will form the 
basis of exporting Party obligations under the PIC procedure. 
An importing Party's responses shall consist of: a decision to 
consent to import; a decision not to consent to import; or a 
decision to consent to import only subject to specified 
conditions. These responses may be either final decisions or 
interim responses.
    As discussed above, pursuant to paragraph 5, a Party's 
response shall relate to the category or categories under which 
the chemical is listed in Annex III. For example, for those 
chemicals that are listed in Annex III under the pesticide 
category, decisions with respect to the import of the chemical 
shall apply only to uses as pesticides.
    Paragraph 9 requires Parties that prohibit or condition the 
import of a chemical listed in Annex III to simultaneously 
prohibit or make subject to the same conditions both imports of 
the chemicals from any source, and domestic production of the 
chemical for domestic use. This provision thus requires that 
import decisions under the PIC procedure will have a trade 
neutral effect.
    Paragraph 10 provides that every six months the Secretariat 
shall inform the Parties of the responses it has received.

 Article 11 (Obligations in relation to exports of chemicals listed in 
                               Annex III)

    Article 11 sets forth obligations on exporting Parties with 
respect to chemicals listed in Annex III. Paragraph 1 requires 
each Party to adopt measures to communicate other Parties' 
import decision responses to those concerned in its 
jurisdiction and to take appropriate measures to ensure that 
exporters comply with those importing Party responses. This 
obligation is similar to current U.S. law requiring U.S. 
exporters to comply with specifications or directions of 
importers abroad.
    Paragraph 1(c) requires Parties to assist importing 
countries, upon request and as appropriate, to obtain further 
information to help them to make responses under Article 10, 
and to strengthen their capacities to manage chemicals safely. 
The United States already provides such assistance upon 
request. The language of this article will give the United 
States the latitude to determine, from the standpoint of 
resource allocation and applicable U.S. law, those requests 
that are appropriate for U.S. assistance.
    Paragraph 2 sets forth provisions that govern exports to a 
Party that has failed to transmit an import response or has 
transmitted an interim response that does not specify its 
decision with regard to imports. This provision requires that 
exporting Parties take steps to ensure that a listed chemical 
is not exported to a Party that has failed to transmit a 
response, unless the chemical is registered in the importing 
Party, there is evidence that the chemical has previously been 
used or imported there, or the exporter has obtained the 
importing Party's explicit consent. This grace period for 
importing countries parallels the approach in the voluntary PIC 
procedure, and reflects the fact that there may be exceptional 
circumstances in which certain Parties are unable to provide 
responses in a timely manner. These obligations remain in 
effect for a period of one year, beginning six months after the 
date that the Secretariat has circulated the initial set of 
responses to the Parties. This ``sunset'' provision, which is 
not part of the current voluntary PIC procedure, is designed to 
impose incentives on countries to ensure that they file import 
responses pursuant to Article 10.

                    article 12 (export notification)

    Article 12 requires a Party to provide an export 
notification to the importing Party when a chemical that is 
banned or severely restricted under the exporting Party's law 
is exported from its territory. The information required to be 
contained in these export notifications is set out in Annex V. 
The export notification shall be provided prior to the first 
export following adoption of the regulatory action, and, 
thereafter, before the first export in any calendar year or 
after a major change in the regulatory status of thechemical. 
This article also requires importing Parties to acknowledge receipt of 
the first export notification. In the absence of such acknowledgement, 
exporting Parties are required to submit a second notification. The 
second notification does not need to be provided prior to export. This 
article also provides that the export notification requirement may be 
waived by the importing Party.
    These export notification obligations cease when a chemical 
has been listed in Annex III and the importing Party has 
provided an import decision response concerning that chemical. 
The requirement is based on the principle that importing 
Parties should be informed if they are receiving exports of 
chemicals that are banned or severely restricted in the country 
of export. Certain export notification requirements are already 
in place in the United States and certain other developed 
    Article 12 does not expressly state whether the obligation 
to provide export notifications extends to exports of chemicals 
in a different category (i.e., pesticide or industrial 
chemical) from the one in which the exporting Party imposed a 
ban or severe restriction. At the behest of the United States, 
Canada, Mexico and the European Union, it was made clear during 
the negotiation, however, that the obligation in article 12 
would be fulfilled if a country only required notification of 
exports in the same category in which the ban or severe 
restriction had been taken. This category-based approach to 
export notification is consistent with the approach taken by 
the United States and several other countries in implementing 
the voluntary PIC procedure. In order to emphasize this point, 
I recommend that the following understanding be included in the 
U.S. instrument of ratification:

          It is the understanding of the United States of 
        America that the notification obligation in Article 12 
        requires only that an exporting Party provide export 
        notifications with respect to exports in the same 
        category of chemicals in which the exporting Party has 
        imposed a ban or severe restriction, and does not 
        require notifications for exports of chemicals in a 
        different category.

        article 13 (information to accompany exported chemicals)

    Article 13 contains a number of provisions relating to 
shipping documents, labeling, and safety data sheets for 
exported chemicals that are either listed in Annex III or 
banned or severely restricted by an exporting Party. These 
provisions are in keeping with the purpose of the Convention to 
provide appropriate information regarding exports of especially 
hazardous chemicals.
    Paragraph 1 encourages the world Customs Organization to 
assign specific Harmonized System customs codes to chemicals 
listed in Annex III. This approach has been used in the case of 
certain other controlled products, and was considered an 
effective way to use existing mechanisms to help Parties track 
the levels of PIC chemicals in their territory. Exporting 
Partiesshall require that such codes, if assigned, are included 
in shipping documents.
    Pursuant to paragraph 2, each Party shall require that 
exports of chemicals that are listed in Annex III or are banned 
or severely restricted in its territory be subject to certain 
labeling requirements. The labeling requirements shall ensure 
adequate availability of information with regard to risks and/
or hazards to human health or the environment, taking into 
account relevant international standards. Paragraph 3 provides 
that a Party may, should it so decide, require that chemicals 
subject to environmental or health labeling in its territory 
also be subject to labeling requirements upon export. These 
labeling requirements are similar to requirements under current 
U.S. law with respect to pesticide exports.
    Paragraph 4 requires that, for chemicals listed in Annex 
III and chemicals that are banned or severely restricted in its 
territory that are to be used for occupational purposes, each 
exporting Party shall require that a safety data sheet that 
follows an internationally recognized format is sent to the 

                   Article 14 (Information exchange)

    Article 14 contains a number of general provisions designed 
to facilitate the exchange of information relevant to the 
objections of the Convention. The Convention will be an 
important mechanism for helping countries better obtain and use 
information in making decisions regarding chemicals posing 
particular risks, and this article is in keeping with that 
    Parties that exchange information pursuant to this 
Convention shall protect any confidential information as 
mutually agreed. Paragraph 3 lists several categories of 
information that shall not be regarded as confidential for the 
purposes of the Convention, including information referred to 
the Annex 1 (concerning notifications of final regulatory 
actions). Paragraph 2(b)(iii) of that annex requires that the 
notifications include an ``[e]stimation, where available, of 
quantities of the chemical produced, imported, exported and 
used.'' The negotiating record expressly reflects that 
negotiators understood this provision to require reasonable 
reporting of available information on relative quantities of 
the chemicals produced, imported, exported, and used for the 
purpose of helping other Parties determine the significance of 
a Party's final action. For this reason, the United States 
would generally be able to provide the required information at 
a level of generality consistent with U.S. law regarding the 
protection of confidential business information.

             Article 15 (Implementation of the Convention)

    This article requires each Party to establish the necessary 
institutional measures to effectively implement the Convention, 
to ensure that its public has appropriate access to information 
to hazardous chemicals, and to cooperate in implementation of 
the Convention. It also provides that the Convention does not 
restrict the right of a Party to take more protective measures, 
provided that such measures are consistent with the Convention 
and in accordance with international law.

                   Article 16 (Technical Assistance)

    This article requires the Parties to cooperate in promoting 
technical assistance for the development of the capacity to 
manage chemicals to enable implementation of the Convention.

                      Article 17 (Non-Compliance)

    This article provides that the Conference of the Parties 
shall, as soon as practicable, establish procedures for 
determining non-compliance with the Convention and for 
treatment of Parties found to be in non-compliance.

                 Article 18 (Conference of the Parties)

    Article 18 establishes a Conference of the Parties and 
outlines its duties and functions. It also provides that the 
Conference of the Parties shall establish the Chemical Review 
Committee. The Committee will consist of a limited number of 
government-designated experts that are appointed by the 
Conference of the Parties.

                        Article 19 (Secretariat)

    Article 19 establishes a Secretariat, identifies its 
functions, and specifies that those functions shall be 
performed jointly by the Executive Director of UNEP and the 
Director-General of FAO.

                  article 20 (settlement of disputes)

    This article provides that the Parties shall settle 
disputes through negotiation or other peaceful means. 
Consistent with many recent environmental agreements, this 
article also provides for mandatory recourse, at the request of 
one party to a dispute, to non-binding conciliation. In 
addition, paragraph 2 provides that a Party may declare that it 
is prepared to submit to compulsory dispute settlement by 
arbitration or before the International Court of Justice with 
respect to Parties that have made similar declarations. I 
recommend that the United States not make such a declaration.

                     articles 21-29 (final clauses)

    Article 21 and 22 contain the procedures for amending the 
Convention and its annexes. An amendment to the Convention 
requires adoption by a three-fourths majority, and enters into 
force for those Parties having accepted the amendment on the 
ninetieth day after the date of deposit of instruments of 
ratification, acceptance or approval by at least three-fourths 
of the Parties. New annexes, as well as amendments to all 
annexes except for Annex III, are proposed and adopted in the 
same manner as amendments to the Convention. They differ, 
however, in that they enter into force one year after adoption 
for all Parties that have not, within that year, indicated 
their inability to accept them. Article 22 provides that 
annexes shall be restricted to procedural, scientific, 
technical or administrative matters; for this reason, it is 
envisaged that amendments to such annexes would not ordinarily 
be submitted for the Senate's advice and consent, but rather 
would be entered into under the existing authority of the 
    Paragraph 5 of Article 22 sets out a special procedure for 
the proposal, adoption, and entry into force of amendments to 
Annex III, due to the significant obligations attached to the 
listing of a chemical in Annex III, and the need for all 
Parties to have identical obligations with respect to that 
Annex. Amendments to Annex III are to be adopted by the 
Conference of the Parties by consensus and will enter into 
force for all Parties on a date to be specified in the relevant 
decision by the Conference of the Parties.
    Article 23 describes voting procedure, including those for 
regional economic integration organizations. Article 24 
specifies the opening of the Convention for signature. Article 
25 provides rules governing ratification, acceptance, approval 
or accession. Article 26 specifies that the Convention will 
enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit 
of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, 
approval or accession. Article 27 prohibits reservations to the 
Convention. Article 28 provides for withdrawal by any Party at 
least three years after the Convention has entered into force 
for that Party. Such withdrawal will take effect one year after 
receipt by the Depository of the notification of withdrawal. 
Article 29 specifies that the Secretary-General of the United 
Nations shall be the Depositary.

 Annex I--Information requirements for notifications made pursuant to 
                               Article 5

    Annex I contains information that Parties are required to 
provide to accompany a notification to the Secretariat of a 
final regulatory action pursuant to Article 5.

  Annex II--Criteria for the listing of banned or severely restricted 
                         chemicals in Annex III

    Annex II contains detailed criteria to be used by the 
Chemical Review Committee in determining whether a chemical 
should be listed in Annex III on the basis of final regulatory 
actions to ban or severely restrict it. It is associated with 
the obligations in Article 5.

  Annex III--Chemicals subject to the Prior Informed Consent Procedure

    Annex III contains the list of chemicals or classes of 
chemicals and their use categories that are subject to the 
Prior Informed Consent procedure. As noted above, at the time 
the Convention enters into force, Annex III shall consist of 
the 27 chemicals listed in the annex attached herewith.

 Annex IV--Information and criteria for listing of severely hazardous 
                  pesticide formulations in Annex III

    This annex sets out the information a Party is required to 
provide when it proposes the listing of a severely hazardous 
pesticide formulation, specifies additional information that 
the Secretariat is required to gather regarding the substance, 
and sets out criteria that the Chemical Review Committee shall 
take into account when reviewing whether to recommend the 
substance for inclusion in Annex III. The annex is associated 
with the obligations in Article 6.

       Annex V--Information requirements for export notification

    Annex V sets out the information that shall be contained in 
export notifications required under Article 12.
    Although much of the Convention can be implemented in the 
United States under existing statutory authority, it is 
envisaged that certain changes in domestic law would be made 
before the United States would deposit its instrument of 
ratification. The United States would likely implement its 
obligations relating to the pesticide category of chemicals 
through the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 
(FIFRA), and those relating to the industrial category through 
the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These statutes 
currently provide EPA with some limited authority over the 
export of particularly hazardous chemicals, but it is envisaged 
that additional legislative authority will be required to 
expeditiously and effectively meet all the Convention's 
    The primary legislative changes would include a 
clarification of EPA's authority to condition or prohibitU.S. 
exports of Annex III listed chemicals in a manner consistent with the 
importing Party's import decision response, as required under Article 
11. Similarly, additional authority may be required in order to ensure 
full compliance with the export notification requirements for banned or 
severely restricted chemicals that are set forth in Article 12, and 
with the labeling and safety data sheet requirements in Article 13. 
Certain other technical adjustments to existing authority may be 
required; all necessary changes will be included in the 
Administration's proposal for legislation to implement the Convention, 
which will be provided in due course.
    To date, 62 states have signed the Convention; no state has 
yet acceded to or ratified the Convention. Several states, 
including many members of the Organization for Economic 
Cooperation and Development, are expected to deposit 
instruments of accession or ratification soon. Early U.S. 
ratification would provide valuable momentum to bring the 
Convention into force and would demonstrate the continued 
commitment of the United States to cooperation with the 
international community on chemicals management issues. It 
would also enhance the international leadership role of the 
United States related to the safe management of hazardous 
chemicals and pesticides, particularly during this important 
period when the details and implementation of the Convention 
are being discussed internationally. Finally, it would ensure 
that the United States is a Party when the Convention enters 
into force, when many of the critical decisions relating to its 
implementation will be made. For example, only Parties will be 
able to designate experts to sit on the Chemical Review 
Committee, which will play an important role in considering the 
addition of chemicals to Annex III.
    I recommend that the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior 
Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and 
Pesticides in International Trade, with Annexes, be transmitted 
to the Senate for its advice and consent as soon as possible.
    Respectfully submitted.
                                                     Strobe Talbot.