Rotterdam Convention concerning Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International TradeSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 106-21
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[Senate Treaty Document 106-21] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 106th Congress Treaty Doc. 2d Session SENATE 106-21 _______________________________________________________________________ ROTTERDAM CONVENTION CONCERNING HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting 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 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 ------- U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 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 ratification. 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 concluded. 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. preamble 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 Parties. 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 countries. 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 importer. 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 purpose. 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 Executive. 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 requirements. 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.