Improper handling and unsafe management of toxic pesticides and other hazardous chemicals cause serious harm to human, animals and the environment. Governments started to address this problem in the 1980s by establishing a voluntary Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. PIC required exporters trading in a list of hazardous substances to obtain the prior informed consent of importers before proceeding with the trade.
In response to these concerns, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched negotiations for a legally binding instrument on the voluntary PIC. On 10 September 1998, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade was adopted and opened for signature. The Convention entered into force on 24 February 2004.
On 24 May 2005, Singapore acceded to the Convention and it came into force for Singapore on 21 August 2005. As a Party to the Convention, Singapore is required to implement the PIC procedure for the international trade of chemicals that are listed under the Convention.
Under the PIC procedure, countries exporting hazardous chemicals identified in the Convention are only allowed to export to Parties that consent to the import of these PIC chemicals
. The import decisions of each country can be found in the PIC Circular
updated every six months by the Secretariat. The list of HS Codes and Product Codes
assigned to the PIC chemicals are sorted in alphabetical (chemical names) order.
The text of the Rotterdam Convention including the Annexes of the Convention can be viewed at the official website of the Rotterdam Convention.