New controls imminent for trade in dangerous chemicals

The European Community will shortly become the first regional organisation to give legal backing to the voluntary "prior informed consent" (PIC) system which governs the international trade in dangerous chemicals.

The PIC system has evolved in the face of sustained opposition from the chemical industry. Its forerunners were a series of international guidelines developed by the OECD, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). These initially provided for the prior notification to a prospective importing country of exports of chemicals which are banned or severely restricted in the exporting country.

PIC takes th

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