Two new pesticides to recommend for registration in Rotterdam | News | SDG Knowledge Center
With a busy agenda, shorter working days and a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants at the 17th meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee (CRC-17 ) considered notifications of final regulatory action (FRA) on four of the seven pesticides on its agenda: terbufos, thiodicarb, iprodione and methidathion. The Committee did not open the discussion on the other three chemicals: chlorfenvinphos, carbaryl and methyl parathion, due to time constraints.
Regarding terbufos and iprodione, CRC concluded that FRA notifications meet the criteria for listing banned or severely restricted chemicals. The Committee will undertake intersessional work to prepare draft decision guidance documents on these substances for consideration at CRC-18. It will then transmit these guidelines to the Conference of the Parties (COP) and recommend that they be included in Annex III of the Convention (chemicals and pesticides banned or severely restricted).
On thiodicarb and methidathion, CRC was unable to conclude its work at this meeting and will continue discussions at CRC-18.
A discussion on Mozambique raised questions about the standards of proof and accessibility of the Convention for low-income countries.
The work of CRC-17 also included a discussion of whether the information that Mozambique had provided in its notifications was sufficient to meet the requirements of the Convention detailed in Annex I, including properties, identification and the uses of a substance, as well as the criteria in Annex II for listing banned substances or severely restricted chemicals. Specifically, a major concern in Mozambique’s four notifications was whether a general survey of agricultural workers, central to Mozambique’s decision to take an FRA, provided sufficient evidence to constitute a valid risk assessment. This issue revealed a deep divide between participants’ expectations and raised questions about the standards of evidence and accessibility of the Rotterdam Convention for low-income countries.
The CRC is responsible for determining whether FRA notifications meet the criteria set out in Annexes I and II of the Rotterdam Convention. Discussions at CRC-17 revolved around what constitutes a risk assessment, with some expressing strong preferences for more comprehensive data than that provided in many notifications. Others argued that the Convention only requires a simple risk assessment, specifically to allow countries with limited capacity to submit FRA notifications. Many participants questioned the feasibility of obtaining information under conditions where chemicals are not tightly controlled. For example, in many countries pesticides are sold informally in markets, with farmers and farm workers purchasing small amounts in unlabeled bags. Participants could not reach a consensus on what constituted a risk assessment.
CRC-18 will meet in the second half of 2022 and will continue to review the four notifications from FRA regarding final regulatory actions submitted by Mozambique, in addition to the notifications submitted by China and Uruguay on methyl parathion, as well. as any new notification submitted during the intersessional period.
The Rotterdam Convention COP is expected to meet face to face in June 2022, jointly and back to back with the COPs of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions. [Earth Negotiations Bulletin meeting coverage] [Meeting webpage]