The role of customs
officers in the implementation
of the Rotterdam Convention


Secretariat for the
Rotterdam Convention

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
11-13 Chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine GE
Tel:  +41 22  917 8296
Fax: +41 22  917 8082

Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome
Tel: +39 06 5705 2188
Fax: +39 06 5705 6347


Roles & Provisions.

The role of Customs in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention
Customs authorities play a key role in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and in protecting their countries from unwanted trade of hazardous chemicals. Governments will be able to enforce national decisions on the import/export of hazardous chemicals if effective coordination with their customs authorities takes place. Parties to the Convention are required to make import decisions on 40 hazardous chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention.

Designated National Authorities (DNAs) for the Rotterdam Convention, often based within the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and/or Health, distribute these decisions to customs authorities as well as to all national stakeholders (e.g. the industry sector) involved in the international trade of chemicals. Good cooperation and coordination between customs authorities and DNAs are essential for the effective implementation of the Convention.

The role of designated national authorities
Designated national authorities (DNAs) play a crucial role in implementing the Convention.
They serve as the focal points in their respective countries for submitting import responses and for disseminating information on the PIC procedure to the relevant government departments and exporting and importing industries, among others. Ideally, DNAs should keep customs officers up-to-date on any changes that might affect their work. A list of DNAs can be found on the Convention’s website.

Provisions of the Rotterdam Convention relevant to Customs activities

The Rotterdam Convention sets out provisions for the import and export between Parties of chemicals that are listed in Annex III of the Convention.

When exporting chemicals, customs authorities should be informed by their DNA(s) of the import responses from other countries relevant to Annex III chemicals (Articles 10-11), on any updates to the list of chemicals in Annex III (Articles 7 and 9) and, when importing, on the chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted at national level (Article 5).