Designated National Authorities or DNAs play a crucial role in the implementation of the convention. They serve as the focal point in their country for the dissemination of information concerning the provisions of the Convention to the relevant government departments as well as to other partners such as export and importing industries and customs officers.
One important requirement in nominating a DNA is that governments shall ensure that the DNA is provided with the necessary resources to effectively carry out their responsibilities. DNAs are also responsible for providing information to the Secretariat and to other participating countries as required by the Convention.
In line with the Convention, each Party shall designate one or more national authorities to act on its behalf with regard to the performance of the administrative functions required by this Convention. The decision as to the number of DNAs is up to individual governments. Most Parties have decided on the nomination of authorities regulating chemicals in their country, while others have nominated authorities responsible for foreign affairs.
The DNA for a Party has a number of responsibilities to undertake that are described in Article 5, 6, 10, and 12, 13, 14. These include:
Notifying the Secretariat of national final regulatory actions
In line with Article 5 of the Convention, DNAs are required to submit notification of final regulatory action for all actions currently in effect, if the country has not yet done so. This is required when the country becomes a Party.
To achieve this, the DNA must be aware of regulatory actions that are taken by the government. The DNA needs to determine whether the action is a final regulatory action as defined by the Convention, and whether the action meets the definition of the Convention as a ban or a severe restriction, based on health or environmental concerns.
Such notifications should be submitted as soon as possible, and in any event no later than ninety days after the date on which the final regulatory action has taken effect.
Submitting proposals for severely hazardous pesticide formulations
In line with Article 6 of the Convention, DNAs from developing countries or countries with an economy in transition are invited to submit proposals to the Secretariat for the listing of severely hazardous pesticide formulations in Annex III of the Convention if they are experiencing problems caused by such formulations under conditions of use in their countries.
In order to strengthen the information flow, the Secretariat and CRC have developed the severely hazardous pesticide incident report forms. One form is designed for incidents relating to human health and the second is for environmental incidents. When using these forms, cases of suspected pesticide poisonings or environmental incidents should be reported along with the available evidence linking the pesticide formulation to the incident.
Each of the two forms consists of two parts. Part B of the form is designed to report an individual incident, which should be made available in the field where the incident has taken place. Extension services, NGOs and aid agencies are encouraged to use Part B to provide to DNAs with detailed information on incidents in the field. The DNA’s task is to complete Part A and officially submit the proposal with both parts to the Secretariat.
Providing importing country responses to chemicals subject to PIC
Once the COP decides to include a chemical in Annex III of the Convention and the related DGD has been approved, it is distributed to all DNAs. In line with Article 10 of the Convention, DNAs are requested to submit importing country responses for all the chemicals currently included in Annex III of the Convention when the country becomes a Party. Upon receipt of a DGD, DNAs are requested to inform the secretariat of their decision regarding future import within nine months.
Communicating the received import responses to stakeholders in that country
DNAs receive all importing country responses through the PIC Circular sent by the Secretariat every 6 months. DNAs are expected to disseminate this information to all relevant agencies that may be involved in the regulation, production and trade of chemicals in the country, e.g. government departments, manufacturers export industries, etc. This is to enable those institutions and persons to take the appropriate action to ensure that exports do not occur contrary to importing country responses. This is an obligation for all Parties.
Sending and acknowledging export notifications
When a Party has banned or severely restricted a chemical, but exports it, the Convention requires that, prior to the first shipment after the action, or before the first shipment in a calendar year, the DNA of the exporting Party send an export notification to the DNA of the importing Party. The DNA of the Importing Party must send an acknowledgement of the export notification.
The Convention has a number of information exchange provisions, including information to accompany exported chemicals and general information exchange. The DNA receives information from the Secretariat and from Parties, and is responsible for distributing information nationally. The DNA also has the responsibility to respond to request for information from the secretariat or from other Parties.