Tough new controls on EU exports and imports of hazardous chemicals were finalised today when the European parliament backed a compromise deal with EU governments on implementing the UN's Rotterdam convention. The convention introduces a prior informed consent (PIC) procedure for shipments of specified dangerous substances.
The deal approved today goes beyond the requirements of the convention in several respects but its key feature is a change in the legal base, from the trade articles of the EU treaty to those underpinning environmental protection. In practice this will mean a more decentralised management regime, allowing member states more flexibility to introduce their own tighter restrictions on movements of chemicals.
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