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Fact sheet: Exporting and importing dangerous chemicals and pesticides

Special regulations apply to import and export of dangerous chemicals to and from the EU. Export of certain dangerous chemicals is banned and for other restricted chemicals, the exporter or manufacturer must notify the export to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency in advance. Where such chemicals are imported into the EU, the importer must subsequently notify the Environmental Protection Agency. Special legislation applies to ozone layer depleting substances.

Ban

Export of chemicals listed in Annex V to Regulation 689/2008 of the Council and European Parliament concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals are banned, unless the export is covered by the exemptions applying on export notifications. The ban also applies on articles containing Annex V substances.
Annex V (JRC website)

Export notification

The requirement to notify export of chemicals applies to chemicals listed in part 1 of Annex I to Regulation 689/2008. Notification must be made for each country of import and for each chemical in the Annex, and must be renewed each year before the chemicals may be exported. Notification is also required for export of mixtures containing Annex I, Part 1, substances in concentrations that could trigger labelling obligations and chemicals in non-reacted form. Notification is not required for chemicals to be exported for research or analysis provided that the quantities are not likely to affect human health or the environment and in any case not more than10 kg of the substance by itself or contained in mixtures (preparations).
See Annex I, part 1 (JRC website)

The Regulation does not apply to chemicals that are drugs, radioactive materials, wastes, chemical weapons, food and food additives, feeding stuffs, genetically modified organisms, most pharmaceuticals.

In order to avoid Custom problems when the notification requirement does not apply to a specific export (se above), a special number can be obtained – Se below under

Designated national authority, supervision and enforcement

Exporters can perform export notifications electronically, via the JRC website, http://edexim.jrc.ec.europa.eu. However, exporters must be allocated a user account by the designated national authority (DNA) in order to do so.
Designated national authorities (JRC website)

Consent

The aim of the of Regulation 689/2008 is to give developing countries, in particular, the opportunity to consider whether or not to accept the import of chemicals that are so dangerous to health or the environment that they are banned or severely restricted in the exporting country.

For chemicals listed in the Rotterdam Convention (PIC chemicals) and chemicals that EU believes should be PIC chemicals, consent from the importing country is required prior to export. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency will if needed submit a request to the importing country once the exporter has notified his intent to export.

For PIC chemicals the responses from the Parties of Rotterdam Convention whether or not they consent to import the chemicals are available on the website of the UN PIC secretariat (pic.int).

However for Parties that have not submitted a response to the PIC secretariat, a reply to a request submitted by an EU Member State may already be available and li sted on the Explicit Consent List (JRC website).

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency may decide that export to an OECD country of a chemical included in Annex I, part 2, to the Regulation does not require the consent of the importing country. If an importing country does not reply on a request for consent the Danish Environmental Protection Agency in consultation with the EU Commission in exceptional cases decide to allow an export.

Even if consent has been granted, exports must not take place until four weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency has been notified. This waiting period reduces to 15 days in subsequent years.

Labelling

Regulation 689/2008 also contains requirements for packaging and labelling of exported chemicals, as well as for safety data sheets. Pleas e refer to the Commission guidelines page 16-19 (PDF - eur-lex.eu) .

Import

Where chemicals listed in part 1 of Annex I to the Regulation are imported from non-EU countries, the importer must report to the Environmental Protection Agency. By 31 March each year the importer shall submit information on the import for the previous year. Regulation 689/2008 does not require advance notification. However licence is required to import ozone depleting substances covered by Regulation 2037/2000

Designated national authority, supervision and enforcement

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency is the designated national authority and point of contact for enterprises.

Supervision is carried out by SKAT. Specific information has to be included inbox 44 of the Single Administrative Documents, as completed under Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code. Further guidance is given in Guide to Regulation 689/2008, page 19 (JRC website).

The Regulation is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. The chemical inspectors monitor compliance with the regulations. Violence of the regulations may result in a fine or prison sentence of up to two years.

More information

Regulation No 689/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals (JRC website).

Guide to Regulation 689/2008 (JRC website) .

Please note that Annex I of the guide, listing chemicals, has not been updated. An updated version is available on EDEXIM Annex I (JRC website).

Regulation No 2037/2000 of the European Parliament and of the council on substances that deplete the ozone layer (PDF - eur-lex.eu)

UNEP Rotterdam Convention website (pic.int).

Ozone Secretariat (unep.org)