Edited by Stephen Tully
Chapter 54: UNEP: Code of Ethics on the International Trade in Chemicals, 1994
Commentary: The Code (www.chem.unep.ch/ethics/) was a product of UNEP Governing Council Decision 16/35 (1991) on toxic chemicals and UNGA Resolution 47/190 (1992). It is intended to complement existing international instruments, intergovernmental codes, PVIs and industry programmes. The private sector is expected to ensure chemical safety throughout the product life cycle, introduce safer packaging including clear labelling, reduce their reliance upon hazardous chemicals, undertake quality assurance and promote safety education and training. Although it permits flexible application in the light of national conditions, the Code should not be used ‘to sustain or create tariff or non-tariff barriers to trade in chemicals’. By 1998, several chemical industry associations (for example, the European Chemical Industry Council, the Japanese Responsible Care Council and the Spanish Chemical Industry Federation) had expressed their support and seven governments agreed to promote voluntary implementation by national industry: UNEP (1998), ‘Report on the Status of the Application of the Code of Ethics’. See also, UN (1991), ‘Consolidated List of Products whose Consumption and/or Sale have been Banned, Withdrawn, Severely Restricted or Not Approved’ (4th edn); UNEP (1993), ‘International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals’. The Code does not preclude adopting additional action: hence several provisions address chemicals dedicated towards domestic use. For chemical use and employment, see ILO Convention No 170 (1990) and Recommendation No 177 (1990) on Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work; ILO (1993), ‘Code of Practice on Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work’. Part I. General Provisions I. Objective 1. The objective of...
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