The Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulations

The Prior Informed Consent (PIC) regime in GB regulates the export and import of certain hazardous chemicals.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the PIC DNA for Great Britain. HSE administers the GB PIC regime including the export notification system and providing information on GB PIC.

The GB PIC regime:

  • Applies to chemicals in the GB PIC list that are exported from GB including to EU countries or moved from GB to NI. The listed chemicals are those banned or severely restricted in GB. The PIC list also lists chemicals banned for export from GB.
  • Does not apply to chemicals used in drugs, radioactive materials, wastes, chemical weapons, food and food additives, feeding stuffs and medicinal products.
  • Places obligations on companies who wish to export or import listed chemicals from or to GB.
  • Requires the explicit consent of the importing country before some listed chemicals can be exported. HSE, as the DNA, will seek the consent of the importing country on the exporter's behalf.
  • Requires exporters and importers in the first quarter of each year to submit to the DNA details of the quantities of listed chemicals exported or imported during the preceding year.

The Rotterdam Convention

The UK is a Party to the international Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade.

The aims of the Rotterdam Convention are:

  • To promote shared responsibility and cooperation in international trade of listed hazardous chemicals - through export notifications and the pic procedure.
  • To protect human health and the environment by providing countries with information on how to store, transport, use and dispose of hazardous chemicals safely.

The PIC Regulation implements the Rotterdam Convention in GB but goes further by applying the requirements to chemicals that are banned or severely restricted in GB not just those listed in the Convention.

You can find further information on the Rotterdam Convention website, including the latest PIC circular.

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Updated: 2021-07-15