Last reviewed 5 March 2014

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has reminded those who import and export hazardous chemicals of the coming into force of the new Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation (EU 649/2012) which applies from 1 March 2014, replacing the previous PIC Regulation (EC 689/2008).

At the same time, ECHA will take over responsibility for the PIC regime from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

The PIC regime regulates the import and export of very hazardous chemicals between the EU and third countries, and implements the global Rotterdam Convention within the EU.

The new Regulation does not substantially change the present arrangements but it does introduce a number of minor changes in connection with:

  • first annual exports — from 1 March 2014, exporters must notify the UK Designated National Authority (DNA) within a certain timeframe

  • subsequent exports — exporters must notify the DNA within a certain timeframe

  • special reference identification numbers (RINs) — the new PIC Regulation does not apply to exports of chemicals for research and analysis in specified quantities but exporters must still obtain a special RIN

  • exports of chemicals listed in Annex I Part 3 of the Regulation in certain circumstances (a special RIN will also be required)

  • new limited alternative conditions under which an export may proceed in the absence of explicit consent from the importing country.

As of 1 March, ECHA started processing industry's export notifications and explicit consents.

Further information on the changes can be accessed on the ECHA website and Health and Safety Executive website .