The establishment and implementation of legal frameworks for industrial and consumer chemicals is an aspect of sound chemicals management still lacking in many countries, especially in developing countries. The term “chemicals control” is used to refer to the regulation of industrial and consumer chemicals before or at the point when they are placed on the market. In most countries, pesticides are covered in separate legislation and are often subject to stringent requirements.
In parallel to establishing the legal requirements, the related institutional capacity for chemical safety needs to be established or improved. Adopting these measures at an early stage provides many benefits and is a cost-effective way of strengthening national chemicals management systems.
This document builds on an earlier United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) publication, Guidance on the Development of Legal and Institutional Infrastructures and Measures for Recovering Costs of National Administration for Sound Management of Chemicals (LIRA Guidance); and provides additional information on how to establish and maintain a national authority structure for chemicals control.
Consistent with the LIRA Guidance, this document emphasizes that creating clear legal responsibilities for manufacturers and importers is a key element of successful chemicals control.
Key concepts of chemicals control include:
- Clear division of roles and responsibilities.
- Basic government functions.
- Classification and labelling.
- Chemical bans or restrictions.
- Cost recovery.