Sweden is a party to many international conventions and other bilateral agreements. The Swedish Chemicals Agency gives support to the Swedish Government and participates in conferences attended by the parties to the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Part of our task is to seek to implement the conventions in the European Union and in Sweden.
Stockholm Convention (POPs, persistent organic pollutants)
The Stockholm Convention came into force in 2004, and contains provisions on persistent organic pollutants with considerable negative health and environmental properties. Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 implements the Convention and the UNECE Long-Range Transport of Air Pollutants, LRTA’s POPS Protocol within the EU. The Swedish Chemicals Agency and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency are jointly responsible for following up and promoting Swedish activities in this work and for reporting on how Sweden has adopted the convention.
Sweden's implementation plan for the Stockholm Convention
Parties to the Stockholm Convention shall develop, implement and update national implementation plans to limit or eliminate production, use and releases of persistent organic pollutants. Since 2006, Sweden has such an implementation plan that describe the situation in Sweden, identifies ongoing measures and presents strategies for future work.
In March 2018, the Government Offices submitted the latest update to the Convention Secretariat. The update has been made by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the Swedish Chemicals Agency and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. The plan shows that the main concerns for Sweden related to persistent organic pollutants, are dioxins, PCB, PFOS and other PFAS:s.
Rotterdam Convention (PIC, Prior Informed Consent)
The Rotterdam Convention aims to protect human health and the environment and to provide information on the import and export of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. The importing country may choose to accept or reject the import. Regulation (EC) No 649/2012 has adopted the Convention and the Swedish Chemicals Agency is the designated authority for seeking to implement its provisions.
The Minamata Convention
The Minamata Convention on Mercury will restrict and ban the use of mercury in both products and industrial processes as of 2020. The Convention was signed in 2013, and is expected to come into force in 2017 once ratified by a sufficient number of countries. This is the first time a global environmental agreement has contained an article relating to health, and it contains a mechanism to check that the Convention is implemented.
The global chemicals strategy, SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management), which dates from 2006, is a political agreement consisting of declarations of intention without binding provisions. In contrast to the conventions, the scope of SAICM is considerably wider and its focus in not on single substances but on risk management throughout their life cycle.
The Minister of the Environment and Energy is the Swedish contact point for SAICM and is coordinating the work done in Sweden. The Swedish Chemicals Agency is contributing to this work in its capacity as an expert authority, and is coordinating the development cooperation activities related to SAICM.
HELCOM and OSPAR
The HELCOM and OSPAR Conventions on the protection of the marine environment.