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Part 9—International agreements and arrangements

Part 9 International agreements and arrangements

Division 1 Simplified outline of this Part

158   Simplified outline of this Part

This Part deals with the obligations that Australia has under the Rotterdam Convention, and other international agreements or arrangements regarding the movement of industrial chemicals into or out of Australia.

The Executive Director is responsible for notifying Australia’s designated national authority when there are laws made, or actions taken, that have the effect of banning or severely restricting the introduction or use of an industrial chemical.

Australia’s designated national authority is then responsible for providing this information to the Secretariat to comply with Australia’s obligations under the Rotterdam Convention.

The Executive Director also has responsibility for gathering information in relation to other obligations Australia has under the Rotterdam Convention for Australia’s designated national authority to provide to the Secretariat. Australia’s designated authority may share this information with other parties to the Rotterdam Convention.

This Part also provides for the rules to prohibit the introduction or export of an industrial chemical, or impose conditions on the introduction or export of an industrial chemical, where Australia is a party to an agreement or an arrangement that deals with such prohibitions or restrictions.

Division 2 Information exchange under the Rotterdam Convention

Subdivision A Notification of ban or restriction

159   Notification of ban or restriction on introduction or use

Scope

             (1)  This section relates to Australia’s obligations under paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Rotterdam Convention.

Executive Director must notify Australia’s designated national authority

             (2)  The Executive Director must notify Australia’s designated national authority in writing if the Executive Director is satisfied that:

                     (a)  both of the following apply:

                              (i)  the Executive Director has taken an action that has the effect of banning the introduction or use, or severely restricting the introduction or use, of an industrial chemical;

                             (ii)  the Executive Director has taken the action on the grounds that the Executive Director is not satisfied that risks to human health or the environment associated with the introduction or use of the industrial chemical can be managed; or

                     (b)  a provision of this Act or the rules has the effect of banning the introduction or use, or severely restricting the introduction or use, of an industrial chemical on the grounds that the risks to human health or the environment associated with the introduction or use of the industrial chemical cannot be managed; or

                     (c)  both of the following apply:

                              (i)  a State or a Territory has one or more laws that have the effect of banning the introduction or use, or severely restricting the introduction or use, of an industrial chemical in the State or Territory;

                             (ii)  the law or laws have the effect of banning the introduction or use, or severely restricting the introduction or use, of the industrial chemical in Australia on the grounds that the risks to human health or the environment associated with the introduction or use of the industrial chemical cannot be managed.

             (3)  The notice must:

                     (a)  specify the industrial chemical; and

                     (b)  contain the information set out in Annex I to the Rotterdam Convention (to the extent that the information is available); and

                     (c)  be given as soon as practicable after the Executive Director is satisfied in accordance with subsection (2).

Australia’s designated national authority must notify Secretariat

             (4)  If a notice is given under subsection (2), Australia’s designated national authority must:

                     (a)  give the Secretariat written notice of the information set out in the Executive Director’s notification; and

                     (b)  do so as soon as practicable, but no later than 90 days after:

                              (i)  if paragraph (2)(a) applies—the day the action taken by the Executive Director takes effect; or

                             (ii)  if paragraph (2)(b) applies—the first day the relevant provision or rule takes effect; or

                            (iii)  if paragraph (2)(c) applies—the first day the law or laws take effect.

Executive Director to make information available on website

             (5)  The Executive Director must, as soon as practicable after giving the notice, publish on the AICIS website a notice specifying the industrial chemical.

             (6)  The Executive Director may also publish on the AICIS website a notice setting out all or any of the information referred to in paragraph (3)(b).

Subdivision B Exchange of certain information

160   Exchange of certain information about industrial chemicals

Scope

             (1)  This section relates to Australia’s obligations under subparagraphs 1(a) and (c) of Article 14 of the Rotterdam Convention.

Executive Director to give information to Australia’s designated national authority

             (2)  The Executive Director must:

                     (a)  give Australia’s designated national authority such information of the kind mentioned in subparagraph 1(a) of Article 14 of the Rotterdam Convention as the Executive Director considers appropriate about a notified industrial chemical that was obtained during the 12 months ending on 1 February each year; and

                     (b)  do so as soon as practicable after that day.

Australia’s designated national authority to give information to Secretariat etc.

             (3)  If information is given under subsection (2), Australia’s designated national authority must:

                     (a)  give the Secretariat the information; and

                     (b)  do so as soon as practicable after receiving the information.

             (4)  Australia’s designated national authority may also give a country that is a Party to the Rotterdam Convention, or the appropriate authority of such a country, all or any of that information.

Subdivision C Information gathering

161   Executive Director may obtain information and documents

Scope

             (1)  This section applies if the Executive Director reasonably believes that a person has information or a document that it is reasonably necessary to obtain for the purpose of Australia’s compliance with its obligations under the Rotterdam Convention.

Requirement

             (2)  The Executive Director may, by written notice given to the person, require the person:

                     (a)  to give to the Executive Director, within the period and in the manner and form specified in the notice, any such information; or

                     (b)  to produce to the Executive Director, within the period and in the manner specified in the notice, any such documents.

             (3)  A period specified under subsection (2) must not be less than 10 working days after the day the notice is given.

             (4)  A notice under subsection (2) must contain a statement to the effect that a person may commit an offence or be liable to a civil penalty if the person fails to comply with the notice.

162   Person must comply with notice under section 161

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person is given a notice under section 161 requiring the person to give information or to produce a document; and

                     (b)  the person does not comply with the requirement.

Fault-based offence

             (2)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  300 penalty units.

Strict liability offence

             (3)  A person commits an offence of strict liability if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  60 penalty units.

Civil penalty provision

             (4)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1).

Penalty:  300 penalty units.

Division 3 Movements of industrial chemicals into or out of Australia

163   Movements of industrial chemicals into or out of Australia

Prohibited or restricted introductions or exports

             (1)  If an industrial chemical is the subject of a prescribed international agreement or a prescribed international arrangement, the rules may:

                     (a)  prohibit the introduction or export of the industrial chemical; or

                     (b)  impose conditions to which the introduction or export of the industrial chemical are subject.

Executive Director must give notice before making rules

             (2)  At least 20 working days before rules are made for the purposes of subsection (1), the Executive Director must publish on the AICIS website a notice:

                     (a)  identifying the prescribed international agreement or prescribed international arrangement; and

                     (b)  listing the name or names by which the industrial chemical is known to the public; and

                     (c)  requiring all persons who introduce the industrial chemical into, or export the industrial chemical from, Australia to give to the Executive Director information in the approved form about movements of the industrial chemical into or out of Australia.

Informing other countries etc.

             (3)  The Executive Director may inform any of the following persons or bodies regarding movements into or out of Australia of an industrial chemical mentioned in subsection (1):

                     (a)  a country;

                     (b)  the appropriate authority of a country;

                     (c)  a relevant international organisation.

             (4)  The Executive Director may give information under subsection (3) in such terms and on such conditions as the Executive Director thinks fit, having regard to:

                     (a)  the requirements of the relevant international agreement or arrangement; and

                     (b)  the interest of any person in maintaining confidentiality in relation to movements of the industrial chemical.

164   Introducing or exporting if prohibited or restricted

             (1)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person introduces or exports an industrial chemical; and

                     (b)  the introduction or export of the industrial chemical is prohibited by rules made for the purposes of paragraph 163(1)(a).

             (2)  A person contravenes this subsection if:

                     (a)  the person introduces or exports an industrial chemical; and

                     (b)  the introduction or export of the industrial chemical is subject to a condition prescribed by rules made for the purposes of paragraph 163(1)(b); and

                     (c)  the person does not comply with the condition.

Fault-based offence

             (3)  A person commits an offence if the person contravenes subsection (1) or (2).

Penalty:  300 penalty units.

Strict liability offence

             (4)  A person commits an offence of strict liability if the person contravenes subsection (1) or (2).

Penalty:  60 penalty units.

Civil penalty provision

             (5)  A person is liable to a civil penalty if the person contravenes subsection (1) or (2).

Civil penalty:          300 penalty units.