Companies need actively declare scheduled chemicals

Companies need to actively declare scheduled chemicals

7:13 AM, 28th June 2016
Companies need to actively declare scheduled chemicals
R Narayanan, Advisor, CWC Help Desk, ICC Southern Region, during a Chemical Weapons Convention at Bangalore, India.

In an interview R Narayanan, Advisor, CWC Help Desk, ICC Southern Region with Shivani Mody, Editor, Chemical Today magazine, during a Chemical Weapons Convention at Bangalore, elaborately discusses the need to ensure proper utilization of schedule 2 & 3 chemicals.

Brief us about the chemical weapons convention.

Many chemical weapons were used during World War causing immense destruction. In 1993, many countries in the world united to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction were eliminated from the world.

In 1997, the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was founded with headquarters in Netherlands, to take care of the dissection of chemical weapons across the world. Today, there are about 198 countries as member states in this activity. OPCW is an umbrella convention which makes sure that there is no proliferation, or no stock piling of chemical weapons in any country.

How is the chemical weapons convention being accepted in India?

India is the member state of the OPCW since 1997. Legislation for chemical weapon convention, CWC Act 2000, was implemented, but then we realized that it was not reaching the industries properly. The National Authority of India through the ministry of chemicals & fertilizers, department of chemicals & petrochemicals makes sure that the declaration is obtained properly between the industries and it is later submitted to the OPCW. We have started CWC help desks in the northern, western, southern and eastern region for proper interface between the industries and the Government of India. With these awareness programmes, we want to reach out to the industries and ensure that they follow proper procedures regarding their declarations. We also communicate to the companies as to how the verification measures are conducted in the industries and the role of national authority.

What is the aim of the CWC?

The Government of India is working closely with the industry to see that the information is propagated to all the companies. OPCW mainly wants to ensure that these schedule 2 and 3 chemicals are utilized for useful purposes and are not misused or diverted to terrorists groups.

These awareness campaigns for the industries are mainly to understand the convention, the CWC Act 2000, and the need to declare the use and production of schedule 2 and 3 chemicals and the e-filing procedure. We need to communicate to the industry that the use of schedule 2 and 3 chemicals in their manufacturing process is legal, however, declaration of these chemicals and undergoing inspection is important for the government. With these awareness programmes we want the industry to come forward with the declaration of necessary details.

Tell us more about the schedule 2 and 3 chemicals and do all companies using these chemicals need to file declaration?

There are various types of chemicals used in various industries and not all chemicals need declaration. It is only the Schedule 2 and 3 chemicals which needs declaration. According to the legislation, these chemicals can be stocked in the industries up to a certain quantity. Also, it is important to know if any harmful derivative is produced through the combination of various chemicals during production or manufacturing.

On the other hand, discrete organic chemicals do not require stringent scrutiny. These chemicals in their original form are not harmful but when added to certain combinations can make ingredients for chemical weapons. Hence their production needs to be declared. Most of them are organic chemicals used in important industries such as pharmaceutical chemicals, active pharmaceutical intermediates, pesticides, insecticides, dyes, dye intermediates etc.

CWC has also started e-filing of declaration to make the process easier. What has been the acceptance of the online declaration?

Earlier the declarations were done by submitting hard copies but for the past four years, the government has introduced e-filing or online declaration. It is useful, as filing declarations has become easier rather than filling out lengths of pages, which was a time-consuming affair. Moreover, the e-filing procedure is extremely user-friendly and quick. Companies can select chemicals categories such as schedule 2 or schedule 3, discrete organic chemicals or the PSF chemicals, further simplifying the declaration process. In the past four years, the declarations from the industries have gone up rampantly and they are quite satisfied with the online filing procedure.

© Chemical Today Magazine

  • See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine (Pg.19) 

  • View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app



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