The OPCW’s Verification Division works towards achieving chemical disarmament and preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons through participation in the planning and oversight of inspections at both military and chemical industry facilities. The division also manages declarations while maintaining and strengthening the scientific capabilities of the Organisation, especially its laboratory component. The division also conducts Technical Assistance Visits at the request of States Parties.
The Division is responsible for the day-to-day operation of OPCW’s verification regime. It is a key element of the Secretariat, using trustworthy and science-based information to implement all aspects of the Convention including decisions from the Policy Making Organs.
Chemical Demilitarisation Branch
The Chemical Demilitarisation Branch conducts technical assessments and clarifications of chemical weapons-related declarations, such as destruction plans, detailed destruction facility information, Old and Abandoned Chemical Weapons, Chemical Weapons Storage Facilities information, and verification related correspondence submitted by States Parties.
The Branch oversees all technical and verification-related aspects of inspection planning, oversight, support, and finalisation to ensure the relevant provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Verification Annex are upheld.
The Chemical Demilitarisation Branch is the holder of the chemical demilitarisation expertise, delivered to internal and external stakeholders, contributing to the Organisation’s leading position as the knowledge repository of Chemical Weapons disarmament expertise.
The Declarations Branch assesses State Party compliance with the declarations-related provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), manages all verification and inspection-related information, and maintains the Organisation’s Declarations Handbook.
This Branch consists of four sections: Documents, Registration and Archiving; Declaration Validation and Evaluation – Chemical Demilitarisation; Declaration Validation and Evaluation – Industry; and Data Analytics, Reporting and Quality Control.
Industry Verification Branch
The Industry Verification Branch works with the Inspectorate to verify that activities involving Scheduled chemicals and unscheduled discrete organic chemicals at facilities and plant sites declared by States Parties are for purposes not prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The Branch manages the technical aspects of policy, planning, oversight, support, and conclusion of inspections. These details contribute to OPCW reports related to compliance and evaluation of on-site inspection activities. The Branch also supports the work of the Industry Cluster, various training activities, efforts of National Authorities, and the work of the Scientific Advisory Board.
The OPCW Laboratory provides support, as well as scientific and technical advice to the Organisation on verification-related analytical issues and ensures the continued accuracy of the verification regime by maintaining state-of-the-art methods and technologies for sampling and analysis.
The Laboratory provides support to routine inspections and non-routine in-the-field missions. It assists in training and certifying inspectors on analytical equipment and procedures; and maintains the OPCW Central Analytical Database (OCAD).
The Laboratory is at the centre of a network of excellence comprising more than 20 laboratories across the world, designated for the analysis of authentic samples, providing a high degree of confidence that chemical analyses are conducted rigorously and to the highest standards.
In addition the Laboratory is actively engaged in capacity building and training for States Parties and strives to make the latest scientific developments available to the verification tool kit of the Secretariat. It is externally accredited under ISO 17025 and ISO 17043.