Determining Declarable Industrial Facilities

Scrubber Towers of a former chemical weapons production facility destruction at Newport Chemical Depot.

General Guidelines for the National Authority

1. Introduction

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction requires a State Party to the Convention to declare all relevant military and civilian facilities which are subject to declaration not later than 30 days after the Convention enters into force (EIF) for it and subsequently on an annual basis.

Most military and Schedule facilities are under the centralised control of the governmental authorities of States Parties and are, therefore, much easier for a government to identify.  Civilian industrial facilities, however, particularly in countries with a free market economy or in economic transition, are less likely to be subject to central government control and accountability.  Therefore, industry databases available to government agencies, including the CWC National Authority, might not be suitable to identify accurately those facilities probably subject to the provisions of the CWC.  This makes the task of identifying facilities likely to be covered by the Convention, in particular with regard to facilities possibly involved in activities with scheduled chemicals, complex and rather difficult.

In the light of this difficulty, some States Parties, even since the time of the Preparatory Commission have requested advice from the Secretariat and have urged the development of a search methodology as a guideline to tracking down civilian chemical industry facilities covered by the CWC.

In an attempt to respond to these requests, the Secretariat conducted informal consultations with:

  • governments of States Parties and their agencies;
  • chemical industry associations; and
  • chemical industry marketing and manufacturing managers.

In addition, the Secretariat consulted other international chemical organisations and available chemical databases.

It was clear that there is no unified source or a general recipe for readily identifying the presence or absence of chemical facilities that might be subject to the Convention.  Complications in the identification arise, inter alia, from the absence of direct links between kinds of products, product names, chemical trade names, and scientific chemical nomenclature.  Such complications make the design and execution of data searches in compendia of data from technical literature, government agencies, trade organisations, marketing surveys, customs records, and other resources very difficult.

There are also great differences in the way chemical technology, research facilities, and chemical industries are organised from one State Party to another.  Declarable chemical activities may be carried out in medical institutes, pharmaceutical production facilities, industrial plant sites, pilot plants or laboratories, either under private ownership or under government control.

Oversight of chemical activities by environmental, labour or other agencies may or may not exist.  Even where such oversight is carried out, the national legislation may preclude the use of data gathered for one purpose being used for any other purpose.  Moreover, in many cases there is simply no national list of all products and chemicals which are produced, processed or consumed within a country's borders.

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