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Authority of the federal government bodies in regard to the Stockholm Convention

In the Russian Federation the implementation of ratified international conventions lies within the authority of the federal executive bodies, and other institutions if charged with fulfilling the obligations under such conventions by a government decree. The decrees define the measures to be undertaken to fulfil the obligations of the Russian Federation under international conventions, as well as institutions and organizations responsible for it.

The Basel Convention

After the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal was ratified, on July 24th 1995 the Government of Russia adopted Decree No.300 “On immediate measures for the implementation of the Federal Law “On the ratification of the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal”. The Decree defined a number of institutions responsible for the implementation of the obligations of Russia under the Basel convention, as well as determined action targets for them.

Rotterdam Convention

A similar decree was adopted by the Government of Russia on January 26th 2012 – Decree No.22 “On the measures to fulfil the obligations of the Russian Federation under the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade from September 10th 1998”. The Decree has determined which institutions will have the executive authority to implement the Convention in the Russian Federation.

The Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants

Currently the Government of Russia is working on the draft of a decree “On the measures to fulfil the obligations of the Russian Federation under the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants from May 22nd 2001”.

This decree is expected to define a national institution entitled to fulfil executive tasks on behalf of the Russian Federation within the Stockholm Convention and to set its functions, as well as it shall name federal executive bodies responsible for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Russia.

According to preliminary plans, it is expected that the Ministry of natural resources and ecology of Russia will become the national executive institution responsible for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention. The Ministry will be assigned the following functions:

  • Organization and coordination of measures to implement the Stockholm Convention;
  • Creating a National Coordination Centre;
  • Developing and adopting a legal framework for the implementation of the Convention;
  • Representing the Russian Federation at the Conference of the Parties and in other executive bodies of the Stockholm Convention.

The various responsibilities and functions in regard to the implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Russia are expected to be allocated among the following federal executive bodies according to their scope of authority:

  • Ministry of natural resources and ecology shall represent Russia’s stance in regard to ecology;
  • Ministry of foreign affairs – shall represent Russia’s political interests within international cooperation;
  • Ministry of health and social development shall develop a state policy and a legal framework in regard to the medical biological evaluation of the impact of highly hazardous chemicals on humans;
  • Ministry of industry and trade shall develop and implement technical measures and technologies to dispose/ eliminate persistent organic pollutants;
  • Ministry of energy shall fulfil the obligation to facilitate the phase-out and the disposal of power systems containing polychlorinated biphenyls;
  • Ministry of transport shall develop a state policy and a legal framework in regard to the use of transportation means, equipment used for transporting hazardous and harmful substances and to ensuring the safety of such movements;
  • Ministry of defence shall work on reducing the negative impact of environmental factors on the military personnel and the objects of military and municipal infrastructure;
  • Ministry of agriculture shall develop a national catalogue of pesticides and agrochemicals;
  • The Federal Supervisory Service for natural resource management shall provide a state environmental supervision and control over the management of persistent organic pollutants;
  • The Federal Service for meteorology and environmental monitoring shall monitor the environmental pollution;
  • The Federal Supervisory Service for the protection of consumers’ rights and humans’ wellbeing shall control and supervise the sanitary standards and the protection of consumers’ rights;
  • The Federal Service for veterinary and phytosanitary supervision shall ensure a safe management of pesticides and agrochemicals;
  • The Federal Custom Service shall provide the registration and control at customs of hazardous freights.

Currently, the draft decree is undergoing the procedure of coordinated approval by the interested ministries and institutions.