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Annual Review of Impact of Chemical Weapons Convention on Schedule 1 Chemicals

Friday, December 09, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Bureau of Industry and Security is seeking comments by Jan. 9, 2012, regarding the impact that implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, through the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act and the Chemical Weapons Convention Regulations, has had on commercial activities involving Schedule 1 chemicals through calendar year 2011. BIS is also inviting comments on (a) whether the addition of salts of certain CWC Schedule 1 chemicals (e.g., saxitoxin or nitrogen mustards) to the list of Schedule 1 chemicals in the CWC Annex on Chemicals would impact any commercial activities and (b) whether any commercial chemical production activities in the U.S. could possibly involve the production of a Schedule 1 chemical as an intermediate in the synthesis of other chemicals. In this regard, BIS notes that the CWC, CWCIA and CWCR have the potential to impact commercial activities, not only when the Schedule 1 chemicals are end products but also whenever Schedule 1 chemicals (e.g., nitrogen mustards) are produced as intermediates in the synthesis of other chemicals.

The CWC imposes a number of obligations on countries that have ratified it, including the enactment of legislation to prohibit the production, storage and use of chemical weapons. It also requires states parties to implement a comprehensive data declaration and inspection regime to provide transparency and to verify that both the public and private sectors are not engaged in prohibited activities. Comments received in response to this inquiry will assist BIS in the preparation of its annual certification that the legitimate commercial activities and interests of chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms in the U.S. are not being significantly harmed by the CWC’s limitations on access to and production of those chemicals and toxins listed in Schedule 1.

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