Press Release

PNG calls for tougher laws on chemical imports

12/08/2018

Joel Kolam, National Department of Health’s (NDOH) manager for Conservation and Health has called for tougher customs requirements on chemical imports to improve regulatory management and safe use of chemical products by authorised government and industry representatives in Papua New Guinea.

The delegates and participants that took part in the Chemical Dialogue Plenary meeting.

Joel Kolam, National Department of Health’s (NDOH) manager for Conservation and Health has called for tougher customs requirements on chemical imports to improve regulatory management and safe use of chemical products by authorised government and industry representatives in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Kolam made this statement during the APEC Chemical Dialogue (CD) Forum held recently at the International Convention Centre, in Port Moresby.

“PNG needs to be strict because most chemicals coming into the country are not properly managed and used.

“We need to tighten up on our laws and policies to manage this issue.

There is a need for PNG to build capacity to facilitate the adoption of best practices for chemical regulation with guidelines in improving safety and environmental protection, said Kolam.

The CD serves as a forum for regulatory officials and industry representatives to find solutions to challenges facing the chemical industry in the Asia-Pacific Region. It reflects APEC members' recognition of the importance of engaging with the private sector and of building public-private dialogue and cooperation for the benefit of both sectors.

The forum’s focus is on the 2018/2019 Work Plan, which includes the objectives to;

• Facilitate risk reduction and the sound management of chemicals across the APEC region, as part of APEC’s contribution to the United Nation's (UN) Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM); • Share information and knowledge on chemicals management in the APEC region; • Increase direct involvement of regulators; • Bridge principles and practice—via sharing of tools and experience with best practices; • Plan opportunities for collaboration to address common concerns; and • Discuss the relationship between chemicals management and competitiveness (including for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - MSMEs), with a view to facilitating trade while protecting human health and the environment.

The CD has been active in promoting the Best Practice Principles for Chemical Regulation and the implementation of the United Nation's Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) by APEC member economies. The GHS is a set of guidelines aimed at simplifying regulations and labeling requirements, as well as improving safety and environmental protection.

Over the years the CD has also conducted numerous workshops to provide economies with information on the GHS and to build capacity to facilitate its adoption.