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You are here: Home / Laws and Regulations / International Laws and Regulations / Global Conventions  Printable version
Laws and Regulations
  
International Laws and Regulations

Global Conventions

Agreement:

International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

Yes. Aug 18, 1972

Dates of Action:

1951 adopted, 1952 in force. 1997 revised, 2005 in force.

Organisms:

Pests of plants or plant products: "any form of plant or animal life, or any pathogenic agent, injurious or potentially injurious to plants or plant products."

Quarantine pests involved with international trade: "pest of potential national economic importance to the country endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being actively controlled."

Pathways:

"Storage places, conveyances, containers and any other object or material capable of harbouring or spreading plant pests, especially where international transportation is involved."

  • Packing material or matter of any kind accompanying plant products3
  • Storage places
  • Transportation facilities

Relevance:

Applies primarily to quarantine pests in international trade. Creates an international regime to prevent spread and introduction of plant and plant product pests premised on exchange of Phytosanitary certificates between importing and exporting countries' national plant protection offices. Parties have national plant protection organizations established according to the Convention with authority in relation to quarantine control, risk analysis and other measures required to prevent the establishment and spread of all invasive alien species that, directly or indirectly, are pests of plants. Parties agree to co-operate on information exchange and on the development of International Standards for Physosanitary Measures, which include agreements on definitions (terminology), and ways of working (procedures). Supplementary agreements on regions, pests, plants or plant products, and methods of international transport. Regional agreements exist for Europe and the Mediterranean region; the Asia-Pacific region, and the Near East

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Agreement:

Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora

Participants:

National governments: Governments entitled to participate under Article IX of the Antarctic Treaty

U.S. Ratification:

N/A

Dates of Action:

1964 adopted. 1982 in force

Organisms:

Any species of animal or plant not indigenous to the Area

Does NOT apply to food "so long as animals and plants used for this purpose are kept under controlled conditions"

Pathways:

Importation and unintentional introduction
(permits granted for the following: sled dogs, domestic animals and plants, laboratory animals and plants)

Relevance:

Article IX (1-4): Participating governments shall prohibit introduction of non-indigenous plants and animals into the Treaty Area except in accordance with a permit. Further, permits under paragraph 1 of this Article shall be drawn in terms as specific as possible and shall be issued to allow importation only of the animals and plants listed in annex C.

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Agreement:

Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention)

Participants:

"Any member of the United Nations or of one of the Specialised Agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency or Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice"

U.S. Ratification:

Yes. Dec 18, 1986

Dates of Action:

1971 adopted. 1975 in force

Organisms:

Not specified

Pathways:

 

Not specified

Relevance:

N/A

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Agreement:

Convention on the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons and on their destruction (Biological Weapons Convention (BWC))

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

Yes. Mar 26, 1975

Dates of Action:

Apr 10, 1972 adopted. Mar 26, 1975 in force

Organisms:

"Microbial or other biological agents… whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes"

Allows for "international exchange of bacteriological Agents and toxins and equipment for the processing, use or production of bacteriological agents and toxins for peaceful purposes."

Pathways:

"Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes"

Relevance:

Article I prohibits parties from developing, producing, stockpiling, acquiring or retaining microbial or other biological agents which are not justified by exclusively peaceful purpose.

Article II requires parties to destroy or divert to peaceful purpose all such agents within 9 months of entry into force of the Convention

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Agreement:

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

Yes. Jan 14, 1974

Dates of Action:

Mar 3, 1973 adopted. Jan 17, 1975 in force

Organisms:

Species of flora and fauna which are threatened or endangered in exporting countries (Appendices I, II and III)

Pathways:

Intentional introductions through trade: export, re-export, import and introduction from the sea

Relevance:

Represents alternate model for regulating invasive species not already covered by the IPPC or other agreements. Convention intended to prevent harm in exporting country; however, can be applied when species is endangered in exporting country and considered an invasive in importing country. Regulates only intentional movements.

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Agreement:

Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals

Participants:

National governments or any regional economic integration organizations constituted by sovereign states

U.S. Ratification:

No

Dates of Action:

Jun 23, 1979

Organisms:

Exotic species which endanger migratory species

Pathways:

Not specified

Relevance:

Article III (4)(c): Range State Parties of Endangered Migratory Species (Annex1) to the extent feasible and appropriate to endeavour to prevent, reduce or control factors that are endangering or likely to further endanger the species, including strictly controlling the introduction of or, controlling or eliminating already introduced exotic species.

Annex II Article V (4): Agreements for Annex II Migratory Species "where appropriate and feasible should provide for strict control of the introduction of, or control of already introduced exotic species detrimental to the migratory species.

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Agreement:

Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

Participants:

National governments and regional economic integration organizations: "any State interested in research or harvesting activities in relation to the marine living resources to which this Convention applies" and "regional economic integration organizations constituted by sovereign States which include among their members one or more States Members of the Commission"

U.S. Ratification:

Yes. Feb 18, 1982

Dates of Action:

May 20, 1980 adopted. Apr 7, 1982 in force

Organisms:

Species posing a danger to the marine ecosystem

Pathways:

Not specified

Relevance:

Article II (3)(c): Parties should prevent changes or minimize the risk for changes in the marine ecosystem not potentially reversible over two or three decades, taking into account the state of available knowledge including the effect of the introduction of alien species

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Agreement:

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

No. Signed Jul 29, 1994

Dates of Action:

Dec 10, 1982 adopted. Nov 16, 1994 in force

Organisms:

Species causing "significant and harmful changes" to the marine environment

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

Relevance:

Article 196: States to take all measures necessary to prevent, reduce and control the intentional or accidental introduction of species, alien or new, to a particular part of the marine environment, which may cause significant and harmful changes thereto.

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Agreement:

Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection (PDF | 217 KB)

Participants:

National governments: "any State which is a Contracting Party to the Antarctic Treaty"

U.S. Ratification:

N/A

Dates of Action:

1991 adopted. 1998 in force

Organisms:

Non-native animal and plant species; Micro-organisms

Does NOT apply to food

Pathways:

Importation (regulated by permit: see Appendix B)

Relevance:

Article 4 (1) of Annex II: No species of animal or plant not native to the Antarctic Treaty Area shall be introduced onto land or ice-shelves, or into water in the Antarctic Treaty Area except in accordance with a permit.

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Agreement:

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) / Invasive Alien Species

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

No. Signed Jun 4, 1993

Dates of Action:

Jun 5, 1992 adopted. Dec 29, 1993 in force

Organisms:

Modified organisms and alien invasive species which threaten "ecosystems, habitats or species"

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

Relevance:

Article 8 (h): Contracting Party, as far as possible and as appropriate to "prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.

Article 8 (g): Parties to establish or maintain means to regulate, manage or control the risks associated with the use and release of living modified organisms resulting from biotechnology which are likely to have adverse environmental impacts that could affect the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account the risks to human health.

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Agreement:

Framework Convention on Climate Change

Participants:

National governments and regional economic integration organizations

U.S. Ratification:

Yes. Oct 15, 1992

Dates of Action:

May 9, 1992 adopted. Mar 21, 1994 in force

Organisms:

Not specified

Pathways:

Not specified

Relevance:

Strives to stabilize (and eventually reduce) greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. [Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns can induce new invasions and exacerbate existing invasions].

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Agreement:

Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement)

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

N/A

Dates of Action:

1994 adopted. 1995 in force

Organisms:

Pests, diseases, disease-carrying organisms, or disease-causing organisms

Pathways:

Importation

Relevance:

A supplementary agreement to the World Trade Organization Agreement. Provides a uniform interpretation of the measures governing safety and plant and animal health regulations. Applicable to all sanitary and Phytosanitary measures directly or indirectly affecting international trade. Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures are defined as any measure applied a) to protect animal or plant life or health within (a Members' Territory) from entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases, disease carrying organisms; e) to prevent or limit other damage within the (Members Territory) from the entry, establishment or spread of pests (annex A).

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Agreement:

Agreement concerning Cooperation in the Quarantine of Plants and their Protection against Pests and Diseases

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

No

Dates of Action:

Dec 14, 1959 adopted. Oct 19, 1960 in force

Organisms:

Plant pests and diseases: see Annex A

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introductions

  • Imports
  • Packing material (leaves, hay specifically)

Relevance:

Article VI: Parties undertake to apply measures to prevent the introduction from one country into another, in exported consignments of goods or by any other means, of quarantinable plant pests and diseases and weeds specified in lists to be drawn up by agreement between the parties concerned.

Annex -- List of the Principal Quarantinable Pests, Diseases and Noxious Weeds

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Agreement:

Convention on the Law of Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses (PDF | 317 KB)

Participants:

National governments and regional economic integration organizations

U.S. Ratification:

N/A

Dates of Action:

1997 adopted

Organisms:

Species "detrimental to the ecosystem of the watercourse"

Pathways:

Unintentional and intentional introduction

Relevance:

Article 22: Watercourse states shall take all necessary measures to prevent the introduction of species, alien or new, into an international watercourse which may have effects detrimental to the ecosystem of the watercourse resulting in significant harm to other watercourse states.

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Agreement:

Program on Action for the Development of Small Island Developing States

Participants:

National governments

U.S. Ratification:

N/A

Dates of Action:

1994

Organisms:

Not specified

Pathways:

Not specified

Relevance:

Paragraph 41: Introduction of certain non-indigenous species noted as one of a number of significant causes of biodiversity loss.

Paragraph 45 (A)(I):Formulate integrated strategies at national level for conservation and sustainable use of marine and terrestrial biodiversity including protection from certain non-indigenous species.

Paragraph 45(B)(I): At regional level encourage countries to give priority to sites of biological significance; strengthen community support for their protection, including their protection from non-indigenous species introduction.

Paragraph 55(A)(iii):Address quarantine problems at national level and requirements stemming from changing transport situations and climate change

Paragraph 55(B)(ii):Regionally develop effective quarantine services; upgrade existing plant protection and related programs.

Paragraph 55(C)(ii): Internationally co-operate with national bodies to design and enforce effective quarantine systems

Paragraph 99: Undertake study of effects of trade liberalisation and globalisation on Small Island Developing State sustainable development.

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Agreement:

Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety (Protocol to the CBD)

Participants:

National governments: States and regional economic integration organizations (represented by one national focal point and one or more competent national authorities)

U.S. Ratification:

No

Dates of Action:

Adopted Jan 29, 2000, entered into force Sep 11, 2003

Organisms:

"Living modified organisms"

Living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing, treated separately

Pathways:

Importation, Transport and packaging

Relevance:

Article 4: "This Protocol shall apply to the transboundary movement, transit, handling and use of all living modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health."

Article 17.1: "Each Party shall take appropriate measures to notify affected or potentially affected States, the Biosafety Clearing-House and, where appropriate, relevant international organizations, when it knows of an occurrence under its jurisdiction resulting in a release that leads, or may lead, to an unintentional transboundary movement of a living modified organism that is likely to have significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health in such States. The notification shall be provided as soon as the Party knows of the above situation."

Article 18.1: "In order to avoid adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, each Party shall take necessary measures to require that living modified organisms that are subject to intentional transboundary movement within the scope of this Protocol are handled, packaged and transported under conditions of safety, taking into consideration relevant international rules and standards."

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Last Modified: Apr 22, 2014
 
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