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ICTA stresses importance of preventing diversion in chemical supply chains

ICTA stresses importance of preventing diversion in chemical supply chains

The G7 Global Partnership has revised its strategic vision to focus more on chemical weapons, a global culture of chemical security, capacity building and working with industry to raise awareness. In his role as chair of the Chemical Security Working Group, the representative of the Department of Homeland Security stressed the need to engage industry effectively. At that moment, however, ICTA was the only chemical industry representative in the room. It was noted that evidence shows Syria exploited weak links in international supply chains to source substances for their chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction program.

During the meetings the OPCW advised that their program and budget for 2019 had been approved. OPCW is recruiting for ten new posts to support the new work plan. There is broad support for OPCW’s work on verification, national implementation and terrorism, but some political divisions remain as key questions. There was for instance a perception that some members of OPCW sought to block effective OPCW action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and UK (Salisbury). Verification planning in Syria is ongoing, but the planned work budget currently has a €800k shortfall. OPCW is also looking to fund cyber security, business continuity and physical infrastructure.

The EU gave a presentation stating that CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) threats are real. Internet terrorist propaganda and handbooks are spreading quickly, despite counter efforts. The attack in Salisbury was an eye opener at EU level. It has triggered actions to strengthen resilience to attacks with chemical weapons. The EU has therefore launched a CBRN Centre of Excellence initiative with €156m funding to build capacity. The EU is also developing a common list of threat chemicals, which it has almost finalized and is based primarily on the USA CBRN list. The EU’s next steps is to intensify dialogue with private actors in the precursor supply chain. The EU also wants to improve detection technology and first response capabilities.

On behalf of ICTA, Peter Newport welcomed the redevelopment of an EU list of threat chemicals. He pointed out that the existing list is based on risk perception, not science. He expressed the importance of taking a scientific approach when composing the new list and the importance of sharing the new list with industry. Without information sharing, there can be no effective control of listed substances. It became clear that the EU still concentrates on post supply chain diversion detection technologies, instead of on preventing the diversion in the first place. Meetings have been held with detector technology and equipment vendors, but not yet with chemical vendors. ICTA has expressed its firm belief that the focus should be on preventing diversion.

ICTA will continue to be involved with chemical security in 2019. Chemical security events in Bangladesh and Brussels (for EU & Turkey) took place and are expected to take place in March respectively.

The official report can be found here.

ICTA members develop view on sustainability

ICTA members develop view on sustainability

At the meeting in Carlsbad last fall, ICTA members discussed our industry’s view on sustainability (slides can be found here). This elicited a serious discussion and afterwards members were invited to comment in writing on the suggested vision and approach.

This has resulted in a framework for sustainability thinking for our industry. In short, ICTA sees four main sustainability themes towards 2030. These are: (1) circular economy, (2) emission reduction, (3) restriction of substances and (4) supply chain responsibility. These four themes can be linked to four UN Sustainable Development Goals (3, 8, 12, 13). ICTA members are advised to focus their sustainability efforts on these four themes first. Our RC/RD-programs provide a solid basis for working on these issues.
 

ICTA explains its goals at Indian chemical conference

ICTA explains its goals at Indian chemical conference

Last year ICTA signed an memorandum of understanding with the Indian Chemical Council. Both organizations agreed to work together to support the Indian chemical distribution market and drive improvements in health, safety, security and environment along the supply chain.

The first result of the agreement was that Mr. Robert Stuyt gave a presentation at the India Chemical Industry Outlook Conference in Mumbai. At the conference there were hundreds of participants from international  
(Arkema, BASF, Covestro, etc.) and national (NITI Aayog, Reliance, TATA, etc.) companies, as well as consultants (McKinsey, Accenture) and government officials (India, UK).

During his talk Mr. Stuyt introduced ICTA and emphasized the importance of the chemical distribution industry to the mostly chemical manufacturing companies that were present. He explained specifically what the added value of chemical distributors can be in upcoming markets such as India. The relevance of RC/RD to the Indian market and the concept of supply chain responsibility were other key topics.

ICTA and ICC will jointly determine the next steps to further shape this cooperation. It is the goal of ICTA to provide an opening for its members to the fast-growing Indian chemicals market as well as its manufacturing capabilities. At the same time ICTA hopes to help the Indian chemical distribution market to deal with challenges relating to safe working conditions and environmental pollution more effectively.