Convention For The Protection Of The Rhine Against Chemical Pollution

Filename: 1976-Chemical-1963-RhineCommission.EN.txt
Source: Unofficial

 Convention For The Protection Of The Rhine Against Chemical Pollution

Source: Unofficial Text

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of the French Republic, the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Government of the Swiss Confederation, and the European Economic Community,

Having regard to the Agreement of 29 April 1963 and the Additional Agreement of 3 December 1976 Concerning the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution,

Whereas chemical pollution of the Rhine threatens for certain uses of the waters of the Rhine;

Aware of the dangers that may result therefrom from certain uses of the waters of the Rhine;

Desirous of improving the quality of Rhine water for these uses;

Whereas the Rhine is used for other purposes such as navigation and as the receiving medium for waste waters;

Convinced that international action for the protection of the Rhine against chemical pollution must be assessed in conjunction with other efforts to protect the Rhine, particularly efforts to conclude agreements against pollution by chlorides and thermal pollution, and that such action is one of the continuous and coherent measures to protect fresh water and sea water from pollution;

Whereas the European Economic Community has taken measures to protect the aquatic environment particularly within the framework of the Council Directive of 4 May 1976 on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community;

Having regard to the results of the Ministerial Conferences of 25 and 26 October 1972 in the Hague, 4 and 5 December 1973 and 1 April 1976 in Paris on the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

1. The Contracting Parties shall, in accordance with the following provisions, take the appropriate measures, with a view to improving the quality of the waters of the Rhine, to:

a) eliminate pollution of the surface waters of the Rhine basin by dangerous substances in the families and groups of substances appearing in Annex I (hereinafter referred to as "Annex I substances"). The purpose of the measures is to effect substances, taking into account the findings of investigations carried out by experts separately for each one of them and the available technical means;

b) reduce the pollution of the Rhine by the dangerous substances in the families and groups of substances appearing in Annex II (hereinafter referred to as "Annex II substances").

2. The measures referred to in paragraph 1 above shall take into reasonable account the fact that Rhine water is used for:

a) the production of drinking water for human consumption;

b) consumption by domestic and wild animals;

c) the conservation and development of the national species of flora and fauna and the preservation of the self-purifying capacity of water;

d) fishing;

e) recreational purposes, bearing in mind hygienic and aesthetic requirements;

f) the direct or indirect supply of fresh water to agricultural lands;

g) the production of water for industrial purposes, and the need to preserve an acceptable quality of sea water.

3. The provisions of this Convention shall constitute only an initial step towards the achievement of the objectives set out in paragraph 1 above.

4. Annex A to this Convention shall determine what the Contracting Parties mean by the word "Rhine" for the purposes of applying the said Convention.

Article 2

1. The Governments which are Parties to this Convention shall, pursuant to Annex III (1), establish for their own use a national inventory of discharges into the surface waters of the Rhine basin which may contain substances listed in Annex I, which are subject to emission standards.

2. Pursuant to Annex III (2), the Governments shall communicate to the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution (hereinafter referred to as the "International Commission") the contents of their inventories, which shall be regularly updated at intervals not exceeding three years.

3. The proposals of the International Commission provided for in Article 6 (3) may, if necessary, include an inventory of various substances falling under Annex II.

Article 3

1. Any discharge into the surface waters of the Rhine basin likely to contain a substance referred to in Annex I shall be subject to prior authorization from the responsible authorities of the Government concerned.

2. For discharges of these substances into the surface waters of the Rhine basin and, when necessary for the purpose of applying this Convention, for discharges of these substances into sewers, the authorization shall fix emission standards which may not exceed the limit values laid down in accordance with Article 5. 3. In the case of existing discharges of these substances, the authorization shall fix a time limit within which the conditions laid down in the authorization must be met. This time limit must not exceed the period laid down in accordance with Article 5 (3).

4. The authorization may only be granted for a limited period of time. It may be renewed in the light of any alternations in the limit values referred to in Article 5.

Article 4

1. The emission standards laid down in the authorizations issued pursuant to Article 3 shall establish:

a) the maximum permissible concentration of a substance in discharges. In cases where there is dilution, the limit value provided for in Article 5 (2) (a) shall be divided by the dilution factor;

b) the maximum permissible quantity of a substance in discharges during one or more specific periods. If necessary this quantity may also be expressed as a unit of weight of the pollutant per unit of the characteristic element of the polluting activity (e. g. unit of weight per unit of raw material or product unit).

2. If the discharger states that he is unable to conform to the emission standards or if the responsible authorities of the Government concerned establish this, authorization shall be refused.

3. If the emission standards are not observed, the responsible authorities of the Government concerned shall take all necessary measures to ensure that the conditions for the authorization are met and, if necessary that the discharge is prohibited.

Article 5

1. The International Commission shall propose the limit values provided for in Article 3 (2) and if necessary their application to discharges into sewers. These limit values shall be laid down in conformity with the procedure provided for in Article 14. Upon adoption, they shall be included in Annex IV.

2. These limit values are fixed in terms of:

a) the maximum permissible concentration of a substance in discharge and,

b) where appropriate, the maximum permissible quantity of such a substance expressed as a unit of weight of the pollutant per unit of the characteristic element of the polluting activity (e. g unit of weight per unit of raw material or product unit).

Where appropriate, the limit values applicable to industrial effluent shall be laid down individually by sector and by type of product.

The limit values applicable to Annex I substances shall be laid down mainly on the basis of

- toxicity,

- persistence, - bioaccumulation,

taking into account the best available technical means.

3. The International Commission shall propose to the Contracting Parties the time limits referred to in Article 3 (3), making due allowance for the specific characteristics of the industrial sectors involved and, as appropriate, the types of product. These time limits shall be determined in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14.

4. The International Commission shall use the results obtained at international measuring points to determine the extent to which the level of Annex I substances in the Rhine varies following the application of the above provisions.

5. As regards the quality of Rhine water, the International Commission may if necessary propose other measures for reducing the pollution of the Rhine taking into account, inter alia, the toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation of the substance under consideration. These proposals shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 14.

Article 6

1. The discharge of any Annex II substance likely to affect the quality of Rhine water must be regulated by the national authorities with a view to limiting it strictly.

2. The Governments which are Parties to this Convention shall strive to establish, within a period of two years from the entry into force of this Convention, national programmes for the reduction of the pollution of the Rhine by Annex II substances for the implementation of which they shall apply, in particular, the means provided for in paragraphs 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this Article.

3. Before drawing up their national programmes, the Contracting Parties shall consider within the International Commission. To this end, the International Commission shall regularly compare the draft national programmes in order to ensure that their aims and means coincide; it shall submit proposals for achieving, inter alia, common goals in reducing pollution of the Rhine. These proposals shall be adapted by applying the procedure laid down in Article 14 of this Convention.

Comparison of draft national programmes should not entail delays in the implementation, at either national or regional level, of measures for reducing the pollution of the Rhine.

4. Any discharge which may contain an Annex I substances shall require prior authorization, laying down emission standards, from the responsible authorities of the Government concerned. These standards shall be fixed in accordance with the quality objectives provided for in paragraph 5.

5. The programmes may also contain specific provision concerning the composition and use of substances or groups of substances and products; they shall include quality objectives for Rhine water.

6. The programmes may also contain specific provisions concerning the composition and use of substances or groups of substances and products; they shall take into account the latest economically feasible technical advice.

7. The programmes shall lay deadlines for their implementation.

8. Summaries of the programmes and the results of their implementation shall be communicated to the International Commission.

Article 7

1. The Contracting Parties shall take all legislative and administrative measures to ensure that the storage and deposit of Annex I and II substances are so carried out as to entail no danger of pollution to the Rhine.

2. If necessary, the International Commission shall propose to the Contracting Parties appropriate measures for protecting underground water in order to prevent pollution of the Rhine by Annex I and II substances.

Article 8

1. The Contracting Parties shall ensure that discharges are monitored in accordance with this Convention.

2. The Contracting Parties shall inform the International Commission annually of the experience gained.

Article 9

Implementation of the measures taken pursuant to this Convention shall in no case result in a direct or indirect increase in the pollution of the Rhine.

Article 10

1. With a view to monitoring levels in the Rhine of Annex I and II substances, each Government concerned shall take responsibility at the agreed measuring stations on the Rhine for installing and operating measuring systems and apparatus for determining the concentrations of such substances.

2. Every Government involved shall regularly inform the International Commission of the results of its monitoring, at least once a year.

3. The International Commission shall draft an annual report summarizing the monitoring results and enabling the progress of the quality of Rhine water to be observed.

Article 11

If a Government which is a Party to this Commission detects a sudden considerable increase in Annex I or II substances, or learns of an accident which could seriously threaten the quality of Rhine water, it shall inform the International Commission and the Contracting Parties which could be affected without delay and in accordance with a procedure to be worked out by the International Commission.

Article 12

1. The Contracting Parties shall regularly inform the International Commission of the experience gained in the course of implementing this Convention.

2. The International Commission shall also make recommendations, as appropriate, designed gradually to improve the implementation of this Convention.

Article 13

The International Commission shall work out draft recommendations for achieving comparable results by the use of appropriate measuring and analysis methods.

Article 14

1. Annexes I to IV inclusive, which shall form an integral part of this Convention, may be amended or added to for the purposes of adapting them to technical or scientific advances of or more effectively combating the chemical pollution of the Rhine.

2. To this end, the International Commission shall recommend the amendments or additions which it considers appropriate.

3. The amended or supplemented texts shall enter into force following unanimous acceptance by the Contracting Parties.

Article 15

Any dispute between the Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or implementation of this Convention which cannot be settled by negotiation shall be submitted to arbitration unless the parties to the dispute decide otherwise and at the request of one of them, in accordance with the provisions of Annex B which shall form an integral part of this Convention.

Article 16

For the purposes of applying this Convention the European Economic Community and its Member States shall act in their respective areas of competence.

Article 17

1. Each Signatory Party shall notify the Government of the Swiss Confederation of the completion of their procedures for bringing this Convention into force.

2. Subject to notification by each Contracting Party that the required procedures for the entry into force of the Additional Agreement to the Agreement concerning the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution have been completed, this Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following receipt of the last notification provided for in the preceding paragraph.

Article 18

Three years after its entry into force, this Convention may be denounced at any time by any of the Contracting Parties by means of a declaration transmitted to the Government of the Swiss Confederation. The denunciation shall become effective for the denouncing Party six months after the receipt by the Government of the Swiss Confederation of the declaration.

Article 19

The Government of the Swiss Confederation will inform the Contracting Parties of the date of receipt of any notification or declaration received in accordance with Articles 14, 17 and 18.

Article 20

1. If the Agreement of 29 April 1963 concerning the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution is denounced by one of its Contracting Parties, the Contracting Parties shall immediately consult with regard to the appropriate measures to be taken to ensure the continued performance of the duties which are encumbent on the International Commission pursuant to this Convention.

2. If agreement is not reached within six months of the opening of these consultations, any Contracting Party may at any time denounce this Convention in accordance with Article 18 without waiting for the expiry of the three-year time limit.

Article 21

This Convention, drawn up in a single original in the Dutch, French and German languages, all three texts being equally authentic, will be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Swiss Confederation, which will transmit a certified copy to each Contracting Party.

ANNEX A

For the purpose of implementing this Convention, the Rhine shall be taken as beginning at its outflow from the Untersee and including the arms, up to the coastline, through which its waters flow freely into the North Sea, inclusive of the Ijssel up to Kampen.

During the drawing-up of the national programmes provided for in Article 6 of the Convention - where quality objectives are concerned - and during the co-ordination of these programmes within the International Commission, a distinction shall be made in each separate case between the fresh water and the salt water of the river.

ANNEX B

ARBITRATION

1. Unless the parties to a dispute decide otherwise, the arbitration procedure shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Annex.

2. The arbitral tribunal shall consist of three members; each of the Parties to the dispute shall appoint an arbitrator, the two arbitrators so appointed shall by common consent designate a third who shall chair the tribunal.

If the chairman has not been appointed within two months of the designation of the second arbitrator, the President of the European Court of Human Rights shall within a further two months designate him at the request of the first party to act.

3. If, within two months or receipt of the request provided for in Article 15 of the Convention, one of the parties to the dispute has not designated an arbitrator, the other party may submit the matter to the President of the European Court of Human Rights who shall designate the chairman of the arbitral tribunal within a further two months. Once appointed, the chairman of the arbitral tribunal shall request the party which has not appointed an arbitrator to do so within two months. Upon expiry of this time limit, he shall submit the matter to the President of the European Court of Human Rights who shall make this appointment within a further two months.

4. If, in one of the cases referred to above, the President of the European Court of Human Rights is prevented from acting, or if he is a national of one of the parties to the dispute, the Vice-President of the Court or the most senior member of the Court who is not prevented from acting and who is not a national of one of the parties to the dispute shall appoint a chairman of the arbitral tribunal or an arbitrator.

5. These provisions shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the filling of posts which have become vacant.

6. The arbitral tribunal shall decide on the basis of the rules of international law and in particular on the basis of the provisions of this Convention.

7. As regards both procedural and substantive matters, the arbitral tribunal shall decide by a majority of its members' votes; the absence or abstention of one of the members of the tribunal appointed by the parties shall not prevent the tribunal from reaching a decision. In the case of parity of votes, the chairman shall have a casting vote. The decisions of the tribunal shall be binding on the parties. Each party shall bear the costs of the arbitrator appointed by it and shall share the other costs equally. For other matters, the arbitral tribunal shall establish its own rules of procedure.

8. In the case of dispute between two Contracting Parties, only one of which is a Member State of the European Economic Community, which is itself a Contracting Party, the other party shall simultaneously transmit its request to that Member State and the Community, which shall jointly notify the party within two months following receipt of the request whether the Member State, the Community or the Member State and the Community together are parties to the dispute. If such notification is not given within the appointed time, both the Member State and the Community shall be regarded as constituting one and the same party to the dispute for the purposes of applying this Annex. The same shall obtain when the Member State and the Community are jointly a party to the dispute.

ANNEX I

FAMILIES AND GROUPS OF SUBSTANCES

Annex I includes certain individual substances from the following families or groups of substances, selected mainly on the basis of toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, with the exception of those which are biologically harmless or which are rapidly converted into substances which are biologically harmless.

1. Organohalogen compounds and substances which may form such compounds in the aquatic environment,

2. Organophosphorous compounds,

3. Organotic compounds,

4. Substances in respect of which it has been proved that they possess carcinogenic properties in or via the aquatic environment.

5. Mercury and its compounds,

6. Cadmium and its compounds,

7. Persistent mineral oils and hydrocarbons of petroleum origin.

ANNEX II

Annex II contains:

- substances belonging to the families and groups in Annex I for which the limit values referred to in Article 5 of the Convention have not been determined.

- certain individual substances and categories of substances belonging to the families and groups of substances listed below, and which have a deleterious effect on the aquatic environment which can, however, be confined to a given area and which depend on the characteristics and location of the water into which they are discharged.

Families and groups of substances referred to in the second indent:

1. The following metalloids and metals and their compounds:

1. Zinc

2. Copper

3. Nickel

4. Chromium

5. Lead

6. Selenium

7. Arsenic

8. Antimony

9. Nolybdenum

10. Titanium

11. Tin

12. Barium

13. Beryllium

14. Boron

15. Uranium

16. Vanadium

17. Cobalt

18. Thalium

19. Tellurium

20. Silver

NB Where certain substances in Annex II are carcinogenic, they are included in category 4 of this Annex.

2. Biocides and their derivatives not appearing in Annex I.

3. Substances which have a deleterious effect on the taste and/or smell of the products for human consumption derived from the aquatic environment, and compounds liable to give rise to such substances in water.

4. Toxic or persistent organic compounds of silicon and substances which may give rise to such compounds in water, excluding those which are biologically harmless or are rapidly converted in water into harmless substances.

5. Inorganic compounds of phosphorus and elemental phosphorus.

6. Non-persistent mineral oils and hydrocarbons of petroleum origin.

7. Cyanides, Fluorides

8. Substances which have an adverse effect on the oxygen balance, in particular:

Ammonia,

Nitrites.

ANNEX III

1. The national inventory provided for in Article 2 (1) of this Convention shall show discharges, points of discharge, and discharged substances classified according to type and quality.

2. The contents of the inventory referred to in Article 2 (2) of the Convention shall include the total quantities of each of the various substances set out in Annex I, discharges into the waters of the Rhine basin between the measuring points proposed by the International Commission and accepted by all the Contracting Parties.

ANNEX IV

Limit values (Article 5)

i) Substances or group of substances

ii) Origin

iii) Limit value expressed as maximum quantity of a substance

iv) Time limit for existing discharges

v) Limit value expressed as maximum concentration of a substance

vi) Comments