National Implementation Measures

Once your state has ratified or acceded to the Convention, it will be bound by the content of the CWC and will have to implement its requirements. Article VII requires all States Parties to adopt the necessary measures to fulfil their obligations under the Convention, especially appropriate penal legislation. They must then inform the OPCW of the measures they have taken.

In addition, Article VI requires States Parties to adopt the necessary measures to ensure that toxic chemicals and their precursors are only developed, produced, otherwise acquired, retained, transferred, or used for peaceful purposes within their territory or anywhere under their jurisdiction or control. States Parties must accordingly regulate and oversee activities involving the chemicals listed in Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Convention’s Annex of Chemicals.

Article VI also requires that these measures be implemented in a manner which avoids hampering the economic and technological development of States Parties and international cooperation in the field. Article XI of the CWC also enshrines and elaborates on this right of States Parties.

In order to give effect to the CWC, states should adopt a number of measures at the national level, some of which are listed below. VERTIC is in a position to assist states with national legislation to implement the CWC, at no cost, under our National Implementation Measures (NIM) Programme.

Penal measures

In order to give effect to the CWC, states should adopt penal measures criminalising the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, retention, transfer and use of chemical weapons as well as the use of riot control agents as a method of warfare. Participatory offences, including assistance, encouragement, or inducement, should be penalised. States must also penalise certain activities involving Schedules 1, 2 and 3 chemicals, including prohibited transfers to States not Party to the CWC.

Control measures

States should adopt control measures for scheduled chemicals, unscheduled discrete organic chemicals and dual-use chemical equipment, software and technology. States Parties to the CWC should have licensing procedures in place to regulate activities involving scheduled chemicals, including transfers. States Parties should also adopt measures to ensure chemical safety and security and should be in a position to collect information from industry for annual declarations to the OPCW.

Enforcement measures

Enforcement measures should be adopted to facilitate ongoing monitoring of chemical industry and to prosecute and punish offenders. States Parties should be able to host international inspections of their industrial facilities to ensure that they are in compliance with the Convention. Finally, other measures may be necessary to facilitate domestic and international cooperation and assistance.