The objective of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade 1998 is to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among parties in the international trade in hazardous chemicals. The long-term goal is to reduce the risk to human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals.

The Rotterdam Convention tries to address the dramatic growth in the trade in toxic chemicals by helping countries learn more about hazardous chemicals and pesticide formulations. The Convention puts requirements on the exporting country of hazardous chemicals.  They must comply with decisions of importing countries and those transit countries through whose territory the waste will pass. The Convention provides all countries with both information and the means to stop the unwanted imports of toxic chemicals.