Voluntary Code of Practice

September 2002
Voluntary Code of Practice
Cyanides play worldwide a vital part in a number of industries including the
production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, gold mining and in metal treatment.
However, Cyanides are toxic materials and are classified as dual use goods. Careful
control of their manufacture, sale, distribution, storage, use and final disposal is
therefore essential.
The producers of alkali cyanides, who are members of the CEFIC Cyanides Sector
Group, have jointly formulated a Voluntary Code of Practice and a number of other
documents, including Guidelines for the safe storage, handling and distribution of
Cyanides to support it:
Mission Statement
Voluntary Code of Practice
Guidelines for the safe storage, handling and distribution of Cyanides.
They have also agreed to abide strictly by this Voluntary Code of Practice.
Mission Statement
The Cyanide Sector Group members are committed to promoting the worldwide safe
and responsible handling of Cyanides and their precursors. Its members are
committed to the principles of:
Responsible Care®
Compliance with national laws applicable to all stages of production,
distribution, handling and disposal of cyanides
Promotion of the proper use of Cyanides within the framework of Product
September 2002
Voluntary Code of Practice
1) Principles
Cyanides shall only be sold to customers who have the knowledge and
capability to handle, store and dispose of the product or its packaging in
a safe, responsible and legal manner including accident prevention systems.
All regulations regarding the sale and use of cyanides shall be
Cyanides shall only be supplied into applications, which do not, by their very
nature, put people or the environment at any risk.
Cyanides producers jointly condemn any misuse of cyanides and will
endeavor to avoid such misuse of their product.
Cyanides shall be transported in such a way as to minimize the possibility
of accidental loss of containment or injury.
2) Recommendations
2.1. Initial enquiries:
- Efforts shall be made to ensure that the end user or distributor is a bona
fide company with a legitimate use for the product.
- Particular attention shall be paid to requests for samples. Samples shall
only be provided under controlled conditions.
2.2. Prior to the first shipment the member shall:
- Satisfy itself that the customer’s facilities are adequate to safely handle
Cyanides according to the “Guidelines for the Storage, Handling and
Distribution for Alkali Cyanides”. If not, the member may provide
recommendations for improvement within a defined time scale or decline
to supply until the improvements are made.
- The producers reserve the right to carry out periodic follow-up
- Provide a copy of the safety data sheet, “Guidelines for the storage,
handling and distribution of alkali cyanides” and if needed additional
handling instructions and training.
September 2002
- Obtain from the agent, distributor or end user :
* confirmation that the product will not be resold or re-exported or used
for other purposes than declared.
* acknowledgement of receipt of the Safety Data Sheet and
“Guidelines for the Storage Handling and Distribution of Alkali
Cyanides” and an agreement to abide by them.
- Inform the agent, distributor or end user in writing that the product is on
the warning list of chemical weapon precursors and that they therefore
have duties and responsibilities equaling those of this Code of Practice.
2.3. Shipment
- All sales and samples shall be conducted on a delivered or CIF/CFR port
of final destination basis using reliable shipping lines or transport
- Producers shall provide delivery contractors with the “Guidelines for the
Storage, Handling and Distribution of Alkali Cyanides” and if needed
additional handling instructions and training.
3) Compliance
In order to assure that the principles and guidelines are followed the cyanide
producers will:
Endeavor to ensure that all procedures critical to meeting
this Voluntary Code of Practice are incorporated into a recognized
management system.
Keep records for individual orders covering customer, quantity, date of
dispatch, packaging, labeling and traceability details for at least 2 years.
Advise distributors of the essentials of this Code of Practice.
Take appropriate action to prevent recurrence in the event of accidents,
or failures of any elements of the Code of Practice. Where appropriate
these will be shared with other members to facilitate cross learning.
Guidelines for the safe storage, handling and distribution of Cyanides
These Guidelines are available in various languages (English, French, German,
Dutch, Italian, Spanish) and may be obtained at the Cyanides producers mentioned
September 2002
The members of the CEFIC Cyanides Sector Group are:
DEGUSSA A.G (Germany)
DOW EUROPE (Switzerland)
DSM Acrylonitrile B.V. (Netherlands)
LUCITE International (United Kingdom)