Canada is a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an arms control agreement that outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It also regulates certain other toxic chemicals that may be used to produce chemical weapons.
Under the CWC, each State Party is obliged to accept international verification of its compliance with the provisions of the Convention. The verification system of the CWC is based upon each State Party providing declarations that are verified by the OPCW through data monitoring and on-site routine inspections. There is also a provision for challenge inspections. The disarmament provisions of the CWC involve the destruction of all chemical weapons in a State Party's possession, all production facilities used since 1946 to produce chemical weapons and any chemical weapons previously abandoned on the territory of another State Party. Since the basic raw materials for the production of chemical weapons are available in the chemical industry, verification measures are required for the non-proliferation aspects of the Convention.
Every State Party to the CWC must establish a National Authority to serve as the national focal point for liaison with the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and with other States Parties. The Canadian National Authority is located at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, the Canadian National Authority is mandated to implement the Act, while minimizing its impact on Canadian industry, research and other institutions.