The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force on April 29, 1997, prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons (CW). It is administered by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is based in The Hague.
During the course of inspections, whether routine or challenge, there may be a requirement for the inspection team ... [Show full abstract] (IT) to investigate unresolved ambiguities. The IT has the right to request clarification, and if ambiguities cannot be clarified by negotiation then samples may be taken for analysis.
Examples of sampling equipment, procedures and sample management techniques are described, together with a brief description of screening and detection. Some analyses may be performed on-site by the inspectors, using equipment they bring with them, but for more difficult questions it may be necessary to remove a sample for analysis on an anonymous basis in two or more of a global network of laboratories “designated” by the OPCW. The end result of any sampling and analysis operation must be able to stand up to international scrutiny, and therefore chain-of-custody or audit-trail procedures must be strictly followed. The process should allow the re-creation of the position or state of the sample at any time during the handling of the sample from cradle to grave.