This is a list of commonly used terms in the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Term Definition
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number A CAS Registry Number is a unique numeric identifier designated to one substance.

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997, is an international treaty which bans the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons and also stipulates their timely destruction.


"Consumption" of a chemical means its conversion into another chemical via a chemical reaction.

Plant Site (Definition under CWC)

The local integration of one or more plants, with any intermediate administrative level, which are under one operational control, and includes common infrastructure, such as:

  • Administration and other offices;
  • Repair and maintenance shops;
  • Medical centre;
  • Utilities;
  • Central and analytical laboratory;
  • Research and development laboratories;
  • Central effluent and waste treatment area; and
  • Warehouse storage.
Plant (Definition under CWC)

A relatively self-contained area, structure or building containing one or more units with auxiliary and associated infrastructure, such as:

  • Small administrative section;
  • Storage/handling areas for feedstock and products;
  • Effluent/waste handling/ treatment area;
  • Control/analytical laboratory;
  • First aid service/related medical section; and
  • Records associated with the movement into, around and from the site, of declared chemicals and their feedstock or product chemicals formed from them, as appropriate.
Precursor Any chemical reactant which takes part at any stage in the production of a toxic chemical, including any key component of a binary or multi-component chemical system.
Processing "Processing" of a chemical is defined as a physical process, such as formulation, extraction and purification, in which a chemical is not converted into another chemical.
Production "Production" of a chemical is defined as its formation through chemical reaction. For scheduled chemicals "production" should be understood to include the production of a scheduled chemical (i.e.  a Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 chemical) by a biochemical or biologically mediated reaction (reference C-II/DEC.6, dated 5 December 1997).
Transit Operations (Definition under CWC) The physical movements in which scheduled chemicals pass through the territory of a State on the way to their intended State of destination.

It includes changes in the means of transport, including temporary storage only for that purpose.
Toxic chemical (Definition under CWC) Any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals.

This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere.
Unit (Definition under CWC) Combination of items of equipment, including vessels and vessel set up, necessary for the production, processing or consumption of a chemical.