ICTA seeks to build global bridges in distribution

Joseph Chang


The International Chemical Trade Association (ICTA) seeks to build further alliances with global chemical distributor trade associations and individual chemical distributors, its secretary general said.

“We are building bridges between associations in different countries, especially in countries with no distribution trade organisation,” said Robert Stuyt, secretary general of the ICTA.

“Here we can work in the interest of distributors by helping to bring up safety standards and spreading the importance of Responsible Care and Responsible Distribution,” he added.

For chemical distributors with operations worldwide, the ICTA can act as their distributor trade group in that country, he noted.

The ICTA operates three working committees – on substance, safety, health and environment (SSHE); transport and security (T&S); and Responsible Care (RC)/Responsible Distribution (RD).

“We support and initiate activities to better develop international chemical trade. If you’re a US distributor that does business in India, and know that a company there is covered under an ICTA programme, you may be more confident in their operations,” said Stuyt.


The ICTA is building ties with the Indian Chemical Council (ICC) which represents all branches of the chemical industry in the country, from petrochemicals and inorganics to dyes, fertilizers and specialty chemicals.

In 2018, the ICTA and ICC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation on Responsible Care/Responsible Distribution (RC/RD), the global standard for environmental, health, safety and security performance.

“We want to have a joint workforce on RC/RD and hold workshops where we bring in local and international partners,” said Stuyt.

In 2019, the secretary general also plans to seek ties with the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF), the country’s largest producer association.

“We would want to work on RC/RD with them and would aim for an MoU, but it is too early to discuss at this stage,” said Stuyt.

The ICTA works to increase the visibility of the chemical distribution industry at global intergovernmental organisations, and engages with policy makers, journalists and other business associations.

For instance, the ICTA is closely involved in United Nations initiatives such as the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) where it is involved in developing the post-2020 framework, Stuyt noted.


The ICTA views itself as the distributors’ version of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) which is an umbrella group for chemical producers. The ICTA has intensified contact with the ICCA on sustainability, the circular economy, RC/RD and other issues, said Stuyt.

Both organisations are also aligning their advocacy messages at intergovernmental organisations, such as UN Environment, he added.

The ICTA’s member associations include the European Association of Chemical Distributors (Fecc), the US-based National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), the Brazilian Association of Chemical Distributors (Associquim), Mexico’s National Association of Chemical Industry (ANIQ) and the UK’s Chemical Business Association (CBA), among others.

ICTA also has 19 member companies, including global distributors Brenntag, Univar and Azelis. “Company members gain access to global best practices and knowledge of legal and technical issues,” said Stuyt. “Next to that, they receive early updates on intended global policies and the possibility of influence on the development of those policies. Members also have the opportunity to meet their global peers at ICTA’s biannual events,” he added.


Global News + ICIS Chemical Business (ICB)

See the full picture, with unlimited access to ICIS chemicals news across all markets and regions, plus ICB, the industry-leading magazine for the chemicals industry.

Contact us

Now, more than ever, dynamic insights are key to navigating complex, volatile commodity markets. Access to expert insights on the latest industry developments and tracking market changes are vital in making sustainable business decisions.

Want to learn about how we can work together to bring you actionable insight and support your business decisions?

Need Help?

Need Help?