Basel Convention strengthened to ban hazwaste exports to developing countries

One of the items of unfinished business on the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste was the proposal to ban exports of hazwaste from developed countries to developing countries, whether for disposal or recycling. Some countries, including Canada, have previously sought to block or delay implementation of that section of the Convention.

Last week the Convention of the Parties to the Basel Convention addressed the Ban proposal, agreeing that such movement of hazardous wastes should be prohibited as soon as 17 more countries ratify that section of the Convention. The ban on movement of hazardous wastes from developed to developing country governments will be automatic unless the developing country involved explicitly agrees to accept a type of waste and the Secretariat of the Convention concurs.

It is likely that the Ban will come into force in five to ten years. Companies which produce hazardous wastes, including end of life ships, electronics, and other wastes including hazardous elements, that are currently being shipped to non-OECD countries should plan accordingly.

Details of the amendment are at http://www.basel.int/Implementation/LegalMatters/BanAmendment/tabid/1484/Default.aspxand and of the ratification requirements  in IISD Linkages at http://www.iisd.ca/basel/cop10/21oct.html

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