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Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal
There has been transboundary movement of hazardous waste since the early 1970s, and the waste generated by advanced countries in Europe has been abandoned in developing countries of Africa since the early 1980s, causing environmental pollution. The need to adopt an international convention on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal, which may affect human health and the environment, was discussed at UNEP. A resolution on hosting government conferences to adopt the convention was made at the 42nd UN General Assembly held in December 1987.
Control the procedures of waste movement to prevent accidents that may occur during the transfer Minimize the generation of hazardous waste The Convention does had no intention to disturb the movement of waste for recycling purposes among countries with waste treatment capacities. Prohibit the movement of hazardous wastes from advanced countries to developing countries, with the aim of protecting the environment of developing countries lacking proper hazardous waste treatment and management capacities
- Define types of controlled hazardous waste, the rights and obligations of adhering countries and matters requiring the cooperation of adhering countries in relation to transboundary movements of hazardous waste (preface, 29 articles and six attachments)
- Scope of Application (Article 1)
- 45 type of waste listed in Attachment I, the hazards of which are defined in Attachment III
* The List of Hazardous Waste (Attachment III) was adopted in 1998- Waste that does not meet the above requirement but have been designated as hazardous waste in accordance with the domestic laws of the countries exporting, importing or transporting the waste
- Other waste: waste defined in Attachment II (Household waste)
- Radioactive waste and waste generated during the normal navigation of ships are excluded. As Joint-Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management was adopted in September 1997, low-level radioactive wastes and naturally generated radioactive waste are subject to the Basel Convention.
- Define obligations of adhering countries (Article 3 and Article 4)
- Adhering countries shall report any decisions and changes of policies in relation to waste that are not included in the Attachments to this Convention to the Office of the Convention. (Article 3)
- General obligations of adhering countries (Article 4)
- Prohibition of export to countries banning the import of hazardous waste
- For exports of hazardous waste, written consent from the importing countries needs to be acquired, even when those countries do not ban the import of hazardous waste.
- Prohibition of exports to countries deemed to lack hazardous waste treatment skills
- Prohibition of exporting and importing hazardous waste between adhering and non-adhering countries (Clause 5, Article 4)
- Define the procedures of transboundary movements of hazardous waste (Articles 6 to 8)
- Conditions for transboundary movements of hazardous waste (Article 6)
- When exporting countries have no treatment skills and locations
- When importing countries are recycling or using the waste as raw materials
- When conditions of importing countries, including climatic conditions, are deemed to be more favorable than the conditions of exporting countries in terms of the treatment of hazardous waste
- Exporting countries shall submit a written report to the competent authority of importing countries and transporting countries, receive written consent (within 60 days) and then initiate movement.
- Movements without consent shall be canceled and the waste shall be imported again.
- Regulations on illegal trading of waste and illegal traders (Article 9)
- Illegally traded waste shall be re-imported to the countries of origin, or properly treated in accordance with this Convention after the date of notice.
- Illegal traders are subject to domestic laws, and adhering countries shall cooperate for the purpose of their enforcement.
- Allow the signing of bilateral, multilateral and regional agreements (Article 11)
- Notwithstanding Clause 5, Article 4, adhering countries may sign agreements with non-adhering countries, provided that the agreements do not conflict with the purpose of this Convention. e.g. OECD
- Delivery of information (Article 13)
- If accidents occur during the course of transboundary movement or treatment of hazardous waste and other waste, adhering countries shall immediately notify the related countries of the accident.
- Adhering countries shall submit reports for the previous year to the general assembly before each year ends.
- Date of enforcement (Article 25)
- The Convention takes effect 90 days after the date of its ratification, acceptance, official confirmation, approval or submission by 20 countries.
- In the countries adhering to the Convention, this Convention takes effect 90 days after submission of the application.
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