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Summaries of EU Legislation

Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal

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Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision 93/98/EEC — approval by the European Community of the Basel Convention

Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION AND OF THE CONVENTION?

The decision approves on behalf of the European Economic Community (now the EU) the Basel Convention.

The convention is the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous wastes and other wastes. It aims to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects resulting from the generation, the transboundary (crossing borders) movement and the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes.

The convention regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes and requires its parties to ensure that they manage and dispose of such wastes in an environmentally sound manner.

The parties also undertake to:

  • minimise the quantities that are transported;
  • treat and dispose of the wastes as close as possible to their place of generation;
  • prevent or minimise the generation of wastes at source.

KEY POINTS

Scope

The convention has 8 annexes:

  • Annex I: Categories of wastes to be controlled — ranging from clinical wastes to wastes from the production, formulation and use of organic solvents;
  • Annex II: Categories of wastes requiring special consideration — wastes collected from households and residues arising from the incineration of household wastes;
  • Annex III: List of hazardous characteristics — such as whether they are explosive, flammable liquids or solids, liable to spontaneous combustion, corrosive or ecotoxic (harmful to the environment);
  • Annex IV: List of disposal* operations;
  • Annex V A: Information to be provided on notification;
  • Annex V B: Information to be provided on the movement document;
  • Annex VI: Arbitration;
  • Annex VII: (not in force);
  • Annex VIII: List of wastes.

General obligations of the convention

Parties agree the following:

  • not to export (or import) hazardous wastes or other wastes to (or from) a non-signatory state;
  • not to export waste unless the state of import has given its prior consent in writing to the specific import;
  • to communicate information about proposed international movements to the states concerned by means of a notification form; this will allow them to evaluate the effects of hazardous waste or other wastes on human health and the environment;
  • to permit international movements of wastes only where there is no danger with regard to their movement and disposal;
  • to package, label and transport the wastes that are moved in line with international rules, and to ensure they are accompanied by a movement document from the point at which movement starts to the point of disposal.

Any party may impose additional requirements that are consistent with the convention.

Notification procedures

The convention introduces notification procedures with regard to:

  • international movements between parties;
  • international movements from a party through the territory of non-signatory states.

Illegal shipments

Where wastes are illegally exported, parties to the convention must re-import them.

Environmentally sound management

Parties agree to work together on environmentally sound practices for the management of hazardous and other wastes.

Dispute settlement

Parties should settle any disputes through negotiation or any other peaceful means of their choice. If a solution is not found, the dispute is submitted to the International Court of Justice or to an arbitration tribunal consisting of 3 parties.

Secretariat

A secretariat facilitates cooperation and the sharing of information among parties.

Capacity-building

Regional or sub-regional centres around the globe provide training and capacity-building.

Implementing legislation

The convention has been incorporated into EU law by means of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 and its subsequent amendments.

FROM WHEN DO THE DECISION AND THE CONVENTION APPLY?

The decision has applied since 1 February 1993. The convention has applied since 8 May 1994.

BACKGROUND

The EU, in addition to the EU countries, is a party to the convention. The EU has ratified the ban amendment which prohibits exports of waste to non-OECD countries, although this amendment has not yet entered into force internationally.

The convention was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and was adopted in 1989.

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Disposal: includes operations resulting in final disposal and operations which may lead to resource recovery, recycling, reclamation, direct re-use or alternative uses.

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Decision 93/98/EEC of 1 February 1993 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention) (OJ L 39, 16.2.1993, pp. 1-2)

Corrigendum to Council Decision 93/98/EEC of 1 February 1993 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention) (OJ L 74, 17.3.1994, p. 52)

Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (OJ L 39, 16.2.1993, pp. 3-22)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste (OJ L 190, 12.7.2006, pp. 1-98)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 15.03.2018

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