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Basel Convention

The Basel Convention lays down rules to control, at an international level, transboundary movements of wastes hazardous to human health and the environment, and their disposal.

ACT

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).

Council Decision 97/640/EC of 22 September 1997 on the approval, on behalf of the Community, of the amendment to the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention), as laid down in Decision III/1 of the Conference of the Parties.

Summary

The EEC approves the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. The Convention came into force for the EEC on 7 February 1994.

The Convention (text attached as annex) aims, in introducing a system for controlling the export, import and disposal of hazardous wastes and their disposal, to reduce the volume of such exchanges so as to protect human health and the environment.

It defines hazardous wastes. Each party may add to the list other wastes listed as hazardous in its national legislation.

A transboundary movement is any movement of hazardous wastes or other wastes from an area under the national jurisdiction of one State to or through an area under the national jurisdiction of another State, or to or through an area not under the national jurisdiction of any State, provided at least two States are involved in the movement.

General obligations:

  • it is prohibited to export or import hazardous wastes or other wastes to or from a non-party State;
  • no wastes may be exported if the State of import has not given its consent in writing to the specific import;
  • information about proposed transboundary movements must be communicated to the States concerned, by means of a notification form, so that they may evaluate the effects of the proposed movements on human health and the environment;
  • transboundary movements of wastes must only be authorised where there is no danger attaching to their movement and disposal;
  • wastes which are to be the subject of a transboundary movement must be packaged, labelled and transported in conformity with international rules, and must be accompanied by a movement document from the point at which a movement commences to the point of disposal;
  • any party may impose additional requirements that are consistent with the provisions of the Convention.

The Convention establishes notification procedures regarding:

  • transboundary movements between parties;
  • transboundary movements from a party through the territory of States which are not parties.

It sets out those cases where there is a duty to re-import hazardous wastes, especially if they have been the subject of illegal trafficking.

Parties to the Convention must cooperate with each other in order to improve and achieve environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes. The aim is to implement all practical measures to ensure that wastes covered by the Convention are handled in such a way that protection of human health and the environment from their harmful effects is guaranteed.

Parties may enter into bilateral, multilateral or regional agreements or arrangements regarding transboundary movements of hazardous wastes, with parties or non-parties, provided that these do not derogate from the principles defined by the Convention.

A Conference of the Parties is established and is charged with overseeing the effective implementation of the Convention.

Provisions on the settlement of disputes between Parties.

Under Decision II/1 the Parties provided for an amendment to the Convention to immediately prohibit transboundary movements of hazardous wastes destined for final disposal and prohibit as from 01.01.1998 transboundary movements of hazardous wastes destined for recovery operations from States listed in Annex VII to the Convention, namely, "Members of the European Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Community and Liechtenstein", to States not listed in Annex VII to the Convention. This amendment to the Convention and Annex VII have not yet entered into force for lack of sufficient ratification.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 93/98/EEC1.2.1993-OJ L 39 of 16.2.1993
Decision 97/640/EC22.9.1997-OJ L 272 of 4.10.1997

RELATED ACTS

Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste [Official Journal L 190, 12.7.2006].
This Regulation will replace Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 from 12 July 2007. It is designed to strengthen, simplify and spell out the current control procedures for waste shipments, thus reducing the risk of shipments of uncontrolled waste. It also incorporates into Community legislation the amendments to the waste lists annexed to the Basel Convention and the revision adopted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2001.

Last updated: 28.08.2006
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