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Addressing Illegal International Traffic on Hazardous Waste Under the Basel Convention

Addressing Illegal International Traffic on Hazardous Waste Under the Basel Convention

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Addressing Illegal International Traffic on Hazardous Waste Under the Basel Convention

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  1. Addressing Illegal International Traffic on Hazardous Waste Under the Basel Convention Ibrahim Shafii Secretariat of theBasel Convention

  2. Goal of the Basel Convention • To protect human health and the environment from the adverse impacts of hazardous and other wastes from the generation, transboundary movements and management • entered into force on 5 May 1992 • 168 States Parties and European Community

  3. Hazardous Wastes Controlled by the Basel Convention • Annexes I, VIII and IX, exhibiting Annex III characteristics (Art. 1(1)(a) of Annex I) • Annex II (Art. 1(2)) • Wastes considered hazardous under the • national legislation of a Party, as notified • to the Secretariat under Article 3 (Art. 1(1)(b)) (This information may be accessed at the Secretariat’s website: •

  4. Environmentally Sound Management • Central Policy instrument is Environmentally Sound Management (ESM): • “taking all practicable steps to ensure that hazardous wastes or other wastes are managed in a manner which will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such wastes” • ESM includes minimizing the generation of such wastes, reducing transboundary movements, improving treatment and disposal, and ensuring such wastes are handled as close as possible to where they were generated

  5. Control of Transboundary MovementsIllegal Traffic • Illegal Traffic refers to any transboundary movement of hazardous wastes (Art. 9): • Without notification to all States concerned • Without the consent of a State concerned • With consent obtained from States concerned through falsification, misrepresentation, or fraud • That does not conform in a material way with the documents • That results in deliberate disposal (e.g. dumping) of hazardous wastes Illegal traffic is criminal (Art. 4(3))

  6. Combating Illegal Traffic (1) Each Party is required to introduce appropriate national/ domestic legislation to prevent and punish illegal traffic (Art. 9(5)) In the case of illegal traffic as the result of conduct on the part of the exporter or generator, the State of export shall ensure that the wastes in question are: a) Taken back by the exporter or the generator or, if necessary, by itself into the State of export, or, if impracticable (Art. 9(2)(a)) b) Are otherwise disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Convention (Art. 9(2)(b))

  7. Combating Illegal Traffic (2) In the case of a transboundary movement deemed to be illegal traffic as the result of conduct on the part of the importer or disposer, the State of import shall ensure that the wastes in question are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner by the importer or disposer or, if necessary, by itself (Art. 9(3)) In cases where the responsibility for the illegal traffic cannot be assigned either to the exporter or generator or to the importer or disposer, the Parties concerned or other Parties, as appropriate, shall ensure, through co-operation, that the wastes in question are disposed of as soon as possible in an environmentally sound manner (Art. 9(4))

  8. Illegal Traffic in Hazardous Wastes (3) • Working at the border areas of countries, customs officers are fundamental to identifying illegal traffic and triggering the sanction regime for such criminal activities • The customs officers may rely on certain indicators in order to base their suspicions and facilitate their identification processes • Such indicators may include, the type of vehicle that is being used, the placarding and labelling of the materials, the type of drum or container in which the material is being presented, and the behaviour of the driver

  9. Illegal Traffic in Hazardous Wastes (4) Common Smuggling Methods • False Declarations and Manifest • Truck of cargo containers contain material different from that listed on the shipping manifests or bills of lading. Paperwork may include: false tariff codes or fictitious importers of record, businesses and addresses. Common misrepresentations have included claiming that illegal shipments of wastes are chemicals for commercial use, scrap metals, or returned goods • Concealment, Mixture and Double Layering • Material listed on manifest is loaded close to the door of trailer or cargo container and illegal material is loaded behind it. Quantities of hazardous wastes mixed in with or concealed in larger shipments. Paperwork is correct for legal material • Mislabelling of Individual Containers • Hazardous wastes are transported in tanks, drums, or canisters on which the label identifies a legal substance, as does the shipping manifest

  10. Illegal Traffic in Hazardous Wastes (5) • There are many technical aspects involved in the verification of the compliance of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes with the obligations of the Basel Convention. • The Secretariat has prepared numerous Technical Guidelines which provide guidance as to how to identify and handle certain hazardous wastes, such as, for example, the technical guidelines for used lead acid batteries, plastic wastes, and used tyres.

  11. National Implementation Each Party shall take appropriate legal, administrative and other measures to implement and enforce the provisions of this Convention, including measures to prevent and punish conduct in contravention of the Convention (Art. 4(4)) Each Party shall introduce appropriate national/domestic legislation to prevent and punish illegal traffic (Art. 9(5)) Model National Legislation to assist Parties in drafting national legislation (COP Dec. II/5) Checklist for the preparation of national legislation for the implementation of the Basel Convention (COP Dec. VII/32)

  12. Cooperation With Customs and Other Regulatory Authorities (1) • In order to thoroughly implement the obligations under the Basel Convention, customs should cooperate closely with its national competent authority. This is to ensure that Customs are kept up to date with any changes to the wastes covered by the Convention. These changes may occur by • Amendment of the Annexes • Receipt by the Secretariat of a notification of a change of national definition of hazardous wastes

  13. Cooperation With Customs and Other Regulatory Authorities (2) In order to implement the sanctions regime for cases of illegal traffic effectively, close cooperation between customs and the following bodies would bring substantial benefits: • Ministries of Justice • Prosecution Services • Police Enforcement Agencies

  14. Compliance Committee: Composition and Objective • 15 Members nominated by the Parties, based on equitable geographic representation of the 5 regional UN groups, elected by the COP (COP Dec. VI/12) • Assist Parties to comply with their obligations under the Convention and to facilitate, promote, monitor and aim to secure the implementation of and compliance with the obligations under the Convention

  15. Case Study:E-waste problem in Asia • Inventory (domestic) • E-waste generation is increasing both in developed and developing countries. • Material flow is unclear in most Asian countries. • Uncontrolled "Invisible flow" exists out of regulated recycling system, and it is likely to cause the inappropriate handling. • International trade • International trade of secondhand products or dismantled parts/ materials to Asian developing countries is increasing. • Illegal trade such as disguise or smuggling can be found, that would lead to inappropriate reuse/recycling. • Asian-wide cooperation is needed for identification of secondhand products and for controlling illegal trade.

  16. Recycling of E-waste • Environmental effects • Environmental pollution is caused by uncontrolled recycling activities such as open burning of wires and cables. • Two types of pollution are identified. • Toxic compounds: PAH, PCB, PBDE, PCDD/DFs and heavy metals are reported for Guiyu, China. • Open dumping: Residues from uncontrolled recycling. • Health or risk assessment is also being carried out.

  17. Separation of PCs and other E-waste on the road Photo: Terazono (2006) Usual scenery of print circuit board heating for removing IC-chips and Pb at Guiyu Photo: Yoshida (2004)

  18. Removing valuable parts and metals Effluents after Cu recovery Crushing andCu recovery (no photo) Open dumping of pulverized residues Storage at river side

  19. Serious adverse impacts to environment and damage to the public health by inappropriate way for recycles and disposals of e-wastes in China

  20. Open dumping of E-waste recycling residues and residential waste along the river at Guiyu Case Study:China Natural burning

  21. Hong Kong’s Observations • Increasing flow of used electronics from developed countries • Transshipped in the name of second-hand goods such as used appliances • Sometimes even under the disguise of green wastes as such metal scrap or plastic waste

  22. Hong Kong: Enforcement (Jan 04 to Sept 05) • Suspected Illegal Shipments = 143 • Prosecutions Initiated • Illegal shipments = 63 • Illegal e-waste sites = 9 • Waste Shipments Returned = 118

  23. Hong Kong: Enforcement Difficulties • Heavy marine traffic and high cargo turnover rate • Misleading declarations • Import under the disguise of second hand products • Difficulty to distinguish waste from secondhand goods

  24. Relevant Reference Materials • Relevant Technical Guidelines • Guide to the Control System • Guidance Elements for Detection, Prevention and Control of Illegal Traffic in Hazardous Wastes • Training Manual on Illegal Traffic for Customs Officers and other Enforcement Agencies

  25. FURTHER INFORMATION Secretariat of the Basel Convention International Environment House 15 Chemin des Anemones Chatelaine CH-1219 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND Email: Tel: +41 (0)22 917 8636 Fax: +41 (0)22 797 3454