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.
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.
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.
- 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.
|Act||Entry into force – Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Decision 93/98/EEC||1.2.1993||–||OJ L 39 of 16.2.1993|
|Decision 97/640/EC||22.9.1997||–||OJ L 272 of 4.10.1997|
Movement of Hazardous Waste
The Basel Convention sets international rules regarding the transboundary movement of waste hazardous to human health and the environment. The EU is a party to the convention. The convention introduces a system for controlling, exporting, importing, and disposal of hazardous waste and their disposal. Hazardous wastes are defined in accordance with a list.
Generally, it is prohibited to export, import hazardous waste or other waste to a non-party state. No waste may be exported if the state of import has not given a consent in writing to the specific import.
Import information about the transnational movements must be communicated to the states concerned by means of notification, so they may evaluate the effects of the movement on human health and the environment. The movements may only be authorised when there is no danger attaching to the movement and disposal.
Wastes which are subject to movement must be packaged, labelled, and transported in accordance with international rules and must be accompanied by a movement document from the point at which the movement commences to the point of disposal. States may impose additional requirements.
Parties to the convention must cooperate to improve and achieve environmentally sound management of hazardous and other waste.
Disposal of Waste Abroad
States are required to dispose of their waste within their own territory unless they have concluded agreements with other States for the use of their disposal facilities. Before shipment to a third country, the exporting State must ensure that
- the country of destination has concluded an agreement with the EU concerning spent fuel and radioactive waste management and the safety of radioactive waste management and is party to a Convention on Radioactive Waste Management.
- The country of destination has radioactive waste management programmes in compliance with the Directive.
- The disposal facility in the country of destination is authorised for the radioactive waste to be shipped.
States must establish
- a national legislative, regulatory and organisational framework including a national program for implementation of the policy on spent fuels and radioactive waste management;
- national provisions guaranteeing the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management;
- the responsible system of licensing;
- the system of institutional control;
- enforcement of actions;
- allocation of responsibility to bodies involved in the different steps of spent fuel and radioactive waste management;
- financing schemes for spent fuel and radioactive waste management.
Each State shall establish a competent regulatory authority. This is to be functionally separate from any body or organisation concerned with the production or promotion of nuclear energy, radioactive material, electricity using isotopes or the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. The authority must have legal powers and human and financial resources to fulfil its obligations.
License holders have prime responsibility for the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management through the control of the competent authority. License holders are responsible for assessing and verifying the safety of their facility and activity. They are obliged to continuously improve the nuclear safety of their facility and activity of spent fuel and radioactive waste management. They must also provide for and maintain adequate financial and human resources to fulfil their obligations.
A safety demonstration is required as part of the licence application. It is to cover the full lifetime of an activity and post-closure including the post-closure phase.
Information on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste must be made available to workers and the public. The public must be able to participate in the process of decision-making.
States must establish and implement programs for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste from all phases from generation to disposal. They must be regularly updated. At least every 10 years, States must arrange for self- assessment and invite international peer review of their national framework, competent regulatory authority and/or national program in order to ensure that high safety standards are achieved.