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Summary of Treaty

Official Title Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Place of Signature Basel
Date of Signature 22/03/1989
Date of Entry Into Force 05/05/1992
Duration Indefinite
Objective of Agreement To lay down obligations with regard to ensuring that the transboundary movement of wastes is reduced to the minimum consistent with the environmentally sound and efficient management of such wastes. To control at international level the transboundary movement and disposal of wastes that are hazardous for human health and the environment.
Remarks The convention provides for the attainment of its objectives through control of the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes, monitoring and prevention of illegal traffic, assistance for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, promotion of cooperation between parties in this field, and development of technical guidelines for the management of hazardous wastes. i. Transboundary movement and management of hazardous and other wastes: the overall goal of the basel convention is to protect, by strictly control, human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from the generation, transboundary movement and management of hazardous and other wastes; ii. reducing transboundary movements of wastes and controlling permitted transboudary movement: further objectives include: reducing transboundary movements of wastes to a minimum consistent with their environmentally sound and efficient management, and controlling any permitted transboundary movement under the terms of the convention; minimizing the amount of hazardous wastes generated and ensuring their environmentally sound management; and assisting developing countries in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate; iii. managing the disposal of hazardous wastes: in summary, the aim of the basel convention is to help reduce the transboundary movements and amounts of hazardous wastes to a minimum, and to manage and dispose of these wastes in an environmentally sound manner; iv. strict control system based on the prior written consent procedure: the basel convention has set up a very strict control system, based on the prior written consent procedure. Hazardous wastes shall be export only if the State of export does not have the technical capacity and facilities to dispose of them in environmentally sound management. Transboundary movement shall be prohibited if the State of export or import has reason to believe that the wastes shall not be managed in expected manner. The convention is complemented by a protocol which objective is to provide for a comprehensive regime for liability as well as adequate and prompt compensation for damage resulting from the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes and their disposal, including incidents occurring because of illegal traffic in those wastes. Under the protocol, actors involved in the transboundary movement and disposal of hazardous waste are strictly liable for damage caused regardless of the presence of fault and up to the financial limits established by the protocol. Fault-based liability is also regulated by the protocol. The ban amendment was adopted on 22 september 1995. 55 parties have ratified the amendment. In accordance with article 17 of the convention, the amendment has to be ratified by three-quarters of those parties who accepted it or by two thirds of the parties to the protocol who accepted it in order for it to enter into force. The objective of this amendment is to prohibit immediately exports from countries listed in annex vii ("parties and other states, which are members of the oecd, ec, liechtenstein") to all other countries, of hazardous wastes intended for final disposal, and to prohibit transboundary movements from annex vii to non-annex vii countries of hazardous wastes intended for recycling or reuse as of end 1997. Annex vii is not yet in force, pending the entry into force of the amendment. The following amendments to technical annexes have been adopted by the conference of the parties (cop): • amendment to annex i (adopted through decision iv/9): in order to make reference to annexes viii and ix and establish the relationship between these new annexes and annex iii; • introduction of annex viii and ix: annex viii includes wastes characterized as hazardous under article 1, paragraph 1(a) of the basel convention and annex ix includes wastes that are not covered by article 1, paragraph 1(a), unless they contain annex i material to an extent causing them to exhibit an annex iii characteristic; • amendment to annex viii and ix: at its sixth meeting, the cop adopted an amendment to annex viii and ix in order to harmonize the annexes with other international lists and incorporate changes in accordance with scientific and technical advances; • cop-7 adopted further amendments to annex viii and ix of the Basel convention
OJ Reference L39, 16/02/1993, p. 3
Depositary United Nations Organisation
Contracting Parties European Economic Community, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia
Authentic Texts Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Subject Matters Environment
Waste Management
Entry into force conditions Article 25 Convention
Regional and International Organisation (REIO) Article 22 Convention
Management Conference of the Parties
Date of Signature 22/03/1989
Conclusion Date 07/02/1994
Ratification Status AP
Conclusion Decision Council Decision 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 of 16/02/1993, p.1
Date of Entry Into Force 08/05/1994
Competence Mixed
Voting Right(s)
EC exercises voting rights of its MS contracting parties (if EC votes MS no and vice-versa) Article 24 Convention
Legal Basis Treaty EEC: Article 130S

Last Update :   08/08/2007