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II.7.220 CONVENTION ON THE CONTROL OF TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENTS OF HAZARDOUS WASTES AND THEIR DISPOSAL, 1989

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.7.220

(BASEL CONVENTION, 1989) CONVENTION ON THE CONTROL OF TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENTS OF HAZARDOUS WASTES AND THEIR DISPOSAL, 1989

Note: The present text incorporates the original as modified by the following amendment:

 Date of entry
 into force
—1998 amendments (Annex I, Annexes VIII and IX) adopted at the Fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties on 23-27 February 199806.11.19981
ADOPTED: Done at Basel, 20-22 March 1989
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 5 May 1992
DEPOSITARY: Secretary-General, United Nations
SECRETARY: UNEP

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, FORMAL CONFIRMATION, APPROVAL OR ACCESSION

Article XXI

This Convention shall be open for signature by States, by Namibia, represented by the United Nations Council for Namibia, and by political and/or economic integration organizations, in Basel on 22 March 1989, at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland in Berne from 23 March 1989 to 30 June 1989, and at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 1 July 1989 to 22 March 1990.

Article XXII

1. This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and by Namibia, represented by the United Nations Council for Namibia, and to formal confirmation or approval by political and/or economic integration organizations. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, formal confirmation, or approval shall be deposited with the Depositary.

2. Any organization referred to in paragraph 1 above which becomes a party to this Convention without any of its member States being a Party shall be bound by all the obligations under the Convention. In the case of such organizations, one or more of whose member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under the Convention. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under the Convention concurrently.

3. In their instruments of formal confirmation or approval, the organizations referred to in paragraph 1 above shall declare the extent of their competence with respect of the matters governed by the Convention. These organizations shall also inform the Depositary, who will inform the Parties of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.

Article XXIII

1. This Convention shall be open for accession by States, by Namibia, represented by the United Nations Council for Namibia, and by political and/or economic integration organizations from the day after the date on which the Convention is closed for signature. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

2. In their instruments of accession, the organizations referred to in paragraph 1 above shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by the Convention. These organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.

3. The provisions of Article XXII paragraph 2, shall apply to political and/ or economic integration organizations which accede to this Convention.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XV

1. This Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, formal confirmation, approval or accession.

2. For each State or political and/or economic integration organization which ratifies, accepts, approves or formally confirms this Convention or accedes thereto after the date of the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratificationz, acceptance, approval, formal confirmation or accession, it shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit by such State of political and/or economic integration organization or its instrument or ratification, acceptance, approval, formal confirmation or accession.

3. For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2 above, any instrument deposited by a political and/ or economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by member States of such organization.

WITHDRAWAL

Article XXVII

1. At any time after three years from the date on which this Convention has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from the Convention by giving written notification to the Depositary.

2. Withdrawal shall be effective one year from receipt of notification by the Depositary, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification.

RESERVATIONS AND DECLARATIONS

Article XXVI

1. No reservations or exceptions may be made to this Convention.

2. Paragraph 1 of this Article does not preclude a State or political and/or economic integration organization, when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving, formally confirming or acceding to this Convention, from making declarations or statements, however phrased or named, with a view, inter alia, to the harmonization of its laws and regulations with the provisions of this Convention, provided that such declarations and statements do not purport to exclude or to modify the legal effects of the provisions of the Convention in their application to that State.

AMENDMENT

Article XVI

1. Any Party may propose amendments to this Convention and any Party to a protocol may propose amendments to that protocol. Such amendments shall take due account, inter alia, of relevant scientific and technical considerations.

2. Amendments to this Convention shall be adopted at a meeting of the Conference of Parties. Amendments to any Protocol shall be adopted at a meeting of Parties to the protocol in question. The text of any proposed amendment to this Convention or to any protocol, except as may otherwise be provided in such protocol, shall be communicated to the Parties by the Secretariat at least six months before the meeting at which it is proposed for adoption. The Secretariat shall also communicate proposed amendments to the Signatories to this Convention for information.

3. The Parties shall make every effort to reach agreement on any proposed amendment to this Convention by consensus. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment shall as a last resort be adopted by a three-fourths majority vote of the Parties present and voting at the meeting, and shall be submitted by the Depositary to all Parties for ratification, approval, formal confirmation or acceptance.

4. The procedure mentioned in paragraph 3 above shall apply to amendments to any protocol, except that a two-thirds majority of the Parties to that protocol present and voting at the meeting shall suffice for their adoption.

5. Instruments of ratification, approval, formal confirmation or acceptance of amendments shall be deposited with the Depositary. Amendments adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 or 4 above shall enter into force between Parties having accepted them on the ninetieth day after the receipt by the Depositary of their instrument of ratification, approval , formal confirmation or acceptance by at least three-fourths of the Parties who accepted the amendments to the protocol concerned, except as may otherwise be provided in such protocol. The amendments shall enter into force for any other Party on the ninetieth day after that Party deposits its instrument of ratification, approval, formal confirmation or acceptance of the amendments.

6. For the purpose of this Article, “Parties present and voting” means Parties present and casting affirmative or negative vote.

Article XVIII

1. The annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shall form an integral part of this Convention or of such protocol, as the case may be and, unless expressly provided otherwise, a reference to this Convention or its protocol or protocols constitutes at the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Such annexes shall be restricted to scientific, technical and administrative matters.

2. Except as may be otherwise provided in any protocol with respect to its annexes, the following procedure shall apply to the proposal, adoption and entry into force of additional annexes to this Convention or of annexes to a protocol:

  • (a) Annexes to this Convention and its protocols shall be proposed and adopted according to the procedure laid down in Article XVII, paragraph 2, 3 and 4;
  • (b) Any Party that is unable to accept an additional annex to this Convention or an annex to any protocol to which it is a party shall so notify the Depositary, in writing, within six months from the date of the communication of the adoption by the Depositary. The Depositary shall without delay notify all Parties of any such notification received. A Party may at any time substitute an acceptance for a previous declaration of objection and the annexes shall thereupon enter into force for that Party;
  • (c) On the expiry of six months from the date of the circulation of the communication by the Depositary, the annex shall become effective for all Parties to this Convention or to any protocol concerned, which have not submitted a notification in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (b) above.

3. The proposal, adoption and entry into force of amendments to annexes to this Convention or to any protocol shall be subject to the same procedure as for the proposal, adoption and entry into force of annexes to the Convention or annexes to a protocol. Annexes and amendments thereto shall take due account, inter alia, of relevant scientific and technical considerations.

4. If an additional annex or an amendment to an annex involves an amendment to this Convention or to any protocol, the additional annex or amended annex shall not enter into force until such time as the amendment to this Convention or to the protocol enters into force.

DECLARATIONS AND RESERVATIONS

Algeria

Declaration

The Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria declares, with regard to article 20, paragraph 2 of the [Convention], that in every case, the agreement of all the parties concerned is necessary to submit a dispute to the International Court of Justice or to arbitration.

Austria

Notification by Austria made on 30 October 1998

Austria is not in a position to accept the amendment and the annexes to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) which were adopted by decision IV/9 of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention.

This objection under Article 18 para. 2(b) of the said Convention has to be raised on purely technical grounds, due to the necessary parliamentary procedure in Austria, and will be lifted immediately once Parliament has accepted the amendment to Annex I as well as the new annexes VIII and IX.

In this context, due note should be taken of the fact that Austria is legally bound by the “Council Regulation on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community”. An amendment to Annex V of this Council Regulation has been decided with the support of Austria on 30 September 1998 in order to take into full consideration those wastes featuring on any lists of wastes characterized as hazardous for the purposes of the Basel Convention.

The amendment to Annex I and the adoption of Annexes VIII and IX took effect for Austria on 26 October 1999, the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance with the Secretary-General.

Bahrain

The Governments of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Bahrain, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, The German Democratic Republic, Sweden, Greece, The Federal Republic of Germany, Kenya, France, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Norway, Lebanon, Niger, Ghana, The Gambia, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Turkey, Benin, Malta, Hungary, Jordan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Philippines, as well as the Commission of the European Communities, who will sign the Convention and/or the Final Act concerning the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”),

Concerned that the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes are posing a major threat to human health and the environment,

Mindful of the limited capabilities of developing countries to manage wastes, in particular hazardous wastes, in an environmentally sound manner,

Considering that minimizing the production of hazardous wastes and disposal thereof under environmentally sound conditions in the country of generation should be the aim of waste management policy,

Convinced that phasing-out of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes will act as a major incentive for developing adequate national disposal facilities,

Recognizing the right of any country to prohibit the import or export of hazardous wastes into or from its territory,

Welcoming that the Convention will be signed,

Considering that, anticipating the measures envisaged in the Convention, immediate and effective control and reduction of transboundary movements especially to developing countries are necessary,

Declare as follows:

1. The Signatories of this Declaration confirm their strong intention to dispose of wastes in the country of origin;

2. The Signatories of this Declaration call upon the countries who will sign the Convention to join them in making every effort to phase out exports and imports of wastes for reasons other than for disposal in facilities established within a framework of regional co-operation;

3. The Signatories of this Declaration will not permit any imports and exports of wastes to countries lacking legal, administrative and technical capacity to manage and dispose of wastes in an environmentally sound manner;

4. The Signatories of this Declaration underline the importance of assisting in developing adequate facilities aimed at the final disposal of wastes generated in the countries referred to in paragraph 3 above;

5. The Signatories of this Declaration stress the necessity of undertaking within the framework of the Convention, effective action to achieve the reduction of the quantity of wastes, inter alia by developing and introducing technologies based on waste minimization and recycling.

Footnote: Belgium considers that this Declaration does not preclude the import into its territory of wastes defined as primary/secondary raw materials.

Belgium

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Benin

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Chile

The Government of Chile considers that the provisions of this Convention are in full accordance with the principles underlying the set of recommendations adopted by this country through the system of consultations provided for in Article IX of the Antarctic Treaty. They also help to consolidate and expand the legal regime that Chile has established through various international instruments on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, whose scope of application cover both the continental territory of the Republic and its area of jurisdiction situated south of latitude 60 degrees S, in accordance with the provisions of Article 4, paragraph 6, of the present Convention.

China and United Kingdom

On 6 June 1997, the Government of China notified the Secretary-General of the following:

“In accordance with the Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the question of Hong Kong signed on 19 December 1984, the People’s Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong with effect from 1 July 1997. Hong Kong will, with effect from that date, become a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs which are the responsibility of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China. The [said Convention], which the Government of the People’s Republic of China ratified on [18] April 1983, will apply to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with effect from 1 July 1997. (The notification also contained the following declaration): The reservation to article IX of the said Convention made by the Government of the People’s Republic of China will also apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

The Government of the People’s Republic of China will assume responsibility for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Convention to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Subsequently, on 10 June 1997, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland notified the Secretary-General of the following:

“In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong signed on 19 December 1984, the Government of the United Kingdom will restore Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China with effect from 1 July 1997. The Government of the United Kingdom will continue to have international responsibility for Hong Kong until that date. Therefore, from that date the Government of the United Kingdom will cease to be responsible for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the [said Convention] to Hong Kong.”

Colombia

The delegation of Colombia has signed ad referendum the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal because this instrument constitutes a first important step on the part of the international community towards the protection of the environment against such wastes, although it considers that this step should be complemented in the near future by new international agreements that bring the international community even closer to the ideal level of protection referred to by the delegation of Colombia in its statement on 21 March to the Basel Conference on the Convention.

It is the understanding of the delegation of Colombia that the implementation of the present Convention shall in no case restrict, but rather shall strengthen, the application of the juridical and political principles which, as this delegation made clear in the statement referred to, govern the actions taken by the Colombian State in matters covered by the Convention—in other words, inter alia, the latter may in no case be interpreted or applied in manner so consistent with the competence of the Colombian State to apply those principles and other norms of its internal rule to its land area (including the subsoil), air space, territorial sea, submarine continental shelf and exclusive economic maritime zone, in accordance with international law.

The delegation of Colombia emphasizes the need for an additional protocol to the Convention to be adopted in the near future to improve the existing regime, both substantive and procedural, of international liability for damage caused by transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, particularly when such damage affects developing countries.

Cuba

Declaration

The Government of the Republic of Cuba declares, with regard to article 20 of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, that any disputes between Parties as to the interpretation or application of, or compliance with, this Convention or any protocol thereto, shall be settled through negotiation through the diplomatic channel or submitted to arbitration under the conditions set out in Annex VI on arbitration.

Denmark

(See Bahrain for text of first declaration)

Declaration of 30 April 2008

Denmark deposited its instrument of approval to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal on 6 February 1994. This instrument did not confirm the territorial exclusion concerning the application of the Convention with respect to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which had been made upon the signature of the Convention on 22 March 1989. The approval of the Convention in 1994 therefore includes both Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Ecuador

The delegate of Ecuador to the Conference is signing ad referendum the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Rational Disposal at sites close to their place of generation because it represents a significant step in protecting the life and health of the people of Ecuador and in safeguarding the quality of the Ecuadorian environment for present and future generations.

However, the Ecuadorian delegate considers that this marks the beginning of an effort which must lead in future to the development of a Protocol and appropriate instruments for the realization of the principles set out in the Convention, as well as the recommendations and resolutions put forward during the Conference meetings.

The elements contained in the Convention which has been signed may in no way be interpreted in manner inconsistent with the domestic legal norms of the Ecuadorian State, or with the exercise of its national sovereignty.

EEC

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Egypt

Declarations

On 31 January 1995, the Government of Egypt informed the Secretary-General that its instrument of accession should have been accompanied by the following declarations:

First declaration: passage of ships carrying hazardous wastes through the Egyptian territorial sea:

The Arab Republic of Egypt, upon acceding to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which was done on 22 March 1989 and is referred to hereafter as ‘the Convention’, and,

In accordance with article 26 of the Convention, declares that:

In accordance with the provisions of the Convention and the rules of international law regarding the sovereign right of the State over its territorial sea and its obligation to protect and preserve the marine environment, since the passage of foreign ships carrying hazardous or other wastes entails many risks which constitute a fundamental threat to human health and the environment; and

In conformity with Egypt’s position on the passage of ships carrying inherently dangerous or noxious substances through its territorial sea (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1983), the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt declares that

  • 1. Foreign ships carrying hazardous or other wastes will be required to obtain prior permission from the Egyptian authorities for passage through its territorial sea.
  • 2. Prior notification must be given of the movement of any hazardous wastes through areas under its national jurisdiction, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 9, of the Convention.

Second declaration: imposition of a complete ban on the import of hazardous wastes:

The Arab Republic of Egypt, upon acceding to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which was signed on 22 March 1989 and is referred to below as ‘the Convention’, and in accordance with article 26 of the Convention, declares that

In accordance with its sovereign rights and with article 4, paragraph 1(a), of the Convention, a complete ban is imposed on the import of all hazardous or other wastes and on their disposal on the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt. This confirms Egypt’s position that the transportation of such wastes constitutes a fundamental threat to the health of people, animals and plants and to the environment.

Third declaration:

The Governments of Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, the Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, France, the German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as the Commission of the European Union, which will sign the Convention and/or the final document referring to the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, (referred to hereinafter as ‘the Convention’),

Concerned that the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes constitutes a great danger to the health of both humans and the environment,

Considering that the developing countries have a limited ability to manage wastes, especially hazardous wastes, in an environmentally sound manner,

Believing that a reduction in the production of hazardous wastes and their disposal in environmentally sound conditions in the country which exports them must be the goal of waste management policy,

Convinced that the gradual cessation of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes will undoubtedly be a major incentive to the development of appropriate national facilities for the disposal of wastes,

Recognizing the right of every State to ban the import to or export from its territory of hazardous wastes,

Welcoming the signature of the Convention,

Believing it necessary, before applying the provisions of the Convention to impose immediate and effective control on transboundary movement operations, especially to developing countries, and to reduce them,

Declare the following:

1. The signatories to this Convention affirm their strong determination that wastes should be disposed of in the country of production.

2. The signatories to this Convention request States which accede to the Convention to do so, by making every possible effort to effect a gradual cessation of the import and export of wastes for reasons other than their disposal in facilities which will be set up within the framework of regional cooperation.

3. The signatories to this Convention will not permit wastes to be imported to or exported from countries deficient in the technical, administrative and legal expertise in administering wastes and disposing of them in an environmentally sound manner.

4. The signatories to this Convention affirm the importance of assistance to develop appropriate facilities intended for the final disposal of wastes produced by countries referred to in paragraph 3 above.

5. The signatories to this Convention stress the need to take effective measures within the framework of the Convention to enable wastes to be reduced to the lowest possible level and to be recycled.”

Following objections by certain states regarding the late deposit of these declarations, the Secretary-General took the view that he was not in a position to accept them for deposit.

Finland

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

13 October 1995

…In the view of the Government of Finland the declarations of Egypt raise certain legal questions. Article 26.1 of the Basel Convention prohibits any reservation or exception to the Convention. However, according to article 26.2 a State can, when acceding to the Convention, make declarations or statements “with a view, inter alia, to the harmonization of its laws and regulations with the provisions of this Convention…”.

Without taking any stand [as] to the content of the declarations, which appear to be reservations in nature, the Government of Finland refers to article 26.2 of the Basel Convention and notes that the declarations of Egypt have been made too late. For this reason the Government of Finland objects to the declarations and considers them devoid of legal effect.

France

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Gambia

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

German Democratic Republic

The German Democratic Republic proceeds from the fact that the Convention does not interfere with the fundamental principles and standards of international law, including those, as for instance, the right to freedom of navigation and to innocent passage of the territorial sea. In our view, not only the so-called fundamental obligations, including the regulations on international movement, assume significance. Equally important are already existing or envisaged bilateral, regional as well as multilateral agreements, and the provisions of the convention on financial aspects and on settlement of disputes. I’m using this possibility to draw the attention to the observations made by my delegation concerning the substance of two resolutions attached to the Final Act. On balance, this convention text constitutes a comprehensive arrangement which promises a high measure of control and thus a high degree of security.

In accordance with the applied law practices of the German Democratic Republic, the competent governmental authorities of our country still need to thoroughly consider the draft convention to put forth the German Democratic Republic’s final position thereto.

(See also Bahrain for text of declaration)

Germany, Federal Republic of

(See Bahrain for text of declaration on signature)

It is the understanding of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany that the provisions in article 4, paragraph 12 of this Convention shall in no way affect the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms as provided for in international law. Accordingly, it is the view of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany that nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to require the giving of notice to or the consent of any State for the passage of hazardous wastes on a vessel under the flag of a party exercising its right of innocent passage through the territorial sea or the freedom of navigation in an exclusive economic zone under international law.

4 November 1998

At the Fourth Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention…Germany agreed to the amendments [to Annex I] and the new Annexes [VIII and IX]. However, under the Basic Law for Federal Republic of Germany formal approval by the legislative bodies is required before the amendments to the Convention enter into force. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to conclude this process within the six-month deadline. For this reason and in conformity with Article 18(2)(b) of the Basel Convention, the Federal Republic of Germany declares that it cannot at present accept the amendments to Annex I and the new Annexes VIII and X to the Basel Convention.

The amendment to Annex I and the adoption of Annexes VIII and IX took effect for Germany on 24 May 2002, the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance with the Secretary-General.

Greece

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Ghana

Pursuant to Article IV para 1(a) of this Convention and in the exercise of its sovereign rights, the Republic of Ghana hereby declares that it has banned the import of hazardous and other wastes into its territory.

The Republic of Ghana further declares its reservation on Article 9 paras 3 & 4, since it believes that the state of export or the exporter or the generator should be responsible for the disposal of any hazardous wastes which are deemed to be illegal traffic within the meaning of this Convention.

(See also Bahrain for text of declaration)

Guatemala

As plenipotentiary delegate of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala, I should like to express support for this Convention since, in my view, it constitutes an important and positive step towards the solution of a problem which will undoubtedly require further efforts and in view of the fact that its adoption does not infringe any of the legal provisions of my country.

I wish to take the opportunity of reminding all participants that the substantive problem—the generation or production of waste should always be borne in mind, and that our responsibility as members of the present generation which directly and indirectly both as producers and as consumers—is destroying the planet and depriving our future generations of sustenance must lead us to formulate a protocol which will bring about the true solution, which is to find new technologies within a new and sound system of production. This will indeed be possible on the basis of a new system of values and new ethics which serve as a genuine mainstay for the new system. The achievement of a new system constitutes a challenge which demands and requires intelligence, imagination and a genuine desire for reconciliation between nations, together with sufficient capacity to reconcile the interests and apparent rights of our particular species with those of the environment in which we live, of which, in the final analysis, we form an integral part and on which we inexorably depend.

What I am trying to do, therefore, is to appeal for a rational approach. This is a just demand which the biosphere, the natural environment, is already forcefully making of our present civilization.

Hungary

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Indonesia

Mindful of the need to adjust the existing national laws and regulations, the provisions of Article 3(1) of this Convention shall only be implemented by Indonesia after the new revised laws and regulations have been enacted and entered into force.

Italy

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

The Government of Italy declares . . . that it is in favour of the establishment of a global control system for the environmentally sound management of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes.

The Government of Italy, in expressing its objections vis-à-vis the declarations made, upon signature, by the Governments of Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as other declarations of similar tenor that might be made in the future, considers that no provision of this Convention should be interpreted as restricting navigational rights recognized by international law. Consequently, a State party is not obliged to notify any other State or obtain authorization from it for simple passage through the territorial sea or the exercise of freedom of navigation in the exclusive economic zone by a vessel showing its flag and carrying a cargo of hazardous wastes.

13 October 1995

…The Italian Government objects to the deposit of the aforementioned declarations since, in its opinion, they should be considered as reservations to the Basel Convention and the possibility of making reservations is excluded under article 26, paragraph 1, of the Convention.

In any event, article 26, paragraph 2, stipulates that a State may, within certain limits formulate declarations only “when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving…confirming or acceding to this Convention”.

For these reasons, the deposit of the aforementioned declarations cannot be allowed, regardless of their content.

Ivory Coast

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Japan

The Government of Japan understands that nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to require notice to or consent of any state for the mere passage of hazardous waste on a vessel of a Party exercising its navigation rights under international law.

The Government of Japan supports a scheme of an environmentally sound global control for transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and will give the draft Convention full and careful consideration.

Japan does not associate itself with the draft resolution UNEP/IG.80/L.7 concerning co-operation between IMO and UNEP in the review of existing rules, regulations and practices with respect to transport of hazardous wastes by sea.

Jordan

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Kenya

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Korea, Republic of

The delegation of the Republic of Korea welcomes the adoption of the Final Act and the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, and fully supports the purpose and objectives of the Convention.

It is the view of my delegation that the Convention constitutes an important and constructive step forward for the global control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes.

In this regard, my Government is of the opinion that the technical transfer and financial assistance to the developing countries in the field of the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes are important elements in order that the Convention be implemented in the most efficient way.

Being a country which imports insignificant volume of hazardous wastes only for the purpose of industrial recycling, the Republic of Korea is prepared to co-operate with other countries on a bilateral or regional level for the enhancement of the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes.

The Republic of Korea will consider favourably to sign or accede to the Convention as soon as the domestic procedure to be a contracting party of the Convention is completed.

Kuwait

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Lebanon

On the occasion of the signing of the Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the Lebanese delegation declares that Lebanon can under no circumstances permit burial of toxic and other wastes in any of the areas subject to its legal authority which they have entered illegally. In 1988, Lebanon announced a total ban on the import of such wastes and adopted Act No 64/88 of 12 August 1988 to that end. In all such situations, Lebanon will endeavour to co-operate with the States concerned, and with the other States parties, in accordance with the provisions of this treaty.

(See also Bahrain for text of declaration)

Luxembourg

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Malaysia

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Malta

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Mexico

Mexico is signing ad referendum the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes because it duly protects its rights as a coastal State in the areas subject to its national jurisdiction, including the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf and, in so far as it is relevant, its airspace, and the exercise in those areas of its legislative and administrative competence in relation to the protection and preservation of the environment, as recognized by international law and, in particular, the law of the sea.

Mexico considers that, by means of this Convention, important progress has been made in protection of the environment through the legal regulation of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes. A framework of general obligations for States parties has been established, fundamentally with a view to reducing to a minimum the generation and transboundary movement of dangerous wastes and ensuring their environmentally rational management, promoting international co-operation for those purposes, establishing co-ordination and follow-up machinery, and regulating the implementation of procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Mexico further hopes that, as an essential supplement to the standard-setting character of the Convention, a protocol will be adopted as soon as possible, establishing, in accordance with the principles and provisions of international law, appropriate procedures in the matter of responsibility and compensation for damage resulting from the transboundary movement and management of dangerous waste.

Netherlands

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

13 October 1995

…The Kingdom of the Netherlands has examined the declarations made by Egypt on 31 January 1995 concerning the [said Convention]. While the second and the third declarations do not call for observations by the Kingdom, the first declaration establishing the requirement of prior permission for passage through the Egyptian territorial sea is not acceptable.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands consider the first declaration to be a reservation to the (Basel) Convention. The Convention explicitly prohibits the making of reservations in article 26 paragraph 1. Moreover, this reservation has been made two years after the accession of Egypt to the (Basel) Convention, and therefore too late.

Consequently the Kingdom of the Netherlands considers the declaration on the requirement of prior permission for passage through the territorial sea made by Egypt a reservation which is null and void.

17 February 2010

Declaration under Article 20(3)

The Kingdom of the Netherlands declares, in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 20 of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, that it accepts both means of dispute settlement referred to in that paragraph as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting one or both means of dispute settlement.

Niger

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Norway

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Norway accepts the binding means of settling disputes set out in Article 20, paragraphs 3 (a) and (b), of the Convention, by (a) submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice and/or (b) arbitration in accordance with the procedures set out in Annex VI.

Philippines

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Poland

Declaration

With respect to article 20, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the Polish Republic declares that it recognizes submission to arbitration in accordance with the procedures and under the conditions set out in Annex VI to the Convention, as compulsory ipso facto.

Portugal

The Portuguese Republic declares that it requires notification of any transboundary movement of hazardous wastes effected across the area under its national jurisdiction until such a system for the communication of advance information has been instituted in conformity with article 15, paragraph 4 of the present Convention.

(See also Bahrain for text of declaration)

9 December 1999

In accordance with the Joint Declaration of the Government of the Portuguese Republic and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Question of Macao signed on 13 April 1987, the Portuguese Republic will continue to have international responsibility for Macao until 19 December 1999 and from that date onwards the People’s Republic of China will resume the exercise of sovereignty over Macao with effect from 20 December 1999.

From 20 December 1999 onwards the Portuguese Republic will cease to be responsible for the international rights and obligations arising from the application of the Convention to Macao.

Romania

In conformity with article 26, paragraph 2, of the Convention, Romania declares that the import and the disposal on its national territory of hazardous wastes and other wastes can take place only with the prior approval of the competent Romanian authorities.

Saudi Arabia

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Senegal

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

Singapore

Declaration

The Government of Singapore declares that, in accordance with article 4(12), the provisions of the Convention do not in any way affect the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms as provided in international law. Accordingly, nothing in this Convention requires notice to or consent of any State for the passage of a vessel under the flag of a party, exercising rights of passage through the territorial sea or freedom of navigation in an exclusive economic zone under international law.

Spain

Declaration

The Spanish Government declares, in accordance with article 26.2 of the Convention, that the criminal characterization of illegal traffic in hazardous wastes or other wastes, established as an obligation of States Parties under Article 4.3, will in future take place within the general framework of reform of the substantive criminal legal order.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Declaration

With respect to article 20, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis declares that it recognizes submission to arbitration in accordance with the procedures and conditions set out in annex IV to the Convention, as compulsory ipso facto.

Sweden

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

16 October 1995

The Government of Sweden cannot accept the declarations made by the Government of Egypt […].

First, these declarations were made almost two years after the accession by Egypt contrary to the rule laid down in article 26, paragraph 2 of the Basel Convention.

Second, the content of the first of these declarations must be understood to constitute a reservation to the Convention, whereas the Basel Convention explicitly prohibits reservations (article 26, paragraph 1).

Thus, the Government of Sweden considers these declarations null and void.

Switzerland

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

The Syrian Arab Republic on behalf of the Arab countries members of the Arab League

The Arab countries, members of the Arab League, do not agree to accept the credentials of the Delegate of Israel. In addition, their participation at the Conference and their signature of the Final Act or the Convention or any amendment thereof now or in the future should not imply in any way any recognition of the State of Israel.

(See also Bahrain for text of declaration)

Turkey

The Government of Turkey has agreed to sign the Global Convention and the Final Act of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes in support of the international initiative taken in this important field.

Turkey, however, believes that this Global Convention as it stands has a number of weaknesses and that unless strengthened through appropriate instruments in the future, it has little chance of addressing and solving effectively the real issues.

In particular, Turkey believes that the Convention does not contain appropriate provisions that deal with the status of transit countries and the notification mechanisms it envisages lacks the desired effectiveness it should have. More important, Turkey believes that the Convention does not contain provisions and safeguards, nor a mechanism for the effective control and prevention of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes which is a major problem for those countries in particular which have limited capability in combating this type of traffic.

Turkey fears that unless practical measures are taken in this important field, particularly in the interim period between signing of this Convention and its implementation, illegal traffic will increase and that unless the Convention is improved and strengthened in this regard, illegal traffic will continue unchecked.

Turkey has already embarked on a number of practical and effective measures in combating the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes and will make available to the signatories of the Convention, in due course, the experience gained and the results achieved in this field in an effort to contribute to the improvement of the Convention.

(See also Bahrain for text of declaration)

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The delegation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agrees to the adoption of this Convention with the following understandings:

This Convention shall not apply to those vessels and aircrafts which are entitled to sovereign immunity under international law, in particular to any warship, naval auxiliary, other vessels or aircraft owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service. However, each State shall ensure, by adoption of appropriate measures not impairing operations or operational capabilities of such vessels or aircraft owned or operated by it, that such vesssels or aircraft act in a manner consistent, so far as is reasonable and practicable, with this Convention.

Taking into account the fact that there was no opportunity to undertake a considerable review of texts of this Convention in languages other than English, the Soviet side reserves its position as to any difference of meaning which may be disclosed between texts of this Convention in various languages.

The definition of “Territory” in the Cairo Guidelines and Principles for the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes (UNEP Governing Council decision 14/30 of 17 June 1987) to which reference is made in the preamble to the Convention is a special formulation and cannot be used for purposes of interpreting the present Convention or any of its provisions in the light of article 31, paragraph 2, or article 32 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties or on any other basis.

United Arab Emirates

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

United Kingdom

(See Bahrain for text of declaration)

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland declare that, in accordance with article 4 (12), the provisions of the Convention do not affect in any way the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms as provided for in international law. Accordingly, nothing in this Convention requires notice to or consent of any state for the passage of hazardous wastes on a vessel under the flag of a party, exercising rights of passage through the territorial sea or freedom of navigation in an exclusive economic zone under international law.

16 October 1995

…The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland cannot accept the first declaration of Egypt (passage of ships carrying hazardous wastes through the Egyptian territorial sea) […]. Not only was this declaration out of time, but like all other declarations to similar effect, it is unacceptable in substance. In this connection the United Kingdom Government recalls its own statement upon signature confirmed upon ratification.

United States of America

The United States Government is firmly committed to the principle of strong control over exports of hazardous wastes. To further this goal nationally, the President has decided to seek legislative authority to ban all exports of hazardous wastes, except where we have an agreement with the receiving country providing for the safe handling and management of those wastes.

The United States Government strongly supports an environmentally sound global control scheme for transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and will give the draft Convention full and careful consideration. The United States reserves its position on the expansion of the definition of integration organizations and on the resolution of the Final Act concerning the relationship of the United Nations Environment Programme to the work of the International Maritime Organization on marine pollution from vessels carrying hazardous wastes, the relationship of this Convention to international transactions involving nuclear wastes, and the establishment of working groups before entry into force of the Convention, on liability and compensation and on subsidiary bodies. The United States understands that none of the resolutions imposes legal or financial obligations.

Uruguay

Uruguay is signing ad referendum the Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their elimination because it is duly protecting its rights as a reparian State in the areas subject to its national jurisdiction, including the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf and, as appropriate, the superjacent air space as well as the exercise in such areas of its standard-setting and administrative competence in connection with the protection and preservation of the enviroment as recognized by international law and, in particular, by the law of the sea.

Uruguay considers that this Convention constitutes an important step forward in the protection of the environment through the legal regulation of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes by establishing a framework of general obligations for the States Parties with a view essentially to reducing to the minimum the generation of hazardous wastes and their movement across boundaries and ensuring their environmentally rational handling, to promoting international co-operation to that end, to creating co-ordination and follow-up machinery and to regulating the application of procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Uruguay hopes that, as an essential complement to the standard-setting system of the Convention, a protocol will be adopted as soon as possible which, in accordance with the principles and standards of international law, will establish appropriate procedures with regard to responsibility for the damage resulting from transboundary movements and the handling of hazardous wastes and its compensation.

Venezuela

Venezuela is signing ad referendum the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal because it considers that this instrument meets the growing concern of the community, and particularly the developing countries, at the ever more urgent and delicate problems posed by the handling and transboundary movement of substances which can harm the environment and human health. The Convention also contains provisions designed to minimize transboundary movements of wastes.

Venezuela considers that the Convention we have adopted properly protects its sovereign rights as a riparian State over the areas under its national jurisdiction, including its territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and, as appropriate, its air space. The Convention also safeguards the exercise in such areas of its standard-setting and administrative jurisdiction for the purpose of protecting and preserving the environment and its natural resources in accordance with international law, and in particular the law of the sea.

Venezuela considers that this Convention constitutes a first important step in the direction sought by the developing countries to ensure the protection of the environment and lay down a general international legal framework to regulate transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and ensure their environmentally sound management.

The Convention also contains provisions designed to promote international co-operation in this field, to allow for the establishment of machinery for the co-ordination of international actions, and to ensure the strict application of its provisions and the implementation of procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Venezuela acknowledges that this Convention does not cover all the extreme cases that we would have liked to be regulated at international level, but we believe it is an instrument capable of improvement which contains the machinery required so that it can be added to and adjusted in the light of changes in the phenomenon it regulates.

Venezuela is confident that, as an indispensable complement to the standard-setting arrangements set out in this Convention, it will prove possible to adopt at the earliest opportunity, and put into practice in conformity with the principles and norms of international law, procedures designed to regulate State responsibility and compensation for damage which may be caused by the inappropriate handling or transboundary movement of hazardous wastes.

Viet Nam, Socialist Republic of

On behalf of the delegation of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, I wish to make the following statement:

  • The problem of the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal is currently becoming an urgent problem of great importance for the international community in the context of the protection of ecology and the environment and, above all, the protection of human life and health.
  •  It is in that spirit that our delegation considers that the Convention we have just adopted—the product of the spirit of consensus and the concerted efforts of all countries, industrialized as well as developing countries, and international organizations, including UNEP—constitutes a step forward in that direction.
  •  The Convention will certainly help Viet Nam in the current process of drafting of provisions to ensure the protection of the environment and human health in our country.
  •  Viet Nam will strive to ensure that these legal provisions are in keeping with the Convention just adopted, so as to be in a position to sign it in the near future.

1 * In accordance with paragraphs 2(c) and 3 of article 18, the amendment to Annex I and the adoption of Annexes VIII and IX became effective for all Parties to the Convention which had not submitted a notification in accordance with the provisions of article 18, paragraph 2(b). See, Declarations by Austria and Germany.

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