Basel Convention on Hazardous Waste

The Basel Convention on Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal 1989 is a global treaty to address the global trade in waste. It grew out of the need to stop the dumping of hazardous waste  in developing countries who were ill-prepared to deal with it.

The aim of the Basel Convention is to minimise, with the aim of eliminating, the generation and transboundary movement of hazardous waste. The Convention also aims to prevent illegal trafficking in waste. By providing access to information and technical assistance on best practice and procedures for waste handling, storage and destruction, the Convention also promotes the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous waste. The Basel Convention does not cover radioactive waste or waste discharged from ships.

In 1995, the ‘Ban Amendment’ was introduced to strengthen the Basel Convention by prohibiting the export of hazardous waste, for any reason, from a member state of the OECD to non-OECD countries. In 1999, a protocol on liability and compensation was also adopted. Australia has ratified the Basel Convention but not the Basel Ban