Waste falls within the scope of the Convention if it falls within the Category of Waste in Schedule I of the Convention and has one of the hazardous features in Schedule III.  In other words, it must be both listed and own a property as explosive, flammable, toxic or corrosive. The other possibility that a waste could enter the scope of the Convention is when it is defined as dangerous waste or as hazardous waste in accordance with the laws of the export country, the country of import or one of the transit countries.  The EPO has adopted a number of changes to the rules on the importation of hazardous waste, which come into force on 31 December 2016. The language of this website reflects these changes. Article 4 of the Basel Convention calls for a general reduction in waste production. By encouraging countries to keep waste within their borders and as close as possible to their source of production, internal pressures should encourage waste prevention and pollution prevention. As a general rule, contracting parties are prohibited from exporting or importing registered waste to non-contracting parties to the agreement. Costa Rica, Malaysia and the Philippines have separate agreements with the United States. The United States may receive waste from Costa Rica, Malaysia and the Philippines for recycling or disposal, but it is not allowed to export waste to those countries. The 1988 Koko case, in which five ships transported 8,000 barrels of waste from Italy to the small town of Koko, Nigeria, in exchange for a monthly rent of $100 paid to a Nigerian man for the exploitation of his arable land. The Basel Convention on the Control of Cross-Border Movements of Dangerous Waste and Its Disposal is a multilateral agreement negotiated under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1988. The Convention`s negotiators wanted to promote environmentally sound management of exported and imported waste, particularly in developing countries.
The Basel Convention sets standards for cross-border movements of hazardous waste, solid waste and communal incineration ash, including written notification and confirmation by the destination country prior to export. Since December 2015, 183 states and the European Union have been parties to the convention. The United States is a signatory to the Basel Convention, but is not yet a party to the convention. The agreement also prohibits waste transfers between parties to the agreement and non-parties, unless such transfers are made under a separate agreement. The agreement must put in place an equally robust management structure for cross-border waste transfers. The increase in the trade in recyclable materials has led to an increase in the market for used products such as computers. This market is valued in billions of dollars. It is a matter of distinguishing when used computers cease to be a “commodity” and become a “waste”.
Faced with the blocking of the Ban Amendment, Switzerland and Indonesia launched a “national initiative” (CLI) to informally discuss a way forward to ensure that cross-border transfers of hazardous waste, particularly to developing and transition countries, do not lead to unsustainable management of hazardous waste. The aim of this discussion is to find solutions to why hazardous waste is always sent to countries that are unable to treat it safely. It is hoped that the CLI will contribute to the objectives of the Ban Amendment. The Basel Convention website provides information on the progress of this initiative.  The main effect of this convention is to prohibit the importation of all hazardous and radioactive waste into the island states of the South Pacific Forum.