Ban on Australian waste sets precedent

The Government has refused a request from the Australian authorities to export hazardous waste to the UK. The decision is the first in which it has invoked the 1989 global Basel Convention on transboundary shipments of hazardous waste to ban waste from a particular country, and looks to have set a precedent for future UK policy on waste imports from developed nations.

The decision in the Australian case was announced quietly by Environment Minister David Maclean in a parliamentary answer on 9 June.1 It followed a request from Australia's Department of the Arts, Sports, Environment and Territories for a bilateral agreement under the Basel Convention.

The Convention, which came into force on 5 May, imposes a general prohibition on trade in hazardous wastes between parties and non-parties. Aust

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