Transfrontier waste meeting focusses on exports, liability

Denmark took its EC partners by surprise in December when it promised at the first conference of parties to the 1989 Basel Convention to use its EC Presidency to press for an outright ban on the shipment of hazardous wastes - whether for disposal or recycling - from the EC to non-OECD countries. The meeting was dominated by this issue, but it also brought the first discussion of a draft protocol on liability and compensation for damage caused by waste which may come to influence future EC liability legislation.

The global Basel Convention on transboundary shipments of hazardous waste entered into force in May following ratification by 20 countries. Still to ratify are the EC - apart from France, which has done so independently - the USA and Japan.

Their tardiness has been criticised by the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Dr Mostafa Tolba, on several occasions this year and again at the meeting in Piriapolis, Uruguay, i

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