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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes


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The "Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal" controls the international trade in hazardous wastes. The Convention, which was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in 1992, was negotiated to establish a "notice and consent" regime for the export of hazardous waste to importing countries. Under the Convention's provisions, trade in hazardous wastes generally cannot take place:

  •  without the importing country's written consent; or
  • where the exporting country has reason to believe that the particular wastes will not be handled in an environmentally sound manner.

Currently, there are more than 160 Parties to the Convention. The United States signed the Basel Convention in 1990. The U.S. Senate provided its advice and consent to ratification in 1992. However, before the United States can ratify the Convention, there is a need for additional legislation to provide the necessary statutory authority to implement its requirements.

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