Basel Convention: the legal work continues

  • 22 July 2019
  • Legislation

Work is continuing towards providing further legal clarity regarding the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. At its May 2019 Conference of the Parties, Decision BC-14/16 invited Parties and others to submit to the Secretariat by 15 July 2019 further views on the “recommendations for revisions to Annex IV prepared by the expert working group”. Responses, including those from BIR, are shown LINKED HERE.
 
The process is long and began in 2015 when the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal initiated the review of its Annexes I, III and IV, and of related aspects of Annex IX.
 
These developments are of great importance to those affected by laws impacting on waste and scrap that come within the scope of the Basel Convention. Changes to the framework of the Basel Convention affect directly the trade between parties (states) in those wastes and scrap, and also the trade between parties and non-parties. Furthermore, the derived Annex IV for OECD countries and for EU Member States categorises those company facilities carrying out operations on waste and scrap as either disposal operations or as recovery operations.
 
Take for example Annex IV of the Basel Convention:

ANNEX IV

DISPOSAL OPERATIONS

A. OPERATIONS WHICH DO NOT LEAD TO THE POSSIBILITY OF RESOURCE RECOVERY, RECYCLING, RECLAMATION, DIRECT RE-USE OR ALTERNATIVE USES

Section A encompasses all such disposal operations which occur in practice.

B. OPERATIONS WHICH MAY LEAD TO RESOURCE RECOVERY, RECYCLING RECLAMATION, DIRECT RE-USE OR ALTERNATIVE USES

Section B encompasses all such operations with respect to materials legally defined as or considered to be hazardous wastes and which otherwise would have been destined for operations included in Section A

D1 Deposit into or onto land, (e.g., landfill, etc.)

D2 Land treatment, (e.g., biodegradation of liquid or sludgy discards in soils, etc.)

D3 Deep injection, (e.g., injection of pumpable discards into wells, salt domes of naturally occurring repositories, etc.)

D4 Surface impoundment, (e.g., placement of liquid or sludge discards into pits, ponds or lagoons, etc.)

D5 Specially engineered landfill, (e.g., placement into lined discrete cells which are capped and isolated from one another and the environment, etc.)

D6 Release into a water body except seas/oceans

D7 Release into seas/oceans including sea-bed insertion

D8 Biological treatment not specified elsewhere in this Annex which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations in Section A

D9  Physico chemical treatment not specified elsewhere in this Annex which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations in Section A, (e.g., evaporation, drying, calcination, neutralization, precipitation, etc.)

D10 Incineration on land

D11 Incineration at sea

D12 Permanent storage (e.g., emplacement of containers in a mine, etc.)

D13 Blending or mixing prior to submission to any of the operations in Section A

D14 Repackaging prior to submission to any of the operations in Section A

D15 Storage pending any of the operations in Section A

R1 Use as a fuel (other than in direct incineration) or other means to generate energy

R2 Solvent reclamation/regeneration

R3 Recycling/reclamation of organic substances which are not used as solvents

R4 Recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds

R5 Recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials

R6 Regeneration of acids or bases

R7 Recovery of components used for pollution abatement

R8 Recovery of components from catalysts

R9 Used oil re-refining or other reuses of previously used oil

R10 Land treatment resulting in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement

R11 Uses of residual materials obtained from any of the operations numbered R1-R10

R12 Exchange of wastes for submission to any of the operations numbered R1-R11

R13 Accumulation of material intended for any operation in Section B

See the similarity with the Appendices in the OECD Council Decision C(2001)107FINAL:

APPENDIX 5A

DISPOSAL OPERATIONS

Appendix 5.A is meant to encompass all such disposal operations that occur in practice, whether or not they are adequate from the point of view of environmental protection.

APPENDIX 5B

RECOVERY OPERATIONS

Appendix 5.B is meant to encompass all such operations with respect to materials considered to be or legally defined as wastes and which otherwise would have been destined for operations included in Appendix 5.A.

D1 Deposit into or onto land, (e.g., landfill, etc.)

D2 Land treatment, (e.g., biodegradation of liquid or sludgy discards in soils, etc.)

D3 Deep injection, (e.g., injection of pumpable discards into wells, salt domes or naturally occurring repositories, etc.)

D4 Surface impoundment, (e.g., placement of liquid or sludge discards into pits, ponds or lagoons, etc.)

D5 Specially engineered landfill, (e.g., placement into lined discrete cells which are capped and isolated from one another and the environment, etc.)

D6 Release into a water body except seas/oceans

D7 Release into seas/oceans including sea-bed insertion

D8 Biological treatment not specified elsewhere in this Appendix which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations in Appendix 5.A

D9 Physico chemical treatment not specified elsewhere in this Appendix which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations in Appendix 5.A, (e.g., evaporation, drying, calcination, etc.)

D10 Incineration on land

D11 Incineration at sea

D12 Permanent storage (e.g., emplacement of containers in a mine, etc.)

D13 Blending or mixing prior to submission to any of the operations in Appendix 5.A

D14 Repackaging prior to submission to any of the operations in Appendix 5.A

D15 Storage pending any of the operations in Appendix 5.A

R1 Use as a fuel (other than in direct incineration) or other means to generate energy

R2 Solvent reclamation/regeneration

R3 Recycling/reclamation of organic substances which are not used as solvents

R4 Recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds

R5 Recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials

R6 Regeneration of acids or bases

R7 Recovery of components used for pollution abatement

R8 Recovery of components from catalysts

R9 Used oil re-refining or other reuses of previously used oil

R10 Land treatment resulting in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement

R11 Uses of residual materials obtained from any of the operations numbered R1-R10

R12 Exchange of wastes for submission to any of the operations numbered R1-R11

R13 Accumulation of material intended for any operation in Appendix 5.B

Also see the similarity with the Annexes of the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC as amended:

ANNEX I

DISPOSAL OPERATIONS

ANNEX II

RECOVERY OPERATIONS

D1 Deposit into or on to land e.g. landfill, etc.

D2 Land treatment e.g. biodegradation of liquid or sludgy discards in soils, etc.

D3 Deep injection e.g. injection of pumpable discards into wells, salt domes or naturally occurring repositories, etc.

D4 Surface impoundment e.g. placement of liquid or sludgy discards into pits, ponds or lagoons, etc.

D5 Specially engineered landfill e.g. placement into lined discrete cells which are capped and isolated from one another and the environment, etc.

D6 Release into a water body except seas/oceans

D7 Release to seas/oceans including sea-bed insertion

D8 Biological treatment not specified elsewhere in this Annex which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 12

D9 Physico-chemical treatment not specified elsewhere in this Annex which results in final compounds or mixtures which are discarded by means of any of the operations numbered D 1 to D12 e.g. evaporation, drying, calcination, etc.

D10 Incineration on land

D11 Incineration at sea 

D12 Permanent storage e.g. emplacement of containers in a mine, etc.

D13 Blending or mixing prior to submission to any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 12 

D14 Repackaging prior to submission to any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 13

D15 Storage pending any of the operations numbered D 1 to D 14 excluding temporary storage, pending collection, on the site where the waste is produced

(footnotes not shown)

R1 Use principally as a fuel or other means to generate energy 

R2 Solvent reclamation/regeneration

R3 Recycling/reclamation of organic substances which are not used as solvents including composting and other biological transformation processes 

R4 Recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds 

R5 Recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials 

R6 Regeneration of acids or bases

R7 Recovery of components used for pollution abatement

R8 Recovery of components from catalysts

R9 Oil re-refining or other reuses of oil

R10 Land treatment resulting in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement

R11 Use of waste obtained from any of the operations numbered R 1 to R 10

R12 Exchange of waste for submission to any of the operations numbered R 1 to R 11 

R13 Storage of waste pending any of the operations numbered R 1 to R 12 excluding temporary storage, pending collection, on the site where the waste is produced

(footnotes not shown)

 

 

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