Illegal Waste Shipments: National authorities join forces with shipping industry

INECE (in cooperation with IMPEL) co-facilitated an international workshop in Rotterdam on the 14-15 November in which authorities and organizations met with stakeholders from the shipping industry to find common ground for effective approaches to fight illegal transnational hazardous waste shipments. Such shipments are in conflict with the provisions of the  Basel Convention and cause serious risks for public health, safety and the environment. Apart from this, upon detection, illegal shipments may cause reputational damage and economic costs. The workshop was hosted by customs and environmental authorities in the port of Rotterdam in  Netherlands.

Participants mutually learned from views, practical examples and discussions. Illegal waste shipments are generally perceived as a serious problem that needs to be addressed by appropriate measures. In doing so however the legitimate trade and transport should not fear unnecessary interventions. It was concluded that ways forward may be found through improved exchange of information, both within and between stakeholders communities. Further work will be initiated along those lines and also in anticipation of a potential follow-up workshop in 2012.