HC Deb 17 May 1994 vol 243 cc389-90W
Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has to prohibit the importation, for recycling, of certain chemicals from other EC countries; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins

I have been asked to reply.

The new control regime under the EC Waste Shipments Regulation and the United Kingdom's associated Transfrontier Shipment Of Waste Regulations 1994 came into force on 6 May. This legislation enables the United Kingdom to fulfil its obligations under the Basel convention, to which the United Kingdom became a party on 8 May. The Government are considering the use of their powers under the new legislation and will announce its proposals in due course.

As regards exports of waste for recovery, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State reported on the decision taken at the second conference of the parties to the Basel convention in his answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith) on 30 March 1994 Official Report, columns 866–67. Article 16(3)(b) of the Waste Shipments Regulation prohibits exports of waste for recovery where the competent authority of dispatch has reason to believe that the waste will not be managed in accordance with environmentally sound methods in the country of destination.

The decision recognized that transboundary movements of hazardous wastes from OECD to non-OECD states have a high risk of not constituting an environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes. It is the Government's understanding, therefore, that, save in exeptional circumstances, exports of hazardous wastes for recovery from the United Kingdom to non-OECD countries are prohibited by virtue of article 16(3)(b)— (a) unless and until those countries wishing to receive such wastes satisfy the requirements set out in paragraph 3 of the decision, regarding notification to the Basel secretariat about the categories, quantities and management of acceptable waste imports; and (b) the competent authority of dispatch is satisfied in any particular case that the wastes will be managed in an environmentally sound manner in the country of destination.

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