Waste control in other countries

In Canada, a waste or recyclable material to be exported, imported or conveyed in transit is subject to the Canadian Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (XBR) if it falls within the definition of “hazardous waste’’ or “hazardous recyclable material’’ as set out in subsections 2(1) and 4(1). Furthermore, according to subparagraphs 3(1) and 5(1) and of these Regulations, any waste or recyclable material is included under these definitions if the receiving country, or any country of transit, considers it hazardous, prohibits or restricts its import or transit.

Countries that are party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal have the right to define additional waste or recyclable material as hazardous under their own domestic legislation, and to prohibit or restrict the importation of all types of waste or recyclable material that are so defined. These wastes and recyclable materials are therefore regulated under the XBR for the purpose of exportation. Additionally, wastes destined to a party to the Basel Convention that are “other wastes” as defined by the Basel Convention are be regulated under the XBR for exportation.

If a country defines additional waste or recyclable material as hazardous under their domestic legislation, the country must notify the Basel Convention in writing and provide documentation that will then be published on the website of the Basel Convention. On that website, interested parties can search for such documentation and other information on member countries’ domestic legislation that prohibits or restricts certain wastes or recyclable materials from import or transit.  Additionally, countries’ fact sheets and contact information are also available.

The sections below provide guidance on how to search for information on the Basel Convention website related to country information. 

On the Basel Convention website:

Country Contacts

To find contact information for the Competent Authority or Focal Point of a Party to the Basel Convention, select the Party you are interested in from the drop-down menu.  Once you have selected a Party, the contact information of the Party’s Competent Authority and Focal Point, if applicable, will be displayed at the bottom portion of the page.

Basel Convention Country Contacts.

Country Fact Sheets

Country fact sheets were published by the Basel Convention in October 2011.  Each fact sheet contains contact information, summaries of the country’s national definition of hazardous waste, restrictions on transboundary movement, among other topics of relevance to the transboundary movement of hazardous waste as defined by the country.  Note that these fact sheets may not contain the most updated information.

Basel Convention Country Fact Sheets.

Texts of National Legislations

To access texts of Parties’ National Legislation, select the Party you are interested in from the drop-down menu.  Once you have selected a Party, the available legislation from that Party will be displayed below the drop-down menu, available in various formats and languages.

Basel Convention Texts of National Legislations.

National Definitions  

Notifications submitted by member Parties under the Basel Convention regarding national definitions, are listed on this page. To access texts of Parties national definitions of hazardous wastes, select the Party you are interested in from the drop-down menu. Once you have selected a party, information relevant to a national definitions for hazardous wastes will be available.

Basel Convention National Definitions.

Import Prohibitions or Restrictions

Notifications submitted by Parties under the Basel Convention regarding import prohibitions and restrictions of hazardous wastes and other wastes are listed on two pages in a table format or a drop-down menu, depending on how the Party submitted its notification. Notifications may not have been submitted via both methods. Notifications presented in the table format is available in the language of the Party’s choosing. To access information from the dropdown menu, select the Party you are interested in and the year to see relevant information.

Note on language: Countries are not required to submit translated versions of the notifications, and therefore submissions are only available in the language of origin. The language of any particular notification is indicated along the top row of the table where notifications are displayed.  The codes correspond to languages as follows:

  • E - English
  • A - Arabic
  • C - Chinese (simplified)
  • F - French
  • R - Russian
  • S - Spanish

Basel Convention import prohibitions and restrictions in a table format and a dropdown menu.

Other Related Information

Some Parties provide additional information to supplement official notifications to the Basel Convention and national legislations. 

Basel Convention Other Related Information.

Additional Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) provides the above information as a service to the regulated community.

ECCC can also assist in obtaining additional information on waste controls in other countries that are a party to the Basel Convention but will not interpret the information they have sent.

It is the responsibility of those involved in commercial transactions of waste to ensure compliance with applicable legislations.  For more information on the management of hazardous waste and recyclable material in Canada, and the XBR, please visit the hazardous waste and recyclable material section of ECCC’s website.

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