International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project Report Highlights Advantages of Cooperation

hazardouswaste Washington, DC, December 24, 2010: A report released today by the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN) confirms the benefits of cross-border collaboration in combating the illegal trade in hazardous waste through seaports.

The report details the results of the INECE SESN International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project, a simultaneous inspection exercise involving environmental, customs, and other enforcement authorities from countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Participating countries undertook coordinated environmental inspections at their seaports during June and July 2010 and reported their results.

The Inspection Project results indicate that compliance with international treaty provisions regarding international hazardous waste movement remains a challenge. Substantial domestic and international efforts will be needed to counteract negative social, environmental, and economic impacts that arise from illegal waste trafficking. Of the 74 total targeted inspections conducted during the inspection project, 53% discovered non-compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

The results of the Project also highlight the crucial importance of effective communication channels at the international, regional, and national levels for detection of illegal trade in hazardous waste. During the Project, participants exchanged information using a variety of methods including informal contacts made possible through the SESN.

“Stopping illegal hazardous waste trade across borders requires the kind of cooperation INECE excels in,” said Durwood Zaelke, Director of the INECE Secretariat. “The INECE ports project shows what a well-coordinated network can accomplish.”

Recommendations that emerged from the Inspection Project include facilitating future opportunities through enforcement cooperation through  international inspection projects; providing capacity building for relevant authorities at seaports; communicating INECE’s environmental compliance and enforcement expertise to countries working to shape more effective domestic programs; and continuing to build partnerships that promote cooperation and collaboration at seaports.

The SESN participants will continue to collaborate in the future to detect and deter illegal shipments of hazardous waste through seaports.

The Inspection Project was supported by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and by IMPEL, a network of representatives from authorities of the European Union Member States involved in the inspection and enforcement of transfrontier shipments of waste and other environmental laws.

The report is available on the INECE SESN website at

The International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), the only informal transgovernmental network of practitioners dedicated to pursuing the rule of law, good environmental governance, and sustainable development at all levels of governance, has 20 years of experience building capacity among compliance and enforcement practitioners to make environmental law work on the ground.

The INECE Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN) works to strengthen the enforcement capacity of both developed and developing countries to prevent illegal hazardous waste shipments through ports, and prevent dumping in the developing world.

Source: The International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement

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