Waste means a substance or object that is proposed to be disposed of; or is disposed of; or is required by a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory to be disposed of. (Note: Disposed of has a meaning corresponding to the meaning of disposal. Disposal means an operation specified in Annex IV to the Basel Convention.)
Hazardous waste means waste prescribed by the regulations, where the waste has any of the characteristics mentioned in Annex III to the Basel Convention; or wastes that belong to any category contained in Annex I to the Basel Convention, unless they do not possess any of the characteristics contained in Annex III to that Convention; or household waste; or residues arising from the incineration of household waste. (Note: There is also an extended meaning of hazardous waste. The extended meaning relates to the following matters: a case where a foreign country has classified a particular substance or object as hazardous waste; a case where a foreign country has classified waste collected from households as hazardous waste; substances or objects subject to notification or control under Article 11 arrangements.)
There are no wastes defined as, or considered to be hazardous wastes by national legislation in accordance with Art. 1, para 1(b) of the Basel Convention.
In Australia there are no wastes other than those pursuant to Art. 1 (1)a and/or Art. 1 (1)b of the Basel Convention that require special consideration when subjected to transboundary movement.
Data* on the Generation and Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes** and Other Wastes*** in 2000 (as reported)
Total amount of hazardous wastesand other wastesexported
Total amount of hazardous wastesand other wastesimported
*Figures are rounded to the nearest integer.
** Covers wastes under Art. 1 (1)a (Annex I: Y1-Y45) and Art. 1 (1)b.
*** Covers wastes under (Annex II: Y46-Y47).
Restrictions on Transboundary Movement
Amendment to the Basel Convention
The amendment to the Basel Convention (Decision III/1) has not been implemented in Australia.
Restrictions on export for final disposal
Australia restricts the export of hazardous wastes and other wastes for final disposal. The relevant legislation is Section 17 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989. Section 18A also provides that the Minister must not grant a Basel export permit if the applicant proposes that the hazardous waste will be disposed of by a method that is within the scope of Section A of Annex IV to the Basel Convention, unless the Minister is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances. In deciding whether there are exceptional circumstances the Minister must have regard to the following:
whether there will be significant risk of injury or damage to human beings or the environment if the permit is not granted;
whether the waste is needed for testing for the purposes of improving the management of hazardous waste.
The Minister also has discretion to decide not to grant a permit under the Act if there is reason to believe that the hazardous waste could be disposed of safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner at a facility in Australia.
Entry into force: 12 December 1996.
The restriction covers all countries and regions and all hazardous wastes.
Australia restricts the export of hazardous wastes and other wastes for recovery. The relevant legislation is Section 17 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989. Entry into force: 12 December 1996. The restriction covers all countries and regions and all hazardous wastes.
Restrictions on import for final disposal and for recovery
Australia restricts the import of hazardous wastes and other wastes for final disposal and for recovery. The relevant legislation is Section 17 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989. Entry into force: 12 December 1996. The restriction covers all countries and regions and all hazardous wastes.
Restrictions on transit
Australia restricts the transit of hazardous wastes and other wastes. The relevant legislation is Section 17A of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989. Entry into force: 12 December 1996. The restriction covers all countries and regions and all hazardous wastes.
The eight Australian States and Territories have economic measures/initiatives in place to reduce and/or eliminate the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes.
The Sustainable Industries Branch of Environment Australia works with industry to reduce pollution through national cleaner production projects designed to encourage cleaner production in business and industry. It has developed and maintains EnviroNET Australia, a network of databases on the Internet providing information on Australia’s environment management technologies and expertise. This includes the Australian Waste Database (AWD) which has been developed in response to the need to provide a monitoring mechanism for Commonwealth and State waste minimisation policies. The AWD provides an overview of the waste management scenario in various regions of Australia.
The measures taken for reduction of the amount of hazardous wastes and other wastes subject to the transboundary movement are same as the measures taken for reduction and/or elimination of hazardous waste generation.
Disposal/ Recovery Facilities
A complete list could be obtained from the following web sites:
OECD Council Decision C(92)39/FINAL concerning the control of transfrontier movements of wastes destined for recovery operations (multilateral), effective from 30 March 1992.
Convention to Ban the Importation into Forum Island Countries of Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes and to Control the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within the South Pacific Region (Waigani Convention) (regional). Australia signed the convention on 16 September 1995 and deposited its instrument of ratification on 17 August 1998. In force from 25 October 2001.
Australia concluded a bilateral arrangement with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) on 2 January 2001. The scope of application is to import hazardous wastes from East Timor for disposal in Australia. It ceased on 20 May 2002 when East Timor became an independent nation.
Technical Assistance and Training Available
A complete list could be obtained from the following web sites: