In 1989, the Basel Convention was adopted to improve monitoring of the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes.
The Basel Convention has the following key objectives:
- To reduce transboundary movements of hazardous wastes to a minimum consistent with their environmentally sound management
- To dispose of hazardous wastes as closely as possible to their source of generation
- To minimize the generation of hazardous wastes in terms of quantity and hazardousness
- Prohibition of an export of hazardous waste to developing countries that do not have suitable disposal technologies.
The Basel Convention has set up a very strict operational control system based on the prior written notification procedure. The procedure for the notification of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes or other wastes can take place only upon prior written notification to the competent authorities of states of export, import and transit (if appropriate) and upon consent from these authorities permitting the transboundary movement of waste. Any transboundary movement of hazardous wastes or other wastes carried out in contravention of notification system is considered illegal traffic.