Aware of the risk of damage to human health and the environment caused by hazardous wastes and other wastes and the transboundary movement thereof,
Mindful of the growing threat to human health and the environment posed by the increased generation and complexity, and transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes,
Mindful also that the most effective way of protecting human health and the environment from the dangers posed by such wastes is the reduction of their generation to a minimum in terms of quantity and/or hazard potential,
Convinced that States should take necessary measures to ensure that the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes including their transboundary movement and disposal is consistent with the protection of human health and the environment whatever the place of disposal,
Noting that States should ensure that the generator should carry out duties with regards to the transport and disposal of hazardous wastes and other wastes in a manner that is consistent with the protection of the environment, whatever the place of disposal,
Fully recognising that any State has the sovereign right to ban the entry or disposal of foreign hazardous wastes and other wastes in its territory,
Recognising also the increasing desire for the prohibition of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal in other States, especially developing countries,
Convinced that hazardous wastes and other wastes should, as far as is compatible with environmentally sound and efficient management, be disposed of in the State where they were generated,
Aware also that transboundary movements of such wastes from the State of their generation to any other State should be permitted only when conducted under conditions which do not endanger human health and the environment, and under conditions in conformity with the provisions of this Convention,
Considering that enhanced control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes will act as an incentive for their environmentally sound management and for the reduction of the volume of such transboundary movement,
Convinced that States should take measures for the proper exchange of information on and control of the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes from and to those States,
Noting that a number of international and regional agreements have addressed the issue of protection and preservation of the environment with regard to the transit of dangerous goods,
Taking into account the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972), the Cairo Guidelines and Principles for the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes adopted by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNHIP) by decision 14/30 of 17 June 1987, the Recommendations of the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (formulated in 1957 and updated biennially), relevant recommendations, declarations, instruments and regulations adopted within the United Nations system and the work and studies done within other international and regional organisations,
Mindful of the spirit, principles, aims and functions of the World Charter for Nature adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations at its thirty-seventh session (1982) as the rule of ethics in respect of the protection of the human environment and the conservation of natural resources,
Affirming that States are responsible for the fulfilment of their international obligations concerning the protection of human health and protection and preservation of the environment, and are liable in accordance with international law,
Recognising that in the case of a material breach of the provisions of this Convention or any protocol thereto the relevant international law of treaties shall apply,
Aware of the need to continue the development and implementation of environmentally sound low-waste technologies, recycling options, good house-keeping and management systems with a view to reducing to a minimum the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes,
Aware also of the growing international concern about the need for stringent control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and of the need as far as possible to reduce such movement to a minimum,
Concerned about the problem of illegal transboundary traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes,
Taking into account also the limited capabilities of the developing countries to manage hazardous wastes and other wastes,
Recognising the need to promote the transfer of technology for the sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes produced locally, particularly to the developing countries in accordance with the spirit of the Cairo Guidelines and decision 14/16 of the Governing Council of UNEP on Promotion of the transfer of environmental protection technology,
Recognising also that hazardous wastes and other wastes should be transported in accordance with relevant international conventions and recommendations,
Convinced also that the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes should be permitted only when the transport and the ultimate disposal of such wastes is environmentally sound, and
Determined to protect, by strict control, human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from the generation and management of hazardous wastes and other wastes,
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
Scope of the Convention
1. The following wastes that are subject to transboundary movement shall be “hazardous wastes” for the purposes of this Convention:
(a) Wastes that belong to any category contained in Annex I, unless they do not possess any of the characteristics contained in Annex III; and
(b) Wastes that are not covered under paragraph (a) but are defined as, or are considered to be hazardous wastes by the domestic legislation of the Party of export, import or transit.
2. Wastes that belong to any category contained in Annex II that are subject to transboundary movement shall be “other wastes” for the purposes of this Convention.
3. Wastes which, as a result of being radioactive, are subject to other international control systems, including international instruments, applying specifically to radioactive materials, are excluded from the scope of this Convention.
4. Wastes which derive from the normal operations of a ship, the discharge of which is covered by another international instrument, are excluded from the scope of this Convention.