Electronic approaches to the notification and movement documents

The Basel Convention sets out a detailed Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure with strict requirements for transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes. 

In many countries, the documentation relating to the PIC for the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes or other wastes is paper-based and documents are mainly transmitted by post, fax and email. There are a number of potential benefits to establishing electronic approaches to the notification and movement documents including reduced administrative burden, decreasing the speed and cost of the PIC and improved enforcement.

The procedure forms the heart of the Basel Convention control system and is based on four key stages

  1. notification; 
  2. consent and issuance of movement document; 
  3. transboundary movement; and 
  4. confirmation of disposal. 

Work on electronic approaches to the notification and movement documents was initiated by the Committee Administering the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance (ICC) of the Basel Convention with a view to improve implementation of and compliance with Article 6 of the Basel Convention. A report on this issue was prepared by the Secretariat to assist the Committee in its work (UNEP/CHW/CC.12/11/Add.2).

At its thirteenth meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention requested the Secretariat to prepare, a document containing options on how to move forward on electronic approaches to the notification and movement documents, taking into account prior work undertaken by the ICC on this issue. A report of this issue was prepared by the secretariat for consideration of the Open-ended Working Group at its eleventh meeting. (UNEP/CHW/OEWG.11/INF/21).

At its fourteenth meeting, in paragraph 3 and 4 of the decision BC-14/11, the COP;

  • Invites Parties and others to provide to the Secretariat, by 30 September 2019, information on their experiences in developing and implementing electronic systems for exchanging information on or controlling the movements of goods and wastes, and requests the Secretariat to prepare, subject to the availability of resources, a report on that for consideration by the Open-ended Working Group at its twelfth meeting;
  • Invites Parties and others to provide to the Secretariat, by 30 September 2019, information on experts who could contribute to the consultative workshops to explore options for a system under the Basel Convention that would allow for the automation of processes and the electronic exchange of information, and requests the Secretariat to organize that workshop after the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group.