Questions and Answers (Q&A) related the ratification of the Ban Amendment

Question: When will the Ban Amendment enter into force?

Answer: The Ban Amendment will enter into force when the required number of Parties has expressed their consent to be bound by it. The Depositary to the Basel Convention confirmed that 87 States were Parties to the Convention at the time of the adoption of the Ban Amendment (22 September 1995). In accordance with decision BC-10/3 adopted by the Conference of the Parties with respect to the interpretation of paragraph 5 of article 17 of the Convention on amendments, it follows that 66 States out of the 87 listed in the depositary’s letter are required for the Amendment to enter into force. 

Question: If a State wishes to ratify the Ban Amendment, what needs to be done?

Answer:Similarly to becoming a Party to the Convention, a state or political / economic integration organization must express its consent to be bound by the Ban Amendment. The Convention specifies the requirements and instruments for expressing consent to be bound by an amendment to the Convention (Article 17).
Please refer to the Procedures section of the website for information on the procedures for becoming a Party, which are similar to those to express consent to be bound by the Ban Amendment.
In addition, a State or political and/or economic integration organization may wish to take certain preliminary steps before depositing, with the Depositary, the instrument expressing its consent to be bound by the Amendment. These could include preparing analyses or collecting documentation for example.
Further advice and assistance is also available from the Secretariat (Email: yvonne.ewang@brsmeas.org). 

Question: Is there a specific format to use to ratify or accept the Ban Amendment?

Answer:There is no mandated form for the instrument through which a state or political and/or economic integration organization may express its consent to be bound by the Amendment, as is the case when becoming a Party to the Convention. The instrument, and any additional documentation required, would depend on the national legal and constitutional system of the State. Nonetheless, the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession must include the following:

  1. Title, date and place of conclusion of the amendment i.e. the amendment adopted by the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on 22 September 1995 by its decision III/1; 
  2. Full name and title of the person signing the instrument, i.e. the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs, or any other person acting in such a position for the time being or with full powers for that purpose issued by one of these authorities; 
  3. An unambiguous expression of the intent of the Government, on behalf of the State, to consider itself bound by the amendment and to undertake faithfully to observe and implement its provisions; 
  4. Date and place where the instrument was issued; and 
  5. Signature of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs (the official seal is not adequate), or of any other person acting in

such a position for the time being or with full powers for that purpose issued by one of these authorities.
You may also wish to consult the models of instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession prepared by the Depositary, which are available in the Treaty Handbook.
Please note that an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or formal confirmation becomes effective only when it is deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The date of deposit is normally recorded as that on which the instrument is received. Please deliver any such instrument(s) to the Treaty Section of the OLA directly, to ensure the action is promptly processed. 

Question: How can I find out whether the export /transit/ import of specific wastes is not allowed from / through / to my country?

Answer:: You should contact the relevant Competent Authority. A competent authority is a governmental authority designated by a Party to the Basel Convention, within the geographical areas as the Party thinks fit, to receive notifications of transboundary movements of hazardous or other wastes, and any information related to it, and for responding to such notifications as provided for in Article 6. The Secretariat maintains a database under the Countries section of the Basel Convention website with contact details for designated country contacts transmitted by Parties, including Competent Authorities. 

Question: What kind of assistance can my government receive to support the implementation of the Basel Convention and the Ban Amendment?

Answer: The Secretariat of the Basel Convention is available to provide support upon request to Parties experiencing difficulties with the ratification of the Ban Amendment, as well as with implementation of the Amendment and/or the Basel Convention itself.
This may be in various forms: provision of information and documents to stakeholders and decision makers; undertaking electronic and face to face activities (e.g. workshops and webinars) to support Parties in their efforts to facilitate the entry into force of the Ban Amendment; provision of legal and practical advice in relation to the process of ratification, approval, formal confirmation or acceptance of amendments; facilitating exchange of information and experiences between Parties; assessment methodology; support to develop a national hazardous waste plan or inventory etc.
Depending on the type of assistance necessary and the availability of funding, the Secretariat and/or Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres may be able to offer assistance tailored to specific needs of the requesting Party. The Secretariat will also make efforts to identify or provide advice about possible funding opportunities for the activities.
For further information, or to request advice and assistance, please contact the Secretariat (Email: yvonne.ewang@brsmeas.org  / tatiana.terekhova@brsmeas.org ).