Hazardous waste entering the Rwandan market illegally will be returned to the country of origin – REMA warns

Trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste is regulated by the Basel Convention

The Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) says that any transboundary movement of hazardous waste made without prior consent from States shall be deemed illegal traffic of hazardous waste.

Companies and supplier involved in this illegal traffic will be ordered to repossess the wastes and return them to the country of origin, in case they were brought to the Rwandan market without passing through legal procedures.

Trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste is regulated by the Basel Convention – an international treaty designed to reduce the hazardous waste movements between countries – which is aimed to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.

REMA reminds that it is prohibited to import, transport and export hazardous waste into another country without the prior consent issued by the competent authority of the importing or exporting country.

As precautionary measures, all companies or industries importing, transporting or exporting hazardous wastes and other wastes as their raw materials, are advised to notify the REMA, by completing the form accessible on https://bit.ly/3ACnocw

Companies and industries involved in the business of hazardous waste transboundary movement are also reminded that all clearing agencies and custom offices have to check if transported hazardous wastes have authorization from competent Authority.

REMA’s warning refers to the Basel Convention on control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste which Rwanda ratified in 2004, the environment and climate change policy of 2019 and the law on environment of 2018, all of which aim at promoting human health and environment against the potential harm resulting from illegal transboundary movement, poor management and handling of hazardous wastes and other wastes.

The Basel convention was opened for signature in 1989, and entered into force in 1992. Article 6, paragraph 1 of this Convention states that the State of export shall notify, or shall require the generator or exporter to notify, in writing, through the channel of the competent authority of the State of export, the competent authority of the States concerned of any proposed transboundary movement of hazardous wastes or other wastes.