Parties cannot opt out of Article 1.1a of Basel Convention
The Draft Technical Guidelines are a guide not law and thus cannot supersede the legal requirements of the Convention itself. The Convention does not permit Parties to opt out of the list of materials deemed hazardous as defined in Article 1.1a

“There is no legal basis for the so-called voluntary procedure created by the MPPI [Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative].  No such basis is found in the Basel Convention or elsewhere.   It is in fact a form of reservation or exemption from the Basel Convention that is not allowed under the Convention (Article 26).   That is, it is not up to the Parties to independently decide what is a waste under the Convention and what is not as implied by the Voluntary Procedure.   The Basel Convention allows countries to independently augment the baseline definitions of Article 1.1.a via Article 1.1.b.  But the Convention does not allow Parties to opt out of Article 1.1.a definitions or other definitions found in the Conventions.   The Parties need to stand firm and assert that exports of non-functional equipment or other equipment which will be disposed of in the act of repair are in fact exports of waste.  If these discarded parts are hazardous then in fact the wastes fall under the Convention and the Decision Tree herein should be used.  Creating a voluntary procedure is creating a reservation/exemption to the Basel rules in the guise of creating new rules.  Again there is no legal basis nor legal necessity for these new Voluntary Procedure rules.”

From p. 11 of response by BAN Basel Secretariat. 2010. ‘Draft Technical Guidelines on Transboundary Movement of E-Waste, in Particular Regarding the Distinction between Waste and Non-Waste (Version 22 September 2010)’.


Electronic Waste »Electronic Waste
Draft Technical Guidelines »Draft Technical Guidelines
Issues »Issues
Situations in which used equipment is or is not waste »Situations in which used equipment is or is not waste
Parties can independently/voluntarily define what is waste »Parties can independently/voluntarily define what is waste
Parties cannot opt out of Article 1.1a of Basel Convention
2010-09 Draft Technical Guidelines [2010 Sept] »2010-09 Draft Technical Guidelines [2010 Sept]
Basel Action Network »Basel Action Network
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