Basel Convention

Basel IMG 4246
Mr. Geri-Geronimo R. Sanez of EMB delivers the Philippine intervention of support to the "Proposal to Amend Annexes II, VIII and IX of the Basel Convention on Listing of Plastic Materials as Waste" in Geneva, Switzerland on 8 September 2018. [Geri Sanez]

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes is a multilateral environmental agreement that obligates the Party States to reduce the generation and illegal traffic of hazardous waste from one State to another. Specifically it aims to prevent the transfer of hazardous wastes from developed countries to developing and less developed countries (LDCs). It was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry on the discovery of deposits of toxic wastes imported to Africa and other parts of the developing world.

The Convention aims to ensure the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of hazardous materials which includes their storage, transport, treat- ment, reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal. Under the Convention, parties may enter into agreements with parties or non-parties (bilateral, regional or multilateral), authorizing transboundary movement of hazardous wastes into their respective jurisdictions with the condition that such agreements or arrangements do not violate the ESM of hazardous wastes under the Convention. The Convention includes a protocol on liability and compensation for damages resulting from the transboundary movement and disposal of hazardous wastes.
Focal Office:
Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)
Date Ratified:
January 19, 1994
Focal Persons/Offices:
High Level
Secretary, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 926 3011, 920 4301, 929 6626 loc 2258

Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 928 1186

Competent Authority and Contact Point
Director, DENR-EMB
Tel. No. (632) 928 3725, 927 1517

Technical Expert
Chief, Hazardous Waste Management Section, Environmental Quality Division (EQD), DENR-EMB
Tel. No. (632) 928 1212
In Article 4 on "Expected Measures and Actions" of the Convention, each party is expected to (a) reduce to a minimum, the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes; (b) ensure that adequate disposal facilities for ESM of hazardous wastes and other wastes are available; (c) ensure that personnel involved in hazardous waste management take pollution control measures to minimize the adverse consequences of these to human health and the environment; (d) reduce to a minimum, the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes; (e) not allow the export of hazardous wastes to a State or group of States that are parties, particularly developing countries, which have prohibited all imports or if the wastes will not be managed in an environmentally sound manner; (f) require information clearly stating the effects on human health and the environment about a proposed transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes according to Annex V-A of the Convention; (g) prevent the import of hazardous wastes and other wastes if these will not be managed in an environmentally sound manner; (h) cooperate in activities with other Parties and organizations in the dissemination of information on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, in order to improve the ESM of such wastes and prevent illegal traffic of the same; the Party states are responsible for enacting national laws to prevent and punish illegal traffic of hazardous wastes.

Under Article 6, the Philippines through the DENR-EMB, the competent authority, shall notify or shall require the exporter to notify the competent authority of the importing state of any proposed transboundary movement of hazardous or other wastes.

Under Article 15. parties are required to submit a report on the previous calendar year containing information on transboundary movement of hazardous wastes in their area, measures adopted by parties in the implementationof the convention, activities realted to bilateral / multilateral agreements and arrangements and other pertinent information.

The Philippines is currently engaged in a Bilateral agreement with the United States of America reagrding the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes from the Philippines to United States.
Policy Issuances:
Republic Act No. 6969 or the "Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990" serves as the overall legal and regulatory framework on which DENR administrative orders, memorandum circulars and other policies are hinged on. These policies can be found in the Environmental Management Bureau's website at
Sources / Relevant Links:

UNIDO. Roadmap Towards a Sustainable Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Management by 2030. Geneva, Switzerland, May 2018


The Philippines submitted its 2017 National Report to the Basel Convention on 27 December 2018. The report contained pertinent national strategies and policies, legislation, regulations and guidelines issued to realize the reduction or elimination of the generation of hazardous waste and other wastes and the reduction of the amount of hazardous wastes and other wastes subject to transboundary movement.

At the Basel Convention Conference of Parties (COP) 13 held in 2017, marine litter was included in the program of work of the Open-ended Working Group and a new Partnership Program on Household Waste was established as the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment came to an end.

The EMB continues to issue importation clearances for recyclable materials containing hazardous substances and export clearance for hazardous wastes for final recovery and disposal as specified in DENR Department Administrative Order (DAO) 1994-28, on Interim Guidelines for the Importation of Recyclable Materials Containing Hazardous Substances and DAO 2013-22 on Revised Procedures and Standards for the Management of Hazardous Wastes.

The amendment of relevant existing laws and regulation on hazardous wastes and development of "Guidelines on the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment" is currently ongoing. The guidelines will provide a compliance framework for producers, manufacturers, consumers, distributors, retailers, and treatment facilities.
This Page was updated on 12 December 2019 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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