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MOEW Issues a Resolution to Organize the Passage and Export of Hazardous Waste Consignments across Borders

His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, the Minister of Environment and Water, issued a ministerial decision regarding the organization of the passage and export of hazardous waste consignments across the UAE borders. Hazardous waste is defined as the waste or ashes resulting from different operations and activities that involve hazardous material, as mentioned is the Federal Law 24 (1999) on environmental protection and development. Examples of hazardous waste are used batteries, used oils, medical waste, waste resulting from the production of ink, dyes and paints, and waste composed of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, or Copper.

      The decision was issued in line with the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which the UAE is a state party since 1990. This convention aims to reduce the generation of hazardous waste and to promote environmentally safe management of disposal wherever the disposal place will be, to reduce movements of hazardous wastes across the borders in order to protect human health and the environment from the harm of such materials.

   In order to limit the damage resulting from the passage and export of hazardous waste consignments across the border, the decision included the prohibition of the passage or export of consignments that carry hazardous waste by all means in the marine, air or land environment, without a written permission from the Ministry", where a permit is issued by the ministry for the passage or export of hazardous waste shipments across the state borders and in accordance with the requirements specified in the ministerial decision.

   The decision also included that the compliance with the provisions of the Basel Convention shall be applied in the export and passage of hazardous wastes across the border, where the provisions of this decision is applied to all hazardous waste classified under the Basel Convention and mentioned in the decision.

   The risk of hazardous waste lies in its composition of highly toxic materials, it is difficult to decompose, and its long-term environmental impact, as it may enters the food chain through groundwater or soil, making it change in condition and composition and become more concentrated in the environment. These substances, if dumped at sea, will cause the marine contamination, and the death of fish and organisms. Toxic substances may return again through the food chain, leading to affecting human health by terminal illnesses, and their impact on humans and the environment may extend for several years.

   It is noteworthy that the Federal Law 24 (1999) concerning the protection of the environment and development, banned the import of all types of hazardous wastes or their disposal in any form in the UAE environment.


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