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Liability and Compensation in the International Transport of Hazardous Wastes by Sea: The 1999 Protocol to the Basel Convention

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The export of hazardous wastes has been recognised by the international community as a dangerous trade which must be minimised and regulated. The 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal is a widely ratified international agreement for the environmentally safe transport of hazardous wastes. The 1999 Liability and Compensation Protocol significantly improves the 1989 Basel Convention regime by establishing strict liability with minimum financial limits and, unlimited, fault-based liability for damages arising out of the carriage of wastes. The strict liability does not attach to the Carrier but to persons which are subject to the jurisdiction of either the state of export or the state of import and who act as the Notifier, the Exporter, the Importer or the Disposer of the wastes. Strict liability must be covered by compulsory insurance. The Basel Protocol overlaps with other liability and limitation regimes. The potential conflict of the Basel Protocol with the major agreements applicable to the carriage of wastes by sea is discussed and improvements in the drafting of the Protocol and the supporting financial mechanisms are suggested.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Maritime Law, Faculty of Law, University of Southampton


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