Regional workshop on the Prosecution of Illegal Traffic of Hazardous Wastes and Other wastes under the Basel Convention for Central and South America


The series of workshops are funded through the European Union under the Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Energy (ENRTP). The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Basel Convention Regional Center – Argentina.

Among the challenges identified were weaknesses in the national legal and institutional frameworks, such as incomplete implementing legislation  – lack of a clear definition of the crime, of adequate penalties and of clear procedures. Participants felt that the various legal responses to illegal traffic  – administrative, civil, criminal, alternative dispute resolution, each have their own merit, however opinions diverged with respect to their respective effectiveness.  The need for clarity as to when a specific procedure may be initiated and on the relationship between the various procedures (parallel, successive, alternative) was also highlighted.

Participants underscored that cases of illegal traffic are complex and require substantial capacity: an improper investigation can mean that a case cannot ultimately be brought forward. Therefore, besides training, participants called for access to adequate resources, for instance laboratories to identify wastes, and access to technical knowledge.

Finally, cooperation at the national level was identified as a challenge and the establishment of interagency teams involving all relevant agencies was suggested.

Based on real cases, participants also explored the practical and legal challenges in preparing a case for prosecution in particular with respect to the distinction between waste and non-waste, and the need for developing a common understanding of this distinction. Issues of jurisdiction (which State prosecutes and for which offense?) were also discussed, as well as the challenges associated with the take back of illegal shipments.

Workshop Objectives

  • Improving prosecutors’ understanding of the Basel Convention provisions relating to the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes and other wastes;
  • Promoting information exchange between prosecutors on environmental cases;
  • Increasing prosecutors’ awareness of existing networks of prosecutors, or stimulating the formation of new networks of prosecutors dealing with environmental matters, in particular the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes and other wastes.

Target Audience

The workshop provided training for prosecutors, law enforcement experts and lawyers, based on the Basel Convention's instruction manual on the prosecution of illegal traffic in hazardous wastes.  Prosecutors and legal officers from 13 countries attended the event, including officers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

They were joined by Experts from the European Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of environmental Law (IMPEL) Cluster Transfrontier shipment of waste (TFS) Environmental Prosecutors Network, Latin American Environmental Prosecutors Network (LAEPN), UNEP Regional Office for Latin American Countries (ROLAC), Interpol and the CITES Secretariat. 

Agenda and Information Note

Download the information note for participants (English, Spanish).

Tentative Agenda (English, Spanish)



TitleAll Languages
Items: 1Files: 1
Informe de la Reunión 28 de agosto de 2013
170.3 K



TitleAll Languages
Items: 21Files: 21
List of presentations
52.64 K
Escenario Internacional
333.63 K
Los delitos ambientales y los delitos associados: lecciones aprendidas de CITES
1.28 MB
Que necesitan conocer sobre la CITES?
621.64 K
Operación “Refresco” Contra el Tráfico Ilegal de Gas Refrigerante (R-22)en el marco de la Unión Europea
906.51 K
La Fiscalía Coordinadora De Medio Ambiente Y Urbanismo
287.86 K
Lo que los fiscales necesitan saber sobre el Convenio de Basilea
304.1 K
Procesamiento de un caso sospechoso de caso sospechoso de tráfico ilegal
209.23 K
Ley para la gestión integral de residuos
59.33 K
Republica Argentina, Secretaría de Ambiente Y Desarrollo Sustentable, Dirección Nacional de Control Ambiental
186.49 K
Legislación Guatemala
123.6 K
U.F.I.M.A. Unidad Fiscal de Investigaciones en Materia Ambiental
439.8 K
Redes de Aplicación
113.02 K
Environment Agency & Brazil Waste Case Study
1.41 MB
Environment Agency investigation
1.4 MB
Waste Paper?
406.93 K
Environment Agency & Waste Shipment Challenges
456.39 K
Ideal Waste and Others
489.77 K
Impel Prosecutors project
229.73 K
Programa Sobre Delitos Contra el Programa Sobre Delitos Contra el Medio Ambiente de INTERPOL
2.4 MB
Red Latinoamericana del Ministerio Público Ambiental
1.79 MB

Background Reading

  • Basel Convention Training Manual on Illegal Traffic for Customs and Enforcement Agencies (English, Spanish)
  • Instruction manual for the legal profession on the prosecution of illegal traffic (English, Spanish)
  • Form for confirmed cases of illegal traffic (English)
  • Illegal traffic under the Basel Convention - leaflet (English, Spanish)
  • Controlling transboundary movements of hazardous wastes - leaflet (English, Spanish)