Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes

Barranquilla, Colombia, from 10 to 12 December 2014

Background: Under the Basel Convention, each Party is required to take appropriate legal administrative and other measures to implement and enforce the provisions of the Convention, including appropriate national/domestic legislation to prevent and punish illegal traffic (art. 4.4 and 9.5). The Secretariat’s activities support the effective implementation of these requirements and hence the achievement of fundamental objectives of the Convention.

According to Annex A part II of the Stockholm Convention, Parties to the Convention are obliged to eliminate equipment and oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from use by 2025 and bring these under environmentally sound waste management by 2028.

Over the years, the Secretariat carried out a number of training activities to support parties in preventing and combating illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes, including more recently two workshops that focused on the prosecution of illegal traffic. The first workshop for prosecutors took place in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic, on 26-27 June 2012 for countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The workshop for Central and South America took place on 28-29 August 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Furthermore, the Secretariat provided support to Parties on the environmentally sound management of POPs wastes including PCBs wastes in a series of regional workshops that took place in 2009 and 2010. The Secretariat also undertook activities to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition in implementing the Basel Convention technical guidelines on POPs waste, including PCBs. These as well as a number of documents and guidance on inventory of PCBs and environmentally sound management of PCBs, have been prepared by the Secretariat.

Organized by: The sub-regional workshop was organized by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia in collaboration with the Basel Convention Regional Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Objectives of the workshop

The objectives of this workshop wer:

  • To improve the understanding of the participants of the Basel Convention provisions relating to the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs, and other wastes, as well as of relevant guidance documents developed to prevent and combat such illegal traffic;
  • To promote information exchange between competent authorities and enforcement entities of participating countries with respect to cases of illegal traffic;
  • To increase awareness of existing networks, or stimulating the formation of new networks of authorities dealing with environmental matters, in particular the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs, and other wastes; and
  • To share best practices on enforcement of the Basel Convention provisions.

Target audience

The workshop brought together the competent authorities of the Basel Convention and the other entities involved in the enforcement chain at the national level from Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Panama. Representatives from a number of international organizations and civil society organizations such as European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), UTE - Empresa Eléctrica, Red Latinoamericana de MP Ambiental, and the Basel Convention Regional Centre in Argentina (BCRC-Argentina) also participated in the workshop.


  • Participants gained a better understanding of the obligations of the Basel and the Stockholm Conventions with regard to the illegal traffic of hazardous wastes and other wastes and environmentally sound management of PCBs and PCBs wastes;
  • Participants enhanced their knowledge on the Basel Convention preventing and combating illegal traffic of hazardous and other wastes as well as wastes containing PCBs;
  • Participants benefitted from lessons learned resulting from concrete case studies;
  • Participants were informed of the challenges in prosecuting cases of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs, and other wastes under the Basel Convention - for instance as they relate to the definition and identification of hazardous wastes and other wastes, whom to prosecute, national coordination and international cooperation - and of possible ways to overcome these; and
  • Participants were informed of the existence of enforcement and other networks and encouraged to join, or create, as appropriate, such networks.
  • Participants also benefited from a field trip to the PCB-management facility (Lito S.A.S. Barranquilla).

Workshop Documents

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Information for participants

Information note for the meeting (English ,Spanish) 


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Preparatory online meeting

All confirmed participants for the workshop are expected to participate in the preparatory online meeting scheduled the 26 November 2014 at 16:00 Geneva time (GMT+2). The attendance in the online meeting is a prerequisite for participating in the workshop. The link for taking part in this online meeting will be sent by email to all the participants.

Contact information:

For questions regarding the training please contact Tatiana Terekhova ( or Lina Fortelius (