The ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal convened for its third day on Wednesday, 25 June 2008. Delegates met in the COW throughout the day, informal consultations were held on evaluation and strategic planning, and contact groups on BCRCs and finance and  the work programme met concurrently. In the late afternoon, an open-ended consultation discussed an initiative by COP9 President on the Ban Amendment.

Contact groups reported on the progress of their work. Finance and work programme contact group Co-Chair Bláha outlined pending issues, including: a  proposal by the EU to replace the OEWG with a small technical group; staffing  matters; and a proposal to change the currency of contributions. Legal matters contact group Chair Jürg Bally reported that progress had been made addressing the interpretation of Article 17(5) but no consensus had been reached.


Technical Matters:
Delegates agreed to forward to plenary draft decisions without amendment on: the review of technical guidelines, on incineration and land, specially engineered landfill, and wastes collected from households (UNEP/CHW.9/21); and the national classification and control procedures for the import of wastes contained in Annex IX (UNEP/CHW.9/26).
During discussions on the review of work on the guidance papers on characteristics H10 (liberation of toxic gases in contact with air or water) and H11 (chronically toxic substances or wastes) (UNEP/CHW.9/22), the EU suggested, and delegates agreed, to postpone the date for submitting comments to the Secretariat to 31 January 2009, and to work on characteristic H11 but not H10. The papers were forwarded to plenary with minor amendments.

The review of cooperation with the World Customs Organization and its Harmonized System Committee pursuant to decision VIII/20 (UNEP/CHW.9/23) was discussed. New text requesting the Secretariat to compile an analysis of its work on the subject and prepare a report for submission to the OEWG’s seventh session was added, and the draft decision was forwarded to plenary as amended. The Secretariat introduced a review or adjustment of the lists of wastes contained in Annexes VIII and IX of the Basel Convention (UNEP/CHW.9/24).

Delegates agreed to note progress on this issue in the report of the meeting. An amended draft decision on harmonization and coordination (UNEP/CHW.9/25) was forwarded to plenary after the EU proposed adding a new second paragraph inviting nominations for the chair of the Joint Correspondence Group by 30 November 2008.
On hazardous waste minimization pursuant to decision VIII/23, the Secretariat reported that no parties had submitted input on their experiences. Delegates agreed to discuss this during consideration of the new strategic framework and the effectiveness of the Basel Convention.

Delegates forwarded the draft decisions on technical guidelines on the ESM of mercury waste (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.2) and on POP wastes(UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.3) to plenary, noting that some of the dates and references may be amended subject to the outcome of the finance and work programme contact group. The draft decision on ESM of used tyres (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.6) was also referred to plenary. Cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions: IRAN requested additional time to study the AHJWG recommendation, but agreed to refer the matter to plenary.

International cooperation and coordination: The Secretariat introduced a report and draft decision on international cooperation and coordination (UNEP/CHW.9/15) and the draft decision was forwarded to plenary. The Secretariat presented a report on cooperation between the Basel Convention and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (UNEP/CHW.9/16) pursuant to decisions VIII/9 and OEWG-VI/18.

IMO pointed out that the secretariats of the Basel Convention and IMO had set up a joint technical cooperation project designed to build the hazardous waste management capacity of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and others in the region. JAPAN called for further information and analysis before discussing the issue, while CHINA, supported by ARGENTINA, MEXICO and LIBYA, supported establishing a mechanism for cooperation between the Basel Convention and the IMO. Delegates inserted a paragraph under “proposed actions