Friday, July 29, 2016

Thailand to ship 196 tonnes of hazardous waste back to Japan

Thai Department of Industrial Works Friday held an event to send more than 190 tonnes of electronic waste back to Japan, after seven containers of hazardous waste were seized two years ago.

Sukda Punkla, deputy permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry said 196 tonnes of hazardous electronic and electrical waste were found illegally imported through Laem Chabang Port in east Thailand in August, 2014. They will be shipped back to Japan and are expected to arrive on Aug. 7.

Accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Industrial Works, the Department of Pollution Control, the Customs Department, and Laem Chabang port and cargo terminal operators, Sukda led an inspection on the containers on Thursday.

They found seven of the eight containers contain electrical waste, which is listed as dangerous under the Hazardous Materials Act, which requires importers to seek permission from authorities before bringing it into the country. Only one container contained scrap metal, copper and aluminum as declared.

Sukda unveiled that it is the first time for Thailand to return hazardous waste to the country of origin under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Japan's Ministry of the Environment will take legal action against those involved in exporting the waste to Thailand, Sukda said, noting that Japan had agreed to accept the return of the shipment.

Under the Basel Convention, Thai and Japanese governments should make a joint effort to tackle the smuggling of hazardous waste.

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