Hazardous waste

Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989

A review of data on lead-acid batteries entering Australia and arising as waste

The report, A review of data on lead-acid batteries entering Australia and arising as waste, reviews work done for the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI), data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and some data coming from industry sources.

Public Consultation - Issues paper
The department is undertaking a review of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 and associated regulations to ensure that Australia effectively and efficiently meets its international obligations and national policy objectives for managing hazardous substances, hazardous wastes and other wastes.

An Issues Paper was released on 14 June 2012 as the first stage in the consultation process for the review.

The main purpose of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989 ('the Act') is to regulate the export and import of hazardous waste to ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of safely so that human beings and the environment, both within and outside Australia, are protected from the harmful effects of the waste.

What we do

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities administers and implements the Act. The Act was developed to enable Australia to comply with specific obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal, a Convention set up to control the international movements of hazardous wastes.

The main functions performed by the Department in relation to hazardous waste include:

  • Processing of export, import and transit permit applications under the Act;
  • Ensuring compliance and enforcement with the Act;
  • Preparing, implementing and amending legislation relating to the international movements of hazardous waste to, from or through Australia;
  • Formulating and implementing policies relating to the international movements of hazardous waste to, from or through Australia;
  • Providing administrative assistance to the Hazardous Waste Technical Group which has been established to provide guidance to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on hazardous waste management;
  • Participating in International forums such as the Basel Convention and OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) which deal with the international movements of hazardous waste; and
  • Consulting, preparing and providing information to stakeholders on the Act and the permit process.

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities is the official competent authority for Australia under the Basel Convention and this function is administered by the Hazardous Waste Section.

Publications

Forms and guidelines

Books and reports

Contact us

For further information in relation to the international movement of hazardous waste please contact:

Hazardous Waste Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia
Phone: 1800 803 772
Fax: 02 6274 1164
Email: hwa@environment.gov.au

You are welcome to call in and see us by appointment.