The EU's Impel network of environmental inspectors stressed the need for more harmonised European enforcement of trade in waste after discovering that virtually half of all waste shipments travelling through European seaports are illegal.
Impel carried out a week of checks in October, inspecting documents and 258 ship cargo holds in 17 ports in nine EU countries. Of 140 waste shipments found, 48% breached EU rules. Many turned out to be hazardous wastes bound for developing countries, a practice banned under the UN Basel convention on hazardous waste trade.
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