Hazardous Waste (Control of
Export, Import and Transit) Act
(CHAPTER 122A)

(Original Enactment: Act 13 of 1997)

REVISED EDITION 1998
(30th May 1998)
An Act to provide for the regulation of the export, import and transit of hazardous and other wastes, and for related purposes.
[16th March 1998]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Hazardous Waste (Control of Export, Import and Transit) Act.
Interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Antarctica” means the area south of 60º South Latitude, including all ice shelves in that area;
“Article 11 arrangement” has the meaning given to it by section 7;
“authorised officer” means a person appointed under section 16 as an authorised officer;
“Basel Convention” means the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and any amendment or protocol thereto which has come into force and has been accepted by the Government, a copy of the English text of which is set out in the Schedule;
“Basel export permit” means a permit given in accordance with the Basel Convention permitting the export of hazardous or other waste;
“Basel import permit” means a permit given in accordance with the Basel Convention permitting the import of hazardous or other waste;
“Basel permit” means a Basel export permit, a Basel import permit or a Basel transit permit;
“Basel transit permit” means a permit given in accordance with the Basel Convention permitting the carrying out of one or more transit proposals relating to hazardous or other waste;
“competent authority”, in relation to a foreign country, means —
(a)if the country is a party to the Basel Convention — the competent authority of the country within the meaning of the Basel Convention; and
(b)otherwise — a person or an organisation that officially represents the country;
“deal with”, in relation to hazardous or other waste, includes dispose of;
“Director” means the Director of Hazardous Waste appointed under section 15 and includes the Deputy Director and Assistant Directors of Hazardous Waste;
“disposal” means an operation specified in Annex IV to the Basel Convention;
“environmentally sound management”, in relation to hazardous or other waste, has the meaning given to it by section 8;
“export permit” means a Basel export permit or a special export permit;
“export proposal” means a proposal to export hazardous or other waste and to deal with it outside Singapore;
“foreign country” includes —
(a)a colony, overseas territory, overseas province or protectorate of a foreign country;
(b)a territory outside Singapore, where a foreign country is to any extent responsible for the international relations of the territory; and
(c)a territory outside Singapore that is to some extent self-governing, but that is not recognised as an independent sovereign state by Singapore;
“holder”, in relation to a Basel permit or a special permit, means the person to whom the permit was granted;
“household waste” means waste collected from households, but does not include such waste as may be specified in any regulations made under this Act;
“import permit” means a Basel import permit or a special import permit;
“import proposal” means a proposal to import hazardous or other waste and to deal with it in Singapore;
“permit application” means an application for a Basel or special permit;
“permit condition” means a condition specified in —
(a)a Basel permit;
(b)a notice specified in any regulations made under section 17 varying a Basel permit;
(c)a special permit; or
(d)a notice under a set of Article 11 regulations varying a special permit;
“platform” includes any structure at sea, whether fixed or not fixed, but does not include a vessel;
“premises” includes any place, whether or not enclosed or built on;
“relevant person”, in relation to a searchable place, means —
(a)in the case of premises in Singapore, the occupier of the premises; and
(b)in any other case, the person in command or control, or who appears to be in command or control, of the place;
“searchable place” means —
(a)any premises in Singapore;
(b)an aircraft, a vehicle or a vessel within the jurisdiction of Singapore;
(c)a Singapore aircraft;
(d)a Singapore platform; or
(e)a Singapore vessel;
“set of Article 11 regulations” has the meaning given to it by section 19;
“Singapore aircraft” means an aircraft that is registered in Singapore;
“Singapore platform” means a platform —
(a)that is fixed to the seabed or subsoil beneath Singapore waters; or
(b)that is otherwise operating in Singapore waters;
“Singapore vessel” means a vessel that is registered in Singapore;
“Singapore waters” means the following waters:
(a)the whole of the sea within the seaward limits of the territorial waters of Singapore; and
(b)all other waters (including inland waters) which are within these limits and are subject to the ebb and flow of the ordinary tides;
“special export permit” means a permit under a set of Article 11 regulations permitting the export of hazardous or other waste;
“special import permit” means a permit under a set of Article 11 regulations permitting the import of hazardous or other waste;
“special permit” means a special export permit, a special import permit or a special transit permit;
“special transit permit” means a permit under a set of Article 11 regulations permitting the carrying out of one or more transit proposals relating to hazardous or other waste;
“through bill of lading” or “through airway bill” means a bill of lading or airway bill, as the case may be, for the consignment of goods from a place outside Singapore to a final destination outside Singapore without a consignee in Singapore;
“transit permit” means a Basel transit permit or a special transit permit;
“transit proposal” has the meaning given to it by section 6;
“vessel” means anything capable of carrying persons or goods through or on water, and includes an air-cushion vehicle or similar craft;
“waste” means a substance or object that is —
(a)proposed to be disposed of;
(b)disposed of; or
(c)required by any written law to be disposed of.
(2)  In this Act —
(a)a reference to this Act includes a reference to regulations made under this Act;
(b)a reference to an offence under this Act includes a reference to an attempt or conspiracy to commit an offence under this Act or an abetment of an offence under this Act;
(c)“within the jurisdiction of Singapore” means within or over Singapore or Singapore waters.
Treatment of colonies, etc.
3.—(1)  For the purposes of this Act, if —
(a)a territory is covered by either of the following subparagraphs:
(i)a colony, overseas territory, overseas province or protectorate of a foreign country;
(ii)a territory outside Singapore, where a foreign country is to any extent responsible for the international relations of the territory;
(b)the foreign country is a party to the Basel Convention; and
(c)the territory is not specified in any regulations made under this Act,
the territory is taken to be a party to the Basel Convention.
(2)  For the purposes of this Act, if a territory is covered by any of the following paragraphs:
(a)a colony, overseas territory, overseas province or protectorate of a foreign country;
(b)a territory outside Singapore, where a foreign country is to any extent responsible for the international relations of the territory; or
(c)a territory outside Singapore that is to some extent self-governing, but that is not recognised as an independent sovereign state by Singapore,
a person or an organisation that officially represents the territory is taken to be a competent authority of the territory.
(3)  Subsection (2) has effect despite anything in the definition of “competent authority” in section 2(1).
Meaning of hazardous and other wastes
4.  Subject to section 5, for the purposes of this Act —
(a)“hazardous waste” means —
(i)waste prescribed by any regulations made under this Act, where the waste has any of the characteristics mentioned in Annex III to the Basel Convention; or
(ii)waste that belongs to any category contained in Annex I to the Basel Convention, unless it does not possess any of the characteristics contained in Annex III to that Convention;
(b)“other waste” means —
(i)household waste; or
(ii)residues arising from the incineration of household waste,
but hazardous and other wastes do not include wastes which derive from the normal operations of a ship and radioactive wastes.
Exports and transits to foreign countries — extended meaning of hazardous and other wastes
5.—(1)  This section has effect for the purposes of the application of this Act —
(a)to the export or proposed export of a substance or object to a particular foreign country; or
(b)to, or to the carrying out of, a transit proposal that involves the taking out of Singapore of a substance or object to a particular foreign country.
(2)  If —
(a)the foreign country is a party to the Basel Convention;
(b)the Minister is satisfied that, under a law of that country that gives effect to the Basel Convention, the particular substance or object is, in particular circumstances, classified as hazardous or other waste; and
(c)apart from this section, the particular substance or object is not hazardous or other waste,
the Minister shall, by notification in the Gazette, declare that that substance or object is, in those circumstances, hazardous or other waste for those purposes.
(3)  If —
(a)the Minister is satisfied that the foreign country classifies particular waste collected from the households as hazardous or other waste; and
(b)apart from this section, the waste is not hazardous waste,
the Minister shall, by notification in the Gazette, declare that that waste is hazardous or other waste for those purposes.
(4)  A declaration under this section shall have effect accordingly.
(5)  The Minister shall revoke a declaration made under this section if he ceases to be satisfied of the matter referred to in subsection (2)(b) or (3)(a), as the case may be.
(6)  The revocation of a declaration shall be published in the Gazette.
Transit proposals
6.—(1)  This section sets out the proposals that are transit proposals for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  A proposal —
(a)to bring hazardous or other waste into Singapore for the purpose of being carried to a foreign country either by the same or another conveyance; and
(b)if the waste is brought into Singapore by sea or air, the carriage is on a through bill of lading or through airway bill,
is a transit proposal so long as it is not proposed to dispose of the waste in Singapore.
Article 11 arrangements
7.—(1)  If —
(a)Singapore has entered into an agreement or arrangement; and
(b)the Minister is satisfied that the agreement or arrangement is of a kind mentioned in Article 11 of the Basel Convention,
the Minister shall, by notice published in the Gazette, declare that the agreement or arrangement is an Article 11 arrangement for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  A declaration under this section shall have effect accordingly.
(3)  The Minister shall revoke a declaration made under this section if he ceases to be satisfied of the matter referred to in subsection (1)(b).
(4)  A revocation made under subsection (3) shall be published in the Gazette.
Environmentally sound management of hazardous or other waste
8.  A reference in this Act to the environmentally sound management of hazardous or other waste is a reference to taking all practicable steps to ensure that the waste is managed in a manner that will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects that may result from the waste.
Article 11 arrangements — substances taken to be hazardous or other waste
9.—(1)  This section has effect for the purposes of the application of this Act —
(a)to the import or proposed import of a substance or object from a particular foreign country;
(b)to the export or proposed export of a substance or object to a particular foreign country; or
(c)to, or to the carrying out of, a transit proposal that involves the taking out of Singapore of a substance or object to a particular foreign country.
(2)  If —
(a)the country is a party to an Article 11 arrangement;
(b)the substance or object is subject to notification or control under the arrangement; and
(c)apart from this section, the substance or object is not hazardous or other waste,
the substance or object is taken to be hazardous or other waste for those purposes.
Article 11 arrangements — substances not classified as hazardous or other waste
10.—(1)  This section has effect for the purposes of the application of this Act —
(a)to the import or proposed import of a substance or object from a particular foreign country;
(b)to the export or proposed export of a substance or object to a particular foreign country; or
(c)to, or to the carrying out of, a transit proposal that involves the taking out of Singapore of a substance or object to a particular foreign country.
(2)  If —
(a)the country is a party to an Article 11 arrangement; and
(b)the arrangement expressly provides that the substance or object is not subject to notification or control under the arrangement,
the substance or object is taken not to be hazardous or other waste for those purposes.
Time limit for compliance with permit condition
11.—(1)  For the purposes of this Act, if —
(a)the Director specifies the day on or before which a permit condition relating to a Basel or special permit is to be complied with; and
(b)the condition is not complied with on or before that day,
the holder of the permit is to be taken to have breached the condition at the end of that day.
(2)  For the purposes of this Act, if —
(a)under a set of Article 11 regulations, the Minister specifies the day on or before which a permit condition relating to a special permit is to be complied with; and
(b)the condition is not complied with on or before that day,
the holder of the permit is taken to have breached that condition at the end of that day.
Exemption of naval vessels, military aircraft, etc.
12.  This Act shall not apply to or in relation to any vessel or aircraft belonging to the naval, military or air forces of Singapore or any other country.
Act binds the Government
13.  This Act binds the Government.
Other written laws not affected
14.  This Act is in addition to, and not in derogation of or substitution for, any other written law, whether enacted before or after 16th March 1998.