PUTRAJAYA (Dec 15): The Department of Environment (DOE) will continue to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of the importation of electronic waste (e-waste) to ensure that Malaysia is not used as a transit or disposal site for e-waste from developed countries.
Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said from January to November, a total of 31 of 59 containers detained by the DOE in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) were found to be carrying e-waste.
DOE issued 18 notifications under Section 31 and Section 37 of the Environmental Quality Act (EAQ) 1974 to order the containers to be returned to the country of origin for carrying items containing e-waste without obtaining prior approval.
“To date, a total of 19 containers have been returned to their countries of origin such as the United States, Spain, Australia, Belgium and Japan,” he said in a statement issued after conducting an operation to combat e-waste trading in Port Klang, Selangor on Thursday.
Based on the Basel Convention on The Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, all scheduled cross-border movements of waste such as e-waste must have prior approval before any transit, transhipment, import and export activities are carried out.
Nik Nazmi said based on JKDM information, three other containers that were inspected at the West Port, Klang on Dec 8 were also found to contain waste materials imported from the United States and Spain.
“The waste materials are used computer hardware and wires which are categorised as electrical and electronic waste (SW 110) or e-waste.
“The inspection found that the importer had declared the e-waste as aluminum scrap,” he said and added that a Notice of Instruction would be issued to the importing company to return the containers to the country of origin.
He said strict action will be taken against importers who fail to comply with the regulations and laws including sending back the imported e-waste containers to the country of origin in accordance with Article 9 of the Basel Convention.
“Malaysia has a good and close relationship with the members of the Basel Convention in combating illegal importation of scheduled waste across borders.
“I would also like to emphasise that any agent, shipping company that imports any e-waste into Malaysia will face strict action,” he said.