National training builds capacity on the Basel Convention for plastic waste in the Philippines

22 December 2021

The World Customs Organization (WCO) held a national training for 84 participants of the Philippines Bureau of Customs and Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) from 13 to 15 December 2021. This virtual national training was conducted within the framework of the Asia Pacific Plastic Waste Border Management Project (APPW), which was funded by the Government of Japan with an aim to strengthen implementation of legal and administrative measures to facilitate and enforce policies on transboundary movements of plastic waste of beneficiary Customs Administrations in Asia Pacific region.

This national training’s purpose was to build capacity to prevent cases of illegal traffic of plastic wastes in the Philippines as well as discuss the customs role in facilitation of trade of plastic recyclables. It also sought to discuss the recommendations of the National Implementation Plan (NIP), which was drafted based on the virtual diagnostic mission conducted in the Philippines from 18 to 22 January 2021 within the APPWP by the WCO.

In that regard, speakers from the WCO, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention (SBC) and the United Nations Organization on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC)-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) presented various aspects of procedures in plastic wastes trade as well as enforcement measures. The participants were briefed on the WCO tools and instruments in the area of procedures and trade facilitation, which can contribute to enhance the efficiency of the controls of the transboundary movements of plastic waste such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), SAFE Framework of Standards, including the use of national AEO programmes, Coordinated Border Management (CBM), the Single Window Environment (SWE) and the WCO Data Model.

The participants also received information on the Basel Convention requirements applicable to plastic waste, on the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature to identify the type of plastic waste and determine the applicable procedures, on the Risk Management approach to target illegal trade in plastic waste as well as on the tools and instruments for frontline Customs officers developed by the WCO and the Basel Convention Secretariat. The speakers stressed the importance of a functional relationship with the national environment authorities and of fostering international cooperation for monitoring and controlling transboundary movements of plastic waste.

The three-day workshop has raised the level of awareness of Customs officials on the Basel Convention and its plastic waste amendments that became effective on 1 January 2021. Interactive discussions addressed the critical areas and issues that affect Customs and Environment agencies to efficiently implement controls for the transboundary movement of plastic waste.

In the closing remarks, participants were invited to a regional conference concluding the APPWP, which will be held in February 2022.