State funds management and performance of international obligations in hazardous wastes treatment (Basel Convention)
Report ID: 29
The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic share a part of the state border. Both countries experience similar issues related to trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, at present mainly illegal import of wastes from neighboring countries. The Supreme Audit Office, Czech Republic (SAO, CR) and the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic (SAO SR) agreed to carry out coordinated audits in order to learn about the performance of international obligations in the management of hazardous wastes, operation and scope of exchange of information among the signatories to the Basel Convention, a system of financing of measures aimed at improving the environment, and the level of international cooperation. The audits were performed in accordance with intentions of the work plan of the EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing for 2002-2005.
The joint Conclusions and Recommendations of the audit were:
- After customs controls were abolished at border crossings due to the accession to the EU, illegal import of wastes from neighboring countries increased both in the SR and CR. In this context, intra-state controls of trans-boundary transport of wastes became crucially important. However, this situation was not sufficiently reflected in valid legislation in a flexible manner.
- Pertinent state administration bodies (Slovak Environmental Inspectorate, Czech Environmental Inspectorate and customs bodies) lack sufficient powers to effectively prevent illegal transport of wastes.
- With regard to the existing low effectiveness of fines, which are in practice imposed at the lowest level of the penalty range, there is a need to increase not only the upper limit, but also the lowest limit of fines.
- Measures taken in waste management resulted neither in a decrease in the generation of hazardous wastes nor in an increase of their recovery and hence the amount of hazardous waste disposed of has not been reduced.
- Vague legal regulations on waste management, which allow ambiguous interpretation, their frequent amendments, complexity and belatedness result in their low effectiveness.