Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Green Customs Initiative

A a five days Workshop of World Customs Organization (WCO)'s Green Customs on Environment Border Protection is underway in Faridabad, Haryana.

When the presentation on Rotterdam Convention was over, one asked whether WCO & the customs of its member countries have the competence to segregate and identify all kinds of asbestos. Whether they would be able to distinguish between chrysotile & others.The resource person from Europe was speechless. But an Australian lady participant said, in her country there is Zero tolerance, the same cannot be said about Europe. Responding to it a Dutch participant said, from June 2009 onwards even in Europe, there would be Zero tolerance.

One of the Indian focal points of on Rotterdam Convention from Agriculture Ministry informed & corroborated what was known as to how Ministry of Environment which wished chrysotile to be included in the PIC list at the last COP of the Rotterdam Convention in Rome was overruled by Chemicals Ministry। Although I have doubts but he said, this time around India is unlikely to oppose its inclusion in the PIC list. the Convention list all kinds of asbestos except chrysotile in its listof prior informed consent for hazardous substances.

Customs officials seemed more progressive than other officials of the government, however, the same cannot be about the Chinese Customs who favoured nation specific definitions of hazardous materials and wastes.

They are discussing all the relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). It is co-organised by UNEP & National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN), India. WCO has launched a Green Customs Initiative.

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