Over the past twenty years or so several global and regional agreements
have emerged to address the problems associated with international shipments
of hazardous substances. Such agreements are found in three main areas
covering three categories of goods: hazardous wastes (Basel convention, Bamako
convention, and a number of regional agreements), certain chemicals (Rotterdam
Convention), and genetically modified organisms (Cartagena Protocol). .
This ground-breaking study is the first book to take a comprehensive approach
to the subject of transboundary shipments of hazardous substances and the
instruments employed for regulating such shipments. It fully explains which
types of trade regulating instruments are employed by which agreements, and
then goes on to evaluate the pros and cons of these instruments with respect
to their compatibility with international legal norms, especially WTO law. For
the first time in any book, the various international legal regimes (hazardous
waste, hazardous chemicals, and biosafety) are compared, based on such
criteria as the following:
effectiveness of the regulatory instruments;
ability to protect the environment and/or human health;
ability to accommodate new information; and
where they place effective decision-making ability and authority.
At the heart of the thesis is a recognition that the concept of prior informed
consent (PIC) – a relatively new instrument for controlling international
trade flows – has become a central tenet in hazardous trade regulation. The
author demonstrates that PIC seems to offer a promising way to strengthen the
ability to protect the environment and human health without unnecessarily
impeding the free flow of goods, thus effectively addressing persistent
conflicts between trade and environmental protection. Taken in conjunction
with other trade-regulating measures, his analysis assesses the PIC
concept/procedure from three perspectives: its effect on state sovereignty,
its potential for enhancing environmental and health protection in importing
states, and its relationship with the free-trade regime, represented primarily
by the GATT and the SPS and TBT Agreements of the WTO.
The analysis also includes coverage of the pertinent export laws of the EU and
the United States, and of the export and import laws of India pertaining to
potentially hazardous substances and products.
Prior Informed Consent and Hazardous Trade vividly clarifies the
objectives pursued by the international regulation of trade in hazardous
substances – to strengthen regulatory control, to protect human health and the
environment, and to prevent unjustified impediments to free trade. In its
deeply-informed assessment of the relative weight attributed to each of these
objectives, and in its keen analysis of the implications of that weighing on
effective decision-making capacity with respect to hazardous trade, this book
will be of immeasurable value to lawyers, policymakers and academics working
with issues related to transboundary movements of hazardous substances, and
especially with conflicts between trade and environmental protection.
List of Tables. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations.
Part I: Issues and Concepts. 1.
Introduction. 2. International Law Premises. 3. Sovereignty.
4. Hazardous Trade as Transboundary Harm. Part II: Hazardous-Trade
Regimes. 5. The Hazardous-Waste Regime. 6. The Hazardous-Chemicals
Regime. 7. The Biosafety Regime . 8. Comparison and Analysis of
the Hazardous-Trade Regimes.
III: The Free-Trade Regime. 9. Free-Trade Law. 10. WTO Law. 11.
Conflicts between the Environmental Regime and the Free-Trade Regime.
Part IV: Analysis and Reflections. 12. Objectives and
Regulatory Instruments. 13. Further Aspects of PIC. 14. General
Conclusions. Tables of Materials. Treaties and Laws. Cases. Bibliography.
Official Documents. Miscellaneous. Index.