Company illegally brought in e-waste into Malaysia fined

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): A Hong Kong-based company, whose container was detained by Malaysian authorities in February this year, has been convicted by a Hong Kong court for violating the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

Department of Environment (DoE) director-general Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar, in a statement on Monday (Sept 20), Union Fortune Limited was charged in the Fanling Magistrate’s Court on Sept 14 and fined HKD13,000 (about RM7,000) for violating the WDO.

Wan Abdul Latiff said a container was detained in Malaysia on Feb 21 by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department as a result of cooperation and information sharing between the two countries’ enforcement agencies on illegal transboundary movement activities.

The container was found carrying scheduled electrical and electronic waste (e-waste), namely printed circuit boards (PCB), which is categorised as scheduled waste in the First Schedule of the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005.

The importation of the PCB was made without obtaining approval from the Malaysian Basel Convention Authority, namely the DoE and classified as illegal as stipulated in Article 9 of the Basel Convention.

According to the Basel Convention on The Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the exporting country must submit a notification to the importing country and obtain prior written permission from the importing country before any transboundary movement activity is carried out.

Following the detention, Wan Abdul Latiff said the DoE had issued a notice under Section 31 (1) and Section 37 (1) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to the importing company and ordered the container to be sent back to its place of origin, Hong Kong.

The container was sent back on April 8 and arrived in Hong Kong on May 6.

He said the DoE had also sent a notification under Article 9 of the Basel Convention to the Hong Kong Basel Convention Authority, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) regarding the illegal transboundary movement.

Meanwhile, Wan Abdul Latiff said the DoE had so far detained 151 containers carrying illegal scheduled wastes with 67 of them having been sent back. - Bernama

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