The Ministry of the Environment of Japan has reminded its relevant industry sectors and groups that Hong Kong SAR might ban the import of second-hand televisions and computer monitors from Japan because it has identified harmful chemicals from those products.

The second-hand TV sets and computer monitors exported from Japan to Hong Kong are just one category of goods that have been refused by Hong Kong this year. Greenpeace's Liu Lichan has told local media that if these second-hand electrical appliances are not properly disposed of, they might turn into e-waste.

Currently many countries have joined the Basel Convention to prevent e-waste from entering the developing countries from the developed countries. The Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong is the department responsible for the Convention in Hong Kong. However, as Hong Kong is currently a free harbor, many countries regard it as a transfer station and stock second-hand home appliances or e-waste there. Li says that Hong Kong SAR's move is good for reducing e-waste's flow into less developed regions, but it is yet unknown whether the measure is temporary or permanent.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is one of the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes. The Convention has 170 Parties and aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous and other wastes. The Basel Convention came into force in 1992.


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