The Malaysian government foiled an attempt to illegally ship five containers of used lead-acid batteries through the country’s largest port on March 30.
The country’s Ministry of the Environment (CASA) through the Department of the Environment (DOE) said it had stopped the cargo in Port Klang following information shared by the Australian government.
The illegal activity was discovered when investigators found the address listed in the consignment’s delivery record was fake.
It is believed the used lead-acid batteries were being shipped from Australia.
The container unit is part of 23 containers of hazardous waste that are expected to be shipped to Malaysia, partially detained in Australian ports.
Malaysia’s Department of Environment issued a notice under Section 31(1) and Section 37(1) under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to the shipping company to send the container back to Australia.
Used lead-acid batteries are classified as a hazardous waste under the Basel Convention and categorised as a scheduled waste under the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Waste) Regulations 2005.
The delivery of the container was made without the approval of the Department of Environment (DOE) that acts as the authoritative figure under the Basel Convention for Malaysia.”
The country’s Ministry said in a statement on 3 April, that: “Success in addressing this attempt to illegally bring in dangerous wastes was the result of a two-way collaboration between the Government of Malaysia and the Australian Government to curb the movement of dangerous wastes across the border.
“The DOE will continue to work with the Australian Government to ensure that all five containers are returned and investigations and enforcement actions can be taken by the relevant parties.”
The seizure of the containers was done together with the Royal Malaysian Customs, Port Klang Authority and Westport Sdn Bhd.
Any importation and exportation of scheduled waste into or out of Malaysia must obtain the prior written approval of the Director General of Environmental Quality as required under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act, 1974.
Pursuant to the Basel Convention, any exporting country must submit a notification to the importing country and obtain the prior written consent of the importing country before any cross-border movement can take place.