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The Environment Ministry is planning to tighten restrictions on exports of electronic waste by fully revising the so-called Basel law on trade in hazardous waste, according to a ministry source.

The ministry is expected to decide at an advisory panel meeting Wednesday to set up a special committee to deepen discussions on the matter, with the aim of submitting a bill to revise the law during the next regular Diet session.

The law has not been revised since its enactment in 1992 to comply with the Basel Convention, an international treaty to control cross-border transfers of hazardous waste, specifically from developed to developing countries.

Under the convention, anyone exporting waste materials containing hazardous substances such as polychlorinated biphenyl and lead is obliged to obtain written consent from the governments of the destination countries in advance.

The Environment Ministry plans to clarify what materials are subject to such restrictions while relaxing import procedures for waste materials with a lower risk of contaminating the environment, the source said Tuesday.

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