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Japan: Basel Act Amended

(Sept. 12, 2017) The Act on Control of Export, Import, etc. of Specified Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes (Basel Convention Act, Act No. 108 of 1992, E-GOV (in Japanese) is a Japanese domestic law corresponding to the Basel Convention to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.  (Overview, Basel […]

Germany: Nonprofits May Engage in Non-Partisan Politics Without Losing Tax-Exempt Status

(Sept. 8, 2017) In a decision published on August 9, 2017, the German Federal Financial Court (Bundesfinanzhof, BFH) held that nonprofit corporations may engage in non-partisan politics without losing their tax-exempt status. (Bundesfinanzhof [BFH] [Federal Financial Court], docket no. X R 13/15 (Aug. 9, 2017), BFH website in German).) The Court stated that a nonprofit corporation […]

Japan: Chemical Substances Control Law Amended

(Sept. 6, 2017) Japan’s Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL) aims to prevent environmental pollution caused by chemical substances that pose a risk to human health and interfere with the habitat and healthy development of flora and fauna.  (Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture etc., Act No. 117 of 1973, […]

China: National Plan on Banning “Foreign Garbage” and Reducing Solid Waste Imports

(Aug. 8, 2017) On July 27, 2017, China’s State Council released the Implementation Plan on Banning Entry of Foreign Garbage and Reforming the Administrative System of Solid Waste Importation (Plan). The Plan announces that by the end of 2017 solid waste posing a serious threat to the environment and causing widespread public concern will be […]

Seychelles: Ban on Plastics Takes Effect

As a solution to a major solid waste management problem, a ban on plastics came into effect on July 1, 2017, in the Republic of Seychelles. (Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, Notification: Seychelles – Plastic Bags, G/TBT/N/SYC/3 (July 2, 2017), World Trade Organization (WTO) website (click on “English” hyperlink to view text of the […]

Indonesia: Fishing Regulation to Be Implemented

(July 20, 2017) Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, recently announced that the use of cantrang, a kind of seine net for fishing, will no longer be permitted in Indonesian waters after December of this year. Cantrangs are part of a class of nets considered harmful to the environment in general and to […]

UK: Grocery Store Fined over US$11 Million for Gasoline Discharge

(July 11, 2017) Tesco Stores Ltd, a large chain of grocery stores and gas stations in the United Kingdom, was fined £8 million (about US$11 million) for a large-scale pollution event in Lancashire after 23,500 liters (about 6,200 gallons) of gasoline leaked from a filling tank over a period of 29 hours at a petrol […]

Iran: Law to Protect Wetlands

(July 10, 2017) In an effort to counteract the combined effects of climate change, water crises, and human activities that have turned Iran’s once-thriving wetlands into sources of dust and sand storms, the Iranian Parliament has passed the Law to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Country’s Wetlands (Wetlands Protection Law). (Law on Wetlands Protection Ready, […]

China: Laws Amended to Allow Prosecutors to Bring Public Interest Lawsuits

(July 6, 2017) On June 27, 2017, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) issued a decision on amending the Civil Procedure Law and the Administrative Procedure Law, formally allowing Chinese procuratorates, which in general serve as the prosecutors in criminal cases, to bring public interest lawsuits. (Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui Changwu Weiyuanhui Guanyu […]

United Nations: Treaty on Mercury to Come into Force

(June 7, 2017) On May 19, 2017, the United Nations announced that the Minamata Convention on Mercury will become effective on August 16, 2017.  The Convention has been signed by 128 countries and now ratified or acceded to by more than 50 states, including most recently Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, and Sweden.  […]