Banning the import and introduction of hazardous waste into the Kingdom


The new waste management system prohibits the import or introduction of hazardous waste into the Kingdom or its territorial waters or other marine areas over which the Kingdom exercises sovereignty or jurisdiction rights.

The executive regulations of the system approved by the Council of Ministers and published by Umm Al-Qura newspaper yesterday confirmed that the National Center for Waste Management has the right to propose the collection of fees for the import, export and transit of waste, and the center also sets the financial compensation for waste producers, in addition to assigning some services to the private sector.

The system defined hazardous waste as waste classified as hazardous waste based on the provisions of the Law and the Regulations, resulting from industrial or non-industrial activities that contain toxic, flammable or reactive materials, corrosive materials, solvents, or degreasing materials. oils, colourings, pasty residues, acids and alkalis.

As for marine media waste, it is the waste that results from all modes of transportation and floating units that are used to carry out marine activities, including ships, fishing boats, picnics, or marine sports.

The system aims to regulate the activities of all waste, its transportation, sorting, storage, import, export, treatment and safe disposal, including aftercare at waste disposal sites, while the provisions of the system do not apply to radioactive, nuclear and military waste.

It is not permissible to practice any activity related to waste management without obtaining a license or permit from the center, according to the terms and requirements of each activity, and as specified by the regulation.

And everyone who practices an activity related to waste management must provide the best environmental and economic results, according to priorities, recycling, resource recovery, and safe disposal.

Without prejudice to the relevant statutory provisions, every person concerned with implementing voluntary programmes, plans or initiatives related to waste management must fulfill the controls issued by the center, in accordance with what is specified by the regulation.

Ownership of waste is transferred to the state in two cases, the first of which is placing the waste in or near the containers designated for it, and placing the waste in any public location for its storage, or at safe disposal sites. The center has the right to dispose of waste in a manner that achieves financial sustainability and covers the operational costs of the competent authorities. The competent authorities may dispose of the waste after the approval of the Center, in accordance with what is specified by the regulation.

It is prohibited to leave all kinds of waste, bury it, burn it, dump it or throw it in places other than those designated for it. The regulation shall specify the necessary controls for this.

The center prepares the comprehensive strategic plan for waste management in the Kingdom – in coordination with the relevant authorities – with updating it as needed, and also prepares contingency plans, as specified by the regulation.

Each competent authority shall develop operational plans for waste management that are compatible with the comprehensive strategic plan for waste management issued by the center.

The center issues the controls and requirements that the service provider and waste producer must follow, classify the waste according to its dangers and impacts on public health and the environment, and set the necessary terms and conditions for that.

According to the system, each producer and importer must bear the extended responsibility of the producer, in order to achieve financial sustainability in the waste management sector based on the principle of a circular economy. The regulation determines the procedures, controls and requirements necessary for this.

It is prohibited to import or introduce hazardous wastes into the Kingdom or into its territorial waters or other marine areas over which the Kingdom exercises sovereignty or jurisdiction rights in accordance with international law, without obtaining a license, and the Regulations shall specify the necessary conditions for this.

Waste or recycled materials specified by the Center may not be imported, exported, re-exported or transited without obtaining a license.

Devices, equipment and products that are not new or that have been recycled and which the Center determines and classify as waste, may not be imported, exported or recycled without obtaining a license. The safe disposal or treatment of any waste, materials, devices, equipment and products that are not new or recycled – referred to in Paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Article – shall be as determined by the Center.

The center’s board of directors may propose the collection of fees for the import, export and transit of waste, and to raise accordingly according to the statutory procedures.

Without prejudice to any more severe penalty provided for in another system, whoever stores, incinerates, treats, dumps or disposes of waste in any way shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years and a fine not exceeding (30,000,000) riyals, or by one of these two penalties. A method that poses a public health hazard or harms the environment.

The Public Prosecution shall investigate and prosecute the violations referred to in Article (29) of the system, before the competent court.

The competent court shall look into the violations referred to in Article (29) of the system, and it may do the following, impose the penalties stipulated in Article (29) of the system, and order the confiscation of the seizures subject of the violation.

This is in addition to imposing a fine for each day in which the violator continues to violate, not exceeding (10%) of the amount of the fine mentioned in Article (29), provided that the calculation of this fine begins from the date specified by the judgment.

And double the fine imposed on the violator in the event of return. Whoever returns to committing the violation within three years from the date of obtaining the final judgment shall be considered a returnee. This system replaces the Municipal Solid Waste Management System, issued by Royal Decree No. (M/48) dated 9/17/1434 AH, as it is implemented after 60 days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

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