The Canada-U.S. agreement was concluded in 1986 and amended in 1992. It deals with cross-border transfers of hazardous waste and other waste between the two countries for recycling or disposal. The bilateral agreement aims, among other things, to provide both countries with safe and inexpensive waste management options, which are lacking either in terms of budgetary capacity or in adequate waste management technology. With the strengthening of environmental legislation (for example. B RCRA) in industrialized countries in the 1970s, hazardous waste disposal costs increased significantly. At the same time, the globalization of shipping has made cross-border waste transfers more accessible and many LDCs have been desperate to find foreign exchange. As a result, trade in hazardous waste, particularly for least developed countries, has evolved rapidly. The agreement also prohibits waste transfers between parties to the agreement and non-parties, unless such transfers are made under a separate agreement. The agreement must put in place an equally robust management structure for cross-border waste transfers. The Basel Convention establishes a global system for monitoring hazardous waste shipped from one country to another. States parties to the agreement may not traffic in hazardous waste with non-contracting parties, but an exception is provided for in Article 11 of the agreement, under which contracting parties may enter into agreements or agreements with other contracting parties or with non-contracting parties.

The first is addressed by a series of general provisions that require states to respect the basic principles of environmentally sound waste management (Article 4). A number of prohibitions are aimed at achieving the second objective: hazardous waste cannot be exported to Antarctica, to a state that is not a party to the Basel Convention, or to a party that has banned the importation of hazardous waste (Article 4). However, contracting parties may enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements on hazardous waste management with other parties or with non-parties, provided that these agreements are “no less environmentally friendly” than the Basel Convention (Article 11). In all cases where, in principle, cross-border movements are not prohibited, it can only take place if it is an environmentally friendly solution, if the principles of environmentally friendly management and non-discrimination are respected and if they are implemented in accordance with the convention`s regulatory system.