Sri Lanka Finance Minister orders Customs to investigate and report on importing hazardous garbage

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera Tuesday ordered the Director General of Customs to immediately inquire into the issue of importing hazardous waste to the country.

The Finance Minister who returned to country after completing a foreign tour has ordered Director General of Customs, Mrs. PSM Charles to conduct an investigation and submit a report to him, Finance Ministry said in a statement.

It has been reported that the extremely hazardous waste material have been brought to the country under the guise of mattresses from the UK.

Over the past two years 111 containers have arrived at the port and the Customs officials have discovered that some shipping containers appeared to contain human clinical waste disguised as recyclable metals.

According to what has been revealed, a private Sri Lankan company has imported municipal solid waste into Sri Lanka. If any country imports municipal waste, it must obtain the permission of the relevant Environmental Authority of the country.

“If any country is importing waste material, it can only be done so with permission from relevant environmental protection agencies, which in Sri Lanka is the Central Environmental Agency (CEA),” the statement said.

“Therefore the Finance Minister has instructed Customs to conduct an investigation and submit a report on the waste containers imported to Sri Lanka.”

The Minister pointed out that if any party has acted in violation of the relevant rules and regulations, stern action will be taken against them.

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