II. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
The Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment is involved, directly or indirectly, in environmental issues, especially through its Department of Environment. The Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia, although an agency under the Ministry, has been referred to above in its own right by virtue of its standing as the national focal point for ISO. Other areas where trade and environment impinge on each other, and which fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry, include illegal trade in wildlife, the movement of toxic and hazardous wastes, and the control of ozone-depleting substances.
Trade in wildlife is covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is implemented locally by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, or Perhilitan, another agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. Enforcement of CITES, which had traditionally focused on wildlife, has of late been somewhat complicated by the emergence of concern over trade in non-animal species, such as ramin, a light hardwood. That move resulted in the involvement of the Ministry of Primary Industries which has reportedly taken up the ramin issue, and efforts to exclude it from the CITES Endangered List are under way.
Toxic and hazardous wastes and ozone-depleting substances are regulated by the Department of Environment through the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, and by the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment through the Montreal Protocol. Over and above those international instruments, control of domestically-derived pollution (indirectly related to trade) emanating from local industries is, as noted above, routinely exercised by the Department of Environment through the Environmental Quality Act, 1974, and its regulations.
In order to handle the trade aspects of toxic and hazardous wastes, and thereby enforce the requirements of the Basel Convention in Malaysia, a new control procedure was set in place under the Customs Act, 1967. The Act put into effect two regulations in August 1993, i.e., the Customs (Prohibition of Exports) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order, 1993, and the Customs (Prohibition of Imports) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order, 1993. Those Orders, enforced jointly by the Royal Customs and Excise Department and the Department of Environment, specify that any export or import of toxic and hazardous wastes into or out of Malaysia must obtain prior written consent from the director-general for Environmental Quality. Following the enforcement of the new regulations, Malaysia acceded to the Basel Convention on 8 October 1993; the date for the Convention to enter into force in Malaysia was set as 6 January 1994. In implementing the Montreal Protocol, a National Steering Committee was established to control and monitor the use of ozone-depleting substances under the auspices of the Department of Environment, which is the national focal point for the Montreal Protocol.
Other areas with trade implications involving the Ministry of Science,
Technology and the Environment include chemicals in general, other than
pesticides (which come under the Pesticides Board of the Ministry
of Agriculture). By virtue of its position as the national focal point
for the United Nations Environment Programme, the Department of Environment
has been designated as the Malaysian National Correspondent for the International
Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals, the International Programme on
Chemical Safety, the implementation of the London Guidelines for the Exchange
of Information on Chemicals in International Trade (Amended), 1989, the
operation of the information exchange service and the prior informed consent
procedure, and other international chemical programmes. In that context,
the Department of Environment plays a complementary role as the Designated
National Authority for non-pesticides, or more specifically, industrial