A study visit for the monitoring of illegal cross-border trafficking of hazardous waste took place in March 27-29, 2023, in Limassol, Cyprus, within the framework of the MoniCoT – Monitoring Coalition against Trafficking of Hazardous Waste project (funded by the Internal Security Fund – Police Cooperation Sector of The European Union). The aim of the visit, organized by the Cyprus Ports Authority, was the exchange of experience and expertise between representatives from ports, judicial and customs authorities, in order to strengthen cross-border and regional cooperation in the fight against the illegal transport of waste.
The meeting was attended by executives from the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus, the Ministry of Environment of Greece, the Cyprus Ports Authority, the Center for European Constitutional Law – Themistocles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation (project coordinator), representatives of the cooperating agencies of project, such as the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, the National School of Judges, the Hellenic Ports Association and the Cyprus Customs Department, executives from waste management companies as well as experts from Greece and Cyprus.
First, the Director of the Cyprus Ports Authority, Mr. Panayiotis Agathocleous welcomed the participants and presented the program of the visit. Then, the results of the project, the educational material for the monitoring of hazardous waste designed in the framework of MoniCoT, and the asynchronous training platform were presented. Afterwards, the representatives of the two Ministries had the opportunity to present the national action plans and the good practices that have been developed so far at national and European level.
Through the study visit, customs, port, and private sector executives, judges and experts were given the opportunity to collaborate and discuss the mechanisms of hazardous waste management and monitoring, challenges, common blindspots and opportunities for cooperation to better address the issue. In addition, the participants visited IESC, one of the largest waste management companies in Cyprus, and took a tour of its facilities.