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Improving Cooperation Between Customs and
Environmental Agencies to Prevent Illegal
Transboundary Shipments of Hazardous Waste

March 31, 2015
David C. Dill

Reprinted with permission from the World Customs Journal, Volume 8, Number 2 

Lucrative and dangerous, the illegal traffic of hazardous waste through seaports poses grave risks to human health and the environment. Despite the challenges of detection and detention, customs and environmental agencies tasked with protecting global seaports typically work in isolation, missing out on critical opportunities to enhance their effectiveness through collaboration. This research examines the causes of such administrative segregation and, through surveys of successful collaborative programs in Belgium, Japan, Kenya, and the Netherlands and a review of previously published literature on Nigeria, develops a spectrum of inter-agency cooperation. Identifying three distinct cooperative frameworks, ranging from formalistic to ad hoc, this research proposes that environmental and customs officials in various political, cultural, and legal environments can pursue vastly differing yet effective paths to cooperation in environmental enforcement at seaports.

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