The DOTCOM Waste project participated in a field visit in the South of Italy on 17th and 18th May, organised in co-operation with the Prosecutor’s Office in Bari – associate partner to the project. This included an inspection call at the Port of Bari along with a set of round table discussions with key players involved in the fight against cross-border management and trade of waste in the Adriatic region of Italy.
The Head Prosecutor in Bari welcomed the delegation, and the Financial Police, the Forestry Police and the Customs Agency (Anti-fraud Office) all participated in the discussions. All parties involved recognise the importance of DOTCOM Waste in view of creating synergies with both EU and non-EU countries.
The Port of Bari in particular has become the “Eastern Door” for the export and import of waste towards Greece, Turkey, the Balkans and South-East Asia.
Currently, communication and information sharing in Italy is relatively good amongst the key players involved in the various phases in the fight against waste trafficking – detection, inspection, prosecution and sentencing. However more needs to be done.
The stakeholders highlighted the need, in the Italian context, to adopt more homogenous procedures in ports, as well as the importance of focusing on the pre-investigation phase and risk analysis to optimise efforts during the inspection phase.
Given the cross-border nature of waste trafficking, all parties at an international level need to cooperate and exchange information as soon as possible in order to succeed in the fight against illegal waste trade. The DOTCOM Waste project will play a vital role in facilitating this process.