Following the European Commission review of the Waste Shipments Regulation ((EC) No 1013/2006) (WSR) (see our earlier post) the Commission has proposed tougher rules on waste exports, a more efficient system for the circulation of waste as a resource and better addressing the problem of illegal waste shipments.

Under the revised proposal, waste exports to non-OECD countries will only be permitted if third countries issue an official request to import non-hazardous waste from the EU and demonstrate they can manage it sustainably. The Commission will monitor waste shipments to OECD countries and will be able to suspend shipments if they generate serious environmental problems in the destination country. The revision increases administrative penalties for illegal shipments.

EU companies that export waste outside the EU will be required to carry out independent audits to demonstrate that the facilities receiving their waste manage it in an environmentally sound manner. The proposal also allows for criteria to differentiate between waste and used goods (such as used vehicles and batteries).

Within the EU, it is proposed to simplify the procedure for exporting waste. This includes digitalising procedures governing waste shipments, which is currently a very paper-heavy process. There will be fast-track procedures for shipments of waste for recovery destined to pre-consented facilities and stricter conditions for shipments of waste destined for incineration or landfill. It is also proposed to streamline the calculation of financial guarantees for shipping notified waste abroad.

The management and prevention of waste is a key part of the circular economy. The Commission is seeking to help reduce the EU’s dependency on primary raw materials and support decarbonisation of EU industry.

Details of the proposal can be found here.