The European Commission is currently preparing a revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal waste market, support the transition towards a circular economy and ensure waste shipped to third countries is managed in an environmentally sound manner.
In September 2020, the Commission hosted a stakeholder workshop to discuss the matter with representatives from member states, businesses, associations and NGOs (see previous article).
The discussions revealed the complexity of the issue, as well as differences over how to set rules that would meet the above goals. The discussions mainly revolved around the following objectives:
- Alignment of the waste hierarchy, WSR and other EU legislation
- Simplification and reduction of red tape for intra-EU shipments of waste
- Harmonisation of interpretation, application and enforcement across member states
- Improved adaptation to technical progress and stimulation of innovation
- Stopping or restricting the export of waste outside the EU
- Verifying environmentally sound management in destination countries
- Further strengthening the WSR’s provisions on enforcement and inspections
- Increasing efficiency in the fight against illegal shipments of waste at EU and national levels and strengthening cooperation across the EU and with international partners
More information on the objectives and policy options discussed can be found in the comprehensive summary of the workshop that was recently published by the Commission.