Waste shipment within the EU to become easier

December 29th, 2021

The European Commission has published a proposal to revise the Waste Shipment Regulation. The aim of the revision is to facilitate the transport of waste for recycling and reuse within the European Union and thus accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Exports to third countries, on the other hand, are to be further restricted.

The Commission’s proposal includes the following measures:

  • A closer alignment of waste shipment rules with the waste hierarchy
  • A shift to digital solutions for issuing and exchanging the information and documents required for shipping waste between EU Member States
  • The improvement of the fast-track procedure for shipments of waste
  • A more harmonised classification of waste shipped within the EU
  • Restricting the export of all waste to non-OECD countries
  • Stepping up the monitoring of EU waste exported to OECD countries
  • Requiring EU exporting companies to show that their exports are sustainable
  • Establishing clear criteria to prevent waste from being falsely exported as ‘used goods’
  • Establishing an EU ‘waste shipment enforcement group’ to increase cooperation and coordination against illegal shipments of waste
  • Empowering the Commission to support transnational investigations by EU Member States into waste trafficking
  • Strengthening the existing rules on administrative penalties against illegal shipment of waste

In parallel with the publication of the proposed regulation, the Commission has launched a public consultation, which will run until 17 January. After that, discussions will continue in the European Council and the European Parliament.

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