European Parliament takes position on Waste Shipment Regulation

February 21st, 2023

On 17 January, the European Parliament voted on its negotiating position for the upcoming trilogue negotiations on the revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation. The draft prepared by the Parliament’s Environment Committee received a large majority: 594 MEPs voted in favour, 5 against and 42 abstained.

The revision was triggered by the growing amount of waste that is shipped to non-EU countries. The new regulation therefore aims at stimulating the circular economy and converting waste into resources, as well as protecting the environment and competition.

The Parliament proposes to prohibit the shipment of waste to other EU countries for the sole purpose of disposal. Exceptions are only permitted in well-founded individual cases. In addition, new rules are to be introduced for non-hazardous waste and its shipment to non-OECD countries. According to these proposals, waste may only be shipped to countries that are able and willing to recover it. The Commission is mandated to draw up an annually updated list of such countries.

In some points, the Parliament’s position goes beyond the Commission’s proposal. For example, the Parliament demands a complete ban on plastic waste exports to non-OECD countries, as well as a phase-out period of four years for corresponding exports to OECD countries.

The European Council has not yet agreed on a negotiating position. However, it is expected that trilogue negotiations will start in the second quarter of this year.

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