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Deal reached on stricter EU rules for waste shipments

17 November 2023, 16:54 CET
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Deal reached on stricter EU rules for waste shipments

Waste - Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement Friday to update the regulation on shipments of waste, with the aim of reducing shipments of problematic waste to outside the EU.

The agreement means the EU must take greater responsibility for its waste and does not export its environmental challenges to third countries.

EU exports of certain non-hazardous wastes and mixtures of non-hazardous wastes for recovery (i. e. to be used for other purposes) will be allowed only to those non-OECD countries that consent and fulfil the criteria to treat such waste in an environmentally sound manner, including by complying with international labour and workers' rights conventions. The Commission will draw up a list of such recipient countries, to be updated at least every two years.

Plastic waste will no longer be able to be exported to non-OECD countries within two and a half years after the entry into force of the regulation. Plastic waste exports to OECD countries will be subject to stricter conditions, including an obligation to apply the prior written notification and consent procedure, and closer compliance monitoring.

Negotiators agreed that all shipments of waste destined for disposal in another EU country are generally prohibited and allowed only in exceptional cases. Waste shipments destined for recovery operations will have to meet strict requirements on prior written notification, consent and information.

The new law also foresees, two years after its entry into force, that the exchange of information and data on waste shipments in the EU will be digitalised, through a central electronic hub, to improve reporting and transparency.

The deal endorses the establishment of an enforcement group to improve cooperation between EU countries to prevent and detect illegal shipments. The Commission will be able to carry out inspections, in cooperation with national authorities, where there is sufficient suspicion that there are illegal waste shipments occurring.

Further information, European Parliament

Procedure file

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