EU to clamp down on illegal waste shipments

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has backed plans that would require member states to clamp down on illegal waste shipment within the European Union and to non-EU countries. The rules, […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has backed plans that would require member states to clamp down on illegal waste shipment within the European Union and to non-EU countries.

The rules, which have been informally agreed with EU ministers, would close “legal loopholes” and involve more inspections.

Member states would be required to carry out risk assessments for specific waste streams and sources of illegal shipments while inspectors would be given the powers to demand evidence from suspected illegal waste exporters. The countries are also expected to provide a yearly report on the outcome of inspections which is to be published on the internet, including any penalties applied.

The Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) lays down rules for waste shipments within the EU and between EU nations and third countries and prohibits exports of hazardous waste to countries outside the OECD.

The EU’s inspections have shown that around 25% of waste shipments within the European Union currently do not comply with the regulations.

MEP Bart Staes said: “Too many member states have been dragging their feet and have not been carrying out any real time inspections and checks on illegal waste shipments from their territories.”