Defra document says EU waste shipment licenses will no longer be valid under no-deal Brexit

Cargo ship
Cargo ship

According to a Defra document about waste shipments in a no-deal post-Brexit scenario, import and export licenses issued by the UK will no longer be valid for the shipments of waste to the 27 EU countries. 

This means that licenses issued by the EU would no longer be valid for shipments to the UK from the day the UK leaves, and current approvals to ship notified waste between the UK and EU that extend beyond 29 March 2019 would have to be re-approved to ensure continuity.  


The same also applies to waste shipments transiting the EU.  

There is currently no process set out in the EU Waste Shipment Regulations (WSR) on how notified shipments that have already been approved by the UK and EU authorities should be re-approved.  

Defra has said that UK and EU exporters of notified shipments will be advised by the end of November 2018 on the next steps.  

When the UK leaves, it will still remain a party to the Basel Convention and a member of the OECD and will continue to implement the international rules within these agreements.  

In the event that the UK leaves without a deal, it would still be treated in the same way as any other OECD country or party to the Basel Convention, looking to export waste to an EU country.  

UK exporters would also need to be familiar with the Customs Guidelines that the EU has laid down for imports or waste from outside the EU.  

Under the WSR, OECD countries wanting to export waste to the EU for disposal must submit a duly reasoned request (DRR) to the relevant EU competent authority, outlining why the country doesn’t have and cannot reasonably acquire the appropriate disposal facilities.  

The UK Government would need to submit DRR’s for any exports to the EU of disposal waste before a notification to export can be submitted by a UK exporter to a UK authority. 

Defra has said that there would be no changes to the procedure for exports of waste for recycling that are eligible to be shopping under the Green Control procedure as stated in the OECD decision and the WSR.

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