European Commission treats waste shipments as essential service

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Waste shipments between European Union single market members should be considered an essential service during the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission has announced.

It has published guidelines stating that Member States (including the UK while it remains a single market member during the transition period) should develop green lanes to ensure essential products such as food and medicines can continue to move between countries even if they have otherwise shut borders to other goods.

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In a further document (view here), the Commission has said that these green lanes should also allow waste movements between single market member countries.

The document said: “The Commission asks that all Member States fully implement to waste shipments the recommendations on ensuring that all freight gets quickly to its destination without any delays and in particular to ensure that waste shipments have access to the ‘green lane’ border crossings.”

The Commission has also asked Member States to move towards ensuring that Waste Shipment Regulation documents are digital rather than paper-based during the coronavirus outbreak.

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