FEAD call for changes to Waste Shipment Regulations

Exports of recycled materials are sent via container ship

FEAD has criticised the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) and called for reform because the rules are interpreted differently in each EU Member State. 

In a letter to the European Commission Legal Officer Environment Directorate-General Peter Wessman and Policy Officer George Kiayias, FEAD president Jean-Marc Boursier expressed his concerns about the assessment of the WSR. 


He said that the assessment has not ensured that the WSR is effective in achieving its aim of facilitating the recovery of secondary raw materials.  

The FEAD boss added that the findings the federation identified are not due to the WSR itself, but to inconsistencies or differences in interpretation between waste/non-waste, hazardous/non-hazardous waste and recovery/disposal, as well as the variations of enforcement between Member States.  

Within the letter, FEAD identified the concerns in the operational use of the current text: 

  • Provisions on hazardous waste have to be clearly distinguished from non-hazardous waste. 
  • The WSR should limit mandatory waste codes to reduce administrative burden and make harmonisation even easier. 
  • The type and number of documents required by the notification procedure should be mixed. 
  • The frequent delays for the notification procedure should be reduced. 
  • Duration validity of a notification:
    In case of notification for recovery operations for shipments within the EU, the duration of the validity of the notification can be extended up to 3 years. This proposal would help the authorities to keep a time of 30 days for their approval but would drastically reduce the administrative burden for recovery shipment within the EU. Usually, the authorities are opposed to the pre-consent because the delay for validation is reduced to 7 days. 
  • Pre-consent facilities (possible options):  
    • The pre-consent procedure should be harmonised in the EU through a single procedure for the validation of the pre-consented facilities 
    • The pre-consented facilities based in the EU should see their pre-consent set at 3 years 
    • The status of pre-consented facilities should be extended to all facilities based in the EU, with eventually a special ‘licence’ for facilities dealing with hazardous waste. 
  • The procedure for renewals should be accelerated by limiting the information needed for renewals only to potential changes. 
  • A clear distinction between administrative mistakes and illegal shipments is needed to ensure that an incorrectly filled Annex VII should not automatically make it an “illegal” shipment. 
  • The procedure for repatriating shipments between member states should be simplified, while the normal procedure applied today should become an exception.
  • Tactic consent: 
    • The tactic consent by the competent authority of transit must be assumed if no obligation is lodged within the said 30-day time limit and be valid until decision taken by the competent authority of destination  
    • The tactic consent for pre-consented facilities should be aligned with the period of validity of the consent, i.e. up to three years. 
  • Tactic consent transit to a planned shipment should begin from the first day of the written consent given by the competent authorities of destination.
  • The amount of 25kg associated to shipments of waste explicitly destined for laboratory analysis should be reviewed to allow for bigger quantities to be sent, for instance in the case of pilot trials.  
  • There could be the possibility of for single rolling yearly financial guarantee. 
  • Competent authorities should avoid asking for extended certified or translated documents on non-essential part of official documents that do not help to give consent.   

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