Michael Gove confirms most waste exports to EU will continue after no-deal Brexit

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove
Environment Secretary Michael Gove
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Environment Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that most exports of waste materials should still be permitted to European Union countries after Brexit.

In a letter to Lord Teverson, chair of the House of Lords European Union Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, the Secretary of State said that most shipments of waste can continue to be exported to EU countries if the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’.

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He revealed that regulators have agreed that 77% of notifications to export waste from England to EU countries can be rolled over, representing 92% of the tonnage of exports to EU Member States.

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The letter said: “UK regulators have made substantial progress in agreeing with EU counterparts that shipments of notified waste which had previously received consent can, in a no deal scenario, continue to be shipped with no requirement for a new application by UK exporters.

“The regulators have agreed that 77% of notifications to export waste from the England to the EU can be rolled over. This represents 92% of the tonnage of proposed waste exports from England to the 27 EU Member States.

“My officials are in contact with the remaining eight Member States that are still to provide a response.”

The letter added that if these remaining eight Member States had not replied in January, then UK regulators will re-submit the previous application to the relevant EU regulators, who will then have 30 days to process them.

He then said that it would be in “the interest of EU competent authorities to roll-over existing notifications in order to avoid the burden of re-approving applications at a later date.

“Given the progress made with other Member States on this issue, my officials are confident that it will be possible to obtain re-approval of the remaining shipments before 29 March 2019.”

View the letter

On exports of RDF however, the letter warns that stockpiles may be needed, particularly in the South East of England, if agreements can’t be reached.