October 2, 2018

Evaluation of the Waste Shipment Regulation

George Kiayias, Policy Officer
Peter Wessman, Legal Officer
Environment Directorate-General
European Commission
Avenue de Beaulieu 9, Building BU9
1049 Bruxelles

Cc: Cabinets

Subject: Evaluation of the Waste Shipment Regulation

Dear Mr Kiayias and Mr Wessman,

FEAD has actively followed the evaluation of the current Waste Shipment Regulation by answering the public consultations, sending a position paper and participating in both workshops.

As we already underlined in the previous steps of the consultation, the WSR is an important piece of legislation at EU level to ensure safe shipments of waste, traceability and to guarantee an appropriate treatment of waste at its final destination.

It is true that in view of the REFIT program, all evaluations and fitness checks should assess the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value of the regulation. Although we understand that this procedure of evaluation is part of a standardised European review for a better regulation, we nevertheless regret that the assessment of the WSR has not placed a greater emphasis on identifying solutions at this stage and ensuring that the WSR is not just preferable to national legislation, but as effective as posible at achieving its intended aims, including facilitating the recovery of secondary raw materials.

We stress again that the shortcomings we have identified are not due to the WSR itself, but to inconsistencies or problem of interpretation with other related pieces of the legislation (i.e differences of interpretation between waste/non-waste, hazardous/non-hazardous waste and recovery/disposal) or with differences of enforcement within the EU Member States. However, we do believe that part of the solution to this lies in amending legislation.

We have identified the following concerns in the operational use of the current text:

  • Provisions on hazardous waste have to be clearly distinguished from non-hazardous waste (art.2 and so on).
  • The WSR should limit mandatory waste codes to reduce administrative burden and make harmonisation even easier (Annexes).
  • The type and number of documents required by the notification procedure should be fixed (art. 4; art. 8; Annexes IA, Annex IB, Annex II).
  • The frequent delays (between 2 and 10 months in average) for the notification procedure should be reduced (art. 9).
  • 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 (add to article 9.4 and 9.5).

  • 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 (art. 14);

the pre-consented facilities based in the European Union should see their pre-consent set at 3 years (art. 14);

the status of pre-consented facilities should be extended to all facilities based in the European Union, with eventually a special “license” for facilities dealing with hazardous waste (art. 14).

  • The procedure for renewals should be accelerated by limiting the information needed for renewals only to potential changes (all articles dealing with the notification procedure – EU and third countries).
  • A clear distinction between administrative mistakes and illegal shipments is needed to ensure that an incorrectly filled Annex VII in should not automatically make it an “illegal” shipment (Annex VII).
  • The procedure for repatriating shipments between member states should be simplified while the normal procedure applied today (new notification to be introduced by the notifier) should become the exception (art. 24).
  • Tacit consent

The tacit consent by the competent authority of transit must be assumed if no objection is lodged within the said 30-day time limit and be valid until decision taken by the competent authority of destination (art. 9.1; 9.4; 9.5).

The tacit consent for pre-consented facilities should be aligned with the period of validity of the consent, i.e. up to three years (art. 9.5 and 14.2).

  • Tacit consent transit to a planned shipment should begin from the first day of the written consent given by the competent authorities of destination (art. 9.4 and 9.5).
  • There could be the possibility for single rolling yearly financial guarantee (art.6).
  • Competent authorities should avoid asking for extended certified or translated documents on non­essential part of official documents that do not help to give consent (art.37).
  • The amount of 25kg (art.3 + art.18) 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.

I would like to thank you in advance for the consideration you will give to our concerns and would appreciate an opportunit to meet with you in person to further discuss the matter. We remain at your disposal for a further exchange or to answer any questions you may have.