FEAD calls for simplification of EU Waste Shipment Regulation

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has called on the European Commission to simplify the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) and harmonise enforcement across EU member states.

In a letter to Policy Officer George Kiayias and Legal Officer Peter Wessman at the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General, FEAD President Jean-Marc Boursier laid out his organisation’s response and recommendations to the Commission’s REFIT programme (regulatory fitness and performance programme) and its evaluation of the WSR.

The REFIT programme aims to ensure that EU legislation works as effectively and efficiently as possible at minimum cost.FEAD calls for simplification of EU Waste Shipment Regulation

Boursier stressed that ‘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’. However, he added that shortcomings needed to be addressed to ensure that the WSR was ‘as effective as possible at achieving its intended aims, including facilitating the recovery of secondary raw materials’.

Shortcomings identified in the letter include differences in interpretation of the WSR with regard to other pieces of legislation, such as differences between waste and non-waste, hazardous and non-hazardous waste and recovery and disposal, and differences in enforcement in different EU member states.

Concerns and recommendations highlighted by FEAD in the letter include:

  • 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 shipment notification procedure should be fixed;
  • The frequent delays (between two and ten months on average) for the notification procedure should be reduced;
  • 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 three years;
  • The procedure for renewals should be accelerated by limiting the information needed for renewals only to potential changes; and
  • 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.

You can read FEAD’s letter and its recommendations in full on the FEAD website.