March 25, 2024

New Waste Shipment Regulation formally adopted

Brussels, 25 March 2024 – The new Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) was adopted today by the Council. Although most of the current rules will continue to apply for a defined transition period of two to three years, depending on the provision, today marks the final step of the formal adoption of the new regulation, which will then be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.

Safe and efficient shipments of waste are key for a circular economy. The new regulation brings important changes and modernises waste shipments, including the digitalisation of the procedures, which should increase the speed, efficiency, transparency, and traceability. Improving the efficiency of the procedures is one of the highest priorities for FEAD. Indeed, an important achievement in the revised regulation is the clarification that a shipment should not be considered illegal if only minor clerical errors in the documents occur. However, efficient procedures are not only dependent on a good regulation, but also on competent authorities with sufficient technical and material means to observe the deadlines and process the notifications satisfactorily. Contrary to FEAD’s view, co-legislators have decided to limit the possibility of tacit consents to transit authorities. Therefore, we now make a call to the Member States to ensure that their administrations can process waste shipment notifications in due time so that we can overcome the long and persistent delays we currently face.

Important to note is that the entry into force of the new WSR will not be the end of the legislative work but also the beginning. The text includes substantial empowerment clauses for the Commission to adopt implementing and delegating acts, that can bring relevant and needed improvements and clarifications, to help overcome bottlenecks linked to differing interpretations by authorities. These include a possible risk-based and harmonised method for calculating the financial guarantee or equivalent insurance; the specification of the technical feasibility and economic viability required to authorise shipments for disposal; or classification criteria for waste. In addition, the Commission will have to supplement the regulation establishing and updating the list of non-OECD countries to which export of non-hazardous waste from the Union for recovery are authorised. Important work lays ahead, to which FEAD is ready to contribute with experience and expertise.

Claudia Mensi, FEAD President commented:the new WSR introduces restrictions for international waste markets, which means that we will keep more of the generated waste within the EU. Our role as industry representatives is now to make understand that such restrictions require improved recycling and waste management capacities, a strong and stable demand for recyclates, and improved procedures for us to be able to process these increased amounts of waste. In addition, a smooth and harmonised implementation of the new WSR by all competent authorities will be essential because a review of is not foreseen until 2035.’

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FEAD is the European Waste Management Association, representing the private waste and resource management industry across Europe, including 19 national waste management federations and 3,000 waste management companies. Private waste management companies operate in 60% of municipal waste markets in Europe and in 75% of industrial and commercial waste. This means more than 320,000 local jobs, fuelling €5 billion of investments into the economy every year. For more information, please contact: