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Export regs concerns answered by Environment Agency

The Environment Agency (EA) has answered concerns about changes to the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations, unveiled in June, one day before the regulations take effect on July 12.

The most significant change is for businesses exporting Green List waste to developing countries.

The EA said: The European Commission has acknowledged that there are a number of errors in the Regulation; further, a number of countries were late in replying to the Commission or have not responded at all.

We do not want this Regulation to disrupt the legitimate export of clean recyclables to countries that wish to receive them. 

To resolve this issue, the EA will publish regularly updated information on its website to explain what is required. It will also show the intent of the recipient country, where this has been made clear to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It will also work with industry and others to improve information on what can and cannot be treated as green waste.

The EA said it would continue to support Defra in pressing for the Green List Regulation to be revised as soon as possible.

It reassured exporters that it would not take enforcement action where the movement was in line with the wishes of the recipient country and is genuine Green List waste.

However, it added, other competent authorities may not take the same position.

The EA also reassured exporters that it would take a proportionate and risk-based approach to compliance and deal with technical breaches in a proportionate manner. We will only move to more formal types of enforcement action in cases of repeated administrative failures.

As responsibility for the regulations has been extended to many businesses for the first time, the EA said it would give the sector time to familiarise itself with the requirements. It will be initially concentrating its efforts on raising control awareness.

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