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Government presses ahead with waste shipments regs change

Defra has defended an increase in fees for notifications for imports and exports of waste to and from Northern Ireland after hearing concerns over the ‘likely costs to businesses’.

A consultation on the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2013 set out plans to improve control of waste exports and to crack down on illegal shipments.

Nearly half of responses to the consultation were from waste companies and reprocessors.

Proposals for the Environment Agency (EA) to take on responsibility for waste shipments in the UK and for greater information sharing between HMRC and UK authorities to combat illegal waste exports were generally supported.

The UK Border Force will also be given the power to detain ‘suspect’ containers for up to five days without first referring to the EA.

But a number of respondents to the consultation said they were concerned over the Northern Ireland fees increase.

Defra said this was the first revision of the fee structure since it was introduced in 2005, and said “previous assumptions used to develop the original fees did not adequately predict the costs or resources necessary to carry out all required aspects of work”.

It added: “Full cost recovery is essential to maintain the effectiveness of compliance and to realise the benefits of the legislation in reducing the number of illegal shipments that may pass unnoticed and hence protect legitimate businesses.

“The new fee structure brings NI into line with the rest of the UK, although the NI fees will on average be at least 25% less.”

Notification typeGeneral notification
1 to 5 shipments6 to 20 shipments21 to 100 shipments101 to 500 shipmentsMore than 500 shipments
Shipment from Northern Ireland£1,090£2,025£3,050£5,940£10,785
Shipment to Northern Ireland£940£2,025£3,675£7,950£14,625

Respondents also expressed concern over the transparency of the review of costs undertaken by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The NIEA has indicated it will conduct a further review three years after implementing the changes.

The UK’s Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations supplements EU waste shipment rules outlined by Regulation EC/1013/2006.

The regulations have now been laid before Parliament and will come into force on 1 May 2014.



List of respondents:

Arc 21

Brother Industries (UK) Ltd

Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM)

Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM) Northern Ireland

Closed Loop Recycling Ltd

Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI)

DS Smith Recycling

Eco Plastics Ltd

Environmental Services Association (ESA)

Hull & Goole Port Health Authority

Indaver Ireland

Lisburn City Council


Northern Ireland Association of Independent Recyclers


Re Gen

Resource Association

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)


Smurfit Kappa UK

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

Southern Waste Management Partnership (SWaMP)

Valpak Ltd

Veolia Environment Services


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