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Trade in waste

Controlling waste shipments helps to ensure that waste is managed in an environmentally sustainable way, and prevents shipments from affecting human health. Proper controls are important to ensure that international trade in waste functions smoothly.

Trade topics
Trade in waste

The Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Zero Pollution Action Plan, among others, call on the EU to facilitate shipments of waste destined for re-use and recycling so that it can better take care of its own waste. Therefore the Commission is proposing to revise the Waste Shipment Regulation.

Trade in waste in a nutshell

  • Non-hazardous waste contains valuable secondary raw materials. As natural resources are scarce, the importance of these materials is growing. Waste has become a major trading good.
  • The OECD has established a control mechanism for trade in waste among OECD countries. The EU also regulates exports of non-hazardous waste for recovery to countries outside the OECD, to help these countries ensure that they import only the waste they have agreed to, and that it is managed in an environmentally sustainable way.

EU trade policy and waste shipment

Regulation (EC) 1418/2007 sets out the control procedures for the export of non-hazardous waste for recovery (recycling) from the EU to non-OECD countries. The Regulation was established on the basis of information received from countries of destination about their control procedures for the import of non-hazardous wastes.

The latest update was made through Regulation (EU) 2021/1840. It was adopted on 20 October 2021 and entered into force on 10 November 2021.

More information about Waste Shipment Regulations

More on Trade in waste

Trade in waste in other Commission departments