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Waste shipment

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 also important to ensure that international trade in waste functions smoothly. In 2006-7, the EU comprehensively updated the rules for moving waste within, into, through and out of its territory.

More on the EU waste shipment legislation and its amendments

Trade and Waste Shipment 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.

Statistics

EU exports of non-hazardous waste to non-OECD Decision countries
Percent share in the overall EU exports of non-hazardous waste to non-OECD Decision countries, € billions
Year Total amount (in €bn) % share
2010 8.7 59.3
2011 9.8 55.0
2012 9.3 54.3
2013 7.1 55.0
2014 8.1 52.0
Ten largest types of non-hazardous waste exported from the EU to non-OECD countries in 2014:

Percent share of EU non-hazardous waste exports to non-OECD countries

  1. 32 Waste and scrap of iron or steel
  2. 20 Copper waste and scrap
  3. 10 Waste and scrap of aluminum
  4. 7 Recovered waste and scrap of paper or paperboard
  5. 6 Waste and scrap of gold
  6. 4 Waste and scrap of stainless steel
  7. 3 Waste and scrap of silver
  8. 3 Waste, parings, and scrap of plastics
  9. 2 Turnings, shavings, sawdust, chips, milling waste, filings of iron or steel
  10. 2 Recovered waste and scrap paper
Ten largest non-OECD destinations for EU exports of non-hazardous waste in 2014:

Percent share of EU non-hazardous waste exports to non-OECD countries

Non-OECD destinations for EU exports of non-hazardous waste 2013
Country Percentage
China 30.7
India 11.5
Egypt 4.0
Hong Kong 3.0
Pakistan 2.4
Indonesia 1.0
Taiwan 0.8
Serbia 0.8
Morocco 0.5
Vietnam 0.4

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.

Regulation 1418/2007 is updated periodically, to ensure it accurately reflects destination countries' control procedures. Destination countries provide this information by completing dedicated questionnaires.

The next update of the Regulation is foreseen for the second half of 2016. Non-OECD countries wishing to take part in that update are invited to submit their completed questionnaires to the European Commission, Directorate General for Trade, Unit D.1, Rue de La Loi 170, CHAR 8/164, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium, or to the functional mailbox: trade-non-hazardous-waste@ec.europa.eu by 31 March 2016.