Suggestion reference
S19535
Submitted by
Liesbeth TIMMERMANS
User type
Business association
Organisation
Cefic - European Chemical Industry Council
Organisation size
Medium (50 to 249 employees)
Transparency register number
Country of origin
Belgium

Policy Area

Environment

Legislation

Commission Decision 2000/532 establishing a list of wastes pursuant to Directive 2008/98 on waste

Context

The list of wastes is the EU reference nomenclature for the classification of wastes. Any waste marked with an asterisk (*) (‘absolute hazardous entry’) in the EU list of waste must be considered as hazardous waste unless it is produced by households. A waste that falls under an absolute hazardous entry must as a general rule be classified and treated as hazardous by the business operator. Qualification of a waste as hazardous has a major impact on the transport of waste, installation permits and decisions about recyclability of the waste.

Problem

In certain cases, wastes produced by the chemical industry must be classified as hazardous by the operator, even if the waste has no hazardous properties.
The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98) provides for an exemption procedure: Art 7(3) of Directive 2008/98 allows Member States to consider waste falling under an absolute hazardous entry in the EU list of wastes as non-hazardous if (i) the Member State has evidence showing that the waste does not display any hazardous property and (ii) it notifies the Commission of such exemption with the necessary evidence.

But in practice, Member States are sometimes reluctant to consider applications for derogations from business operators. Difficulties have occurred for instance in the Netherlands with certain filter cakes containing esters (classified 070110*) and with tank bottoms (classified 160708*) and in the UK with distillation residues (classified 070108*).

Proposal

Cefic invites Member States competent authorities to exchange best practices on the use and application of the exemption mechanism provided in Art 7(3) of Directive 2008/98, to ensure an efficient and effective implementation of that provision.

Depending on the outcome of the exchange, the Commission may consider the possibility to introduce ‘mirror entries’ in the EU list of wastes to allow industry operators to classify certain waste types as ‘non-hazardous’ where there is evidence showing that the waste in question does not always display hazardous properties.

Typically, such ‘mirror entries’ have a similar description as absolute hazardous entries, but mention “other than [hazardous entry code XXX]”, and bear a different waste code without an asterisk (*). The introduction of such mirror non-hazardous entries would allow operators to assign the most appropriate code depending on the actual properties of the waste stream at issue.

Savings/ benefits:

- reduction of costs charged for the treatment of waste. The price for treatment of waste classified as hazardous can be 2 to 3 times the price for the same material classified as non-hazardous.

- more harmonized implementation of the EU List of Waste across Member States.

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Reply from the European Commission

On behalf of the REFIT Platform, thank you for submitting your suggestion on the efficiency, effectiveness or burden reduction of EU regulation or its implementation by Member States.

In the context of the Circular Economy Package, the Commission has proposed an amendment of the Waste Framework Directive, which is currently being examined by the European Parliament and Council. Therefore, the Platform has concluded that it is not appropriate for the time being to prepare an opinion on the issues raised.

Your suggestion has been forwarded to the Commission service responsible for the relevant policy area which has produced an explanation of the current context, which we attach for your information. With thanks again for your suggestion which will be retained for future reference,

Yours sincerely,

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