Transfrontier shipment of waste

Economic growth and globalisation have led to a worldwide increase of waste transports across borders, whether by road, rail, air or sea

In order to control waste shipments, which can create risks for human health and the environment, certain procedures and requirements have been introduced in international and European Union law.

How is transfrontier shipment of waste regulated?

The European Community first introduced a directive on control procedures for the shipment of hazardous waste in 1984, when it became apparent that hazardous waste from developed countries was being exported and dumped in developing countries.

The Basel Convention of 1989 established worldwide notification requirements for the movement of hazardous waste and required those involved to minimise the generation of such waste and to ensure its environmentally sound management.

Regulations governing transfrontier shipment of waste (TFS) were finalised by two further pieces of European legislation and is now implemented in the UK by the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007, which detail the UK procedures, offences, penalties and relevant enforcement authorities. The UK Plan on Shipments of Waste sets out Government policy in relation to imports and exports for disposal.

We have produced a range of guidance which provide further information on the principles determining transfrontier shipment of waste (TFS):

Do the regulations apply to me?

If you are involved in the import or export of waste from the UK, you need to be aware that shipments of waste are subject to a range of regulatory controls.

Our rough guide to import and export controls givesa general summary of which shipments the different controls apply to.

Hazardous waste and waste destined for recovery in a developing country is generally subject to notification procedures. This requires the prior written consent of all relevant authorities of dispatch, transit and destination.

Notification controls apply to all allowed imports and exports of:

  • hazardous waste for recovery operations;
  • some non-hazardous waste for recovery operations to non-OECD countries.

What do I do next?

If you are submitting an application for notification to export hazardous waste or waste destined for recovery wastes, we strongly recommend you contact us in the first instance.

We will then issue you with an originally numbered Annex VII notification form and movement document and provide you with further guidance on completing an application.

Your application must contain:

  • a completed notification form accompanied by the relevant fee [bookmark]; 
  • evidence of a financial guarantee to cover the expense of the worst case scenario – usually taken as the waste being returned to the UK and requiring disposal – is in place;
  • evidence of a written contract for the recovery of the waste, including specific terms, with the business that will be receiving and recovering the waste;
  • evidence of insurance against liability for damage to third parties;
  • evidence that all necessary permissions from the competent authorities in all countries concerned have been obtained before the waste is moved.

Fees are applicable to each application, relative to how many shipments are covered by the notification.

Shipments

1

2 to 5

6 to 20

21 to 100

101 to 500

500+

Activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Export for recovery

£1,450

£1,450

£2,700

£4,070

£7,920

£14,380

Export for non interim disposal

£1,540

£1,540

£3,330

£5,500

£10,600

£19,500

Export for interim disposal

£1,700

£1,700

£3,330

£6,000

£12,900

£24,000

Import for non interim recovery

£1,250

£1,250

£2,700

£4,900

£10,600

£19,500

Import for interim recovery

£1,450

£1,450

£2,830

£5,500

£12,900

£24,000

Import for non interim disposal

£1,540

£1,540

£3,330

£5,500

£10,600

£19,500

Import for interim disposal

£1,700

£1,700

£3,330

£6,000

£12,900

£24,000

Overseas businesses exporting waste into the UK must apply to the relevant regulatory authorities in the country of dispatch and make sure the above measures are in place before the waste is imported. 

What is ‘green list’ (non-hazardous) waste?

Green list (non-hazardous) waste can be shipped for recovery within Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries under a lower level of control and accompanied by certain information.

The shipment of non-hazardous waste to non-OECD countries depends on which classification of waste the importing country accepts and which procedures it wants to apply.

Other types of non-hazardous waste may require notification controls and others may be prohibited shipments.

How do TFS regulations apply to green list waste?

You are not required to obtain our written permission if you intend to export waste under green list controls to OECD countries, but you must submit an Annex VII form and ensure it accompanies your waste.

This can be done online, supported by our guidance which will help you to complete the process.

Alternatively, please contact us to receive a paper copy, which can then by returned to us by fax or post.

We have produced a guidance entitled Exporting recyclable waste for recovery in non-OECD countries which provides specific guidance on the procedures to be followed when exporting waste under green list controls to non-OECD countries.

The guidance also contains useful information on procedures for importing or exporting waste under green list controls from other countries.

In addition, we have produced a number of short presentations which provide more information on the rules on green list shipments from Scotland:

Contact us

For more help or information on any aspect of TFS, please contact us.