What does Brexit mean for the Waste Industry?

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The uncertainty about the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) is causing confusion and concern across many sectors.

At Novus Environmental, we have received many enquiries on and off line from people looking for guidance on EWC codes post Brexit. Obviously there is still much to be finalised. At this time, we don’t know the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement or even whether a deal can be reached. Therefore, we will point you in the right direction to information already published.

How will Brexit affect European Waste Classifications (EWC)?

The EWC are already part of the UK law via the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. It is therefore unlikely that there will be any impact in the short-term. For more information on EWC codes, you can read our guide on what is an EWC code? Alternatively, here you can find information and technical guidance on waste classifications published by the Environment Agency

If I am exporting waste to the European Union, what do we know about Brexit?

The UK will remain a party to the Basel convention and member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Therefore, the UK has the same rights and responsibilities as any other OECD country or party country to the Basel convention. According to the DEFRA and reported by the CIWM the current waste shipments procedures will still apply.

For more information, you should become familiar with the EU customs guidelines and the EU Waste Shipment Regulations.

They require:

  • waste exporters to complete waste notification and waste movement forms with details of the Customs Office of Entry into the EU and, if relevant, the Customs of Exit from the EU
  • waste carriers to provide a copy of the waste movement document to the Customs Office of Entry into the EU
  • UK exporters to check that any transport of waste within the EU is by appropriately authorised waste carriers

If I am importing waste from the EU – how will Brexit affect me?

The Regulations will prevent EU countries from exporting waste for disposal, or export mixed municipal waste for recovery, to the UK under EU law.

If you ship waste for recycling the rules under the Green Control procedures will remain the same.

UK businesses that want to import waste from the EU to the UK, you should also be aware of the:

For the full guide, click here.


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