There are several issues that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to transboundary movement of waste. First, it is necessary to clarify how the waste is to be classified, under which provision the waste can be shipped, and for what reason the waste is shipped across borders. This is important because the Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste generally prohibits the shipment of waste for disposal outside the EU. In general, shipments of waste can be regulated by notification and consent procedures (Art. 4 to 17 EC-Waste Shipment Regulation), general information requirements (Art. 18 EC-Waste Shipment Regulation) or prohibitions.
Shipments of waste for disposal to EU countries are usually subject to a notification procedure. Shipments of waste to EFTA countries, that are also parties to the Basel Convention (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) are permitted if the country of destination does not prohibit them and the licensing authority in the country of dispatch has no doubts about the environmentally sound treatment. A notification procedure (cf. Art. 4 of EC-Waste Shipment Regulation) must be carried out in any case.
According to the EC-Waste Shipment Regulation, the classification of waste is important for shipments of waste for recovery (‘green’ listed waste vs. ‘amber’ listed waste). Non-hazardous waste can usually be shipped without a special permit if the country of destination is an EU or OECD country. Under Article 18, i.e. the Annex VII document, waste can be shipped without further authorisation. If ‘green’ listed waste is shipped to non-OECD countries, a notification procedure must be expected. Hazardous waste is classified as ‘amber’ listed and always requires a notification procedure, whether it is shipped to EU or OECD countries.
Figure 1: Overview of transboundary movement of waste