Legal brief: Trading on waste

With the export of waste a growth industry and regulators increasingly focusing their efforts on illegal transfers, Ross Fairley offers a reminder of the legislation and case law

Legal brief: Trading on waste

There is a growing trade in waste across Europe. The amount of refuse-derived fuel exported from the UK for energy recovery rose threefold in 2012 compared to the previous year and there continue to be major exports of recyclate and recovered materials.

Over the years, international conventions, EU rules and the UK Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 (TFSW) have sought to create a procedural framework for the safe movement of waste, as well as prohibit the export of waste to, and import from, certain countries.

The growing trend among participants in the UK waste market to take advantage of attractive gate fees being offered at European waste-to-energy recovery facilities means that the area of transfrontier shipment has received a great deal of attention from regulators.

The Environment Agency, for example, is devoting considerable time and effort to detecting, investigating and prosecuting those that breach the rules.

Detailed notification procedures were set out under the Basel convention on controlling transboundary movements of hazardous waste and its disposal. EU Regulation 1013/2006 implements ...

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