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Defra publishes guidance for waste exporters in case of no-deal Brexit

Defra publishes guidance for waste exporters in case of no-deal Brexit

As specialist insurance brokers to the waste and recycling industry, we like to try and bring you industry related news as well as information about our own products and how they relate to business in the waste and recycling sector.

We think we have done quite well to get this far without mentioning Brexit in our blog. The time has come however…

In this article we are looking at the implications of a possible no-deal Brexit on businesses who import or export waste.  The implications of leaving the EU without any kind of deal will of course affect most industries who do business across the EU and waste and recycling is no exception to that.  The UK currently exports a large quantity of waste into the EU, much of which is RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel).

Since 2010, the export of RDF for treatment in Northern Europe has increased and now stands at around 3.6 million tonnes a year. This accounts for the treatment of around 14 per cent of the UK’s residual waste and is worth an estimated £500 million annually.

Guidance has now been published by Defra on what UK waste importers and exporters will need to do to prepare for rule changes around waste shipments should the UK leave the EU without a deal on 29th March.

According to the advice on the website, agreement has now been reached that 98% of the current UK consents for shipments of notifiable waste will be rolled over after 29th March 2019 if a deal is not reached.  Defra is continuing to work with the Spanish government to resolve the other issues which remain outstanding.

If you are a waste exporter you will need to make sure you are familiar with the the EU customs guidelines and the EU Waste Shipment Regulations. These explain the rules for EU waste imports from outside the EU. They can also can be viewed on the website

The regulations require exporters to complete waste notification and waste movement forms, waste carriers to provide a copy of waste movement to the Customs Office and exports to check that transport of waste is carried out in the EU by authorised waste carriers.

EU countries will not be allowed to export waste for disposal, or export mixed municipal waste for recovery, to the UK under EU law.

If you are a UK business and want to import waste from the EU to the UK, you should be aware of the:

EU customs guidelines

EU rules on exports of waste to non-EU countries in the EU Waste Shipment Regulations

The rules for shipping waste for recycling under the Green Control procedures will remain the same as they are now.

It is planned that the UK regulators will email UK exporters of notifiable waste to update them with any new information between now and 29th March.  For more information on this click here.

We will continue to look with interest at the ongoing situation in the waste and recycling industry, in particular how any changes may affect our waste and recycling insurance clients.

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