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Shipments of Waste

Waste can have economic value and can be a useful source of raw materials, however not all Countries can provide environmentally sound management of waste within their territory. This is the case for Malta, a Small State that does not have the technical capacity and the necessary facilities, capacity or suitable disposal sites in order to dispose of certain categories of waste in an environmentally sound and efficient manner; hence the need to provide the possibility for the shipment of waste from one country to another. This is known as Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (TFS).

Waste shipment provides an option for valorising waste and for attaining environmentally sound management of waste. Nevertheless, such transboundary movements of waste from one country to another, often passing through other countries in the process, pose a potential threat to human health and the environment, and therefore need to be controlled. There are many records of wastes being dumped in countries that were not capable to handle the wastes in an environmentally sound manner.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste [so-called Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR)] establishes the control procedures for transporting waste within, into and out of the EU. The aim is to ensure a high level of environmental and human health protection, while at the same time safeguarding trading rights. This Regulation implements into EU law the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and the OECD Decision on Control of transfrontier movements of wastes destined for recovery operations.  The WSR replaced Council Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 of 1 February 1993, on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community.

For the purposes of shipment destined for recovery or disposal, waste is classified into two categories: Non hazardous Waste [List B – Annex IX to the Basel Convention and Annex 5 (Part 2) to the WSR] and Hazardous Waste [List A – Annex VIII to the Basel Convention and Annex 5 (Part 1) to the WSR], where the former being the least hazardous and the latter the most hazardous. These categories correspond to two levels of controls. The General Information Procedure is least controlled, while the Written Notification Procedure is the most strictly controlled.

In addition, a detailed list of generic waste types better known as The European Waste Catalogue (EWC) was developed by the European Union for use by member states to identify the category of their waste (whether it is hazardous waste or not) and for reporting purposes.  This will allow waste statistics to be consolidated and compared across all member states.  The whole list could be found in Commission Decision 2001/118/EC of 16 January 2001 amending Decision 2000/532/EC as regards the list of wastes.

Shipments of waste and the country of acceptance;

Wastes for Disposal

  • Shipment of waste destined for disposal from Malta are ONLY allowed to EU Member States except UK which only accepts waste for disposal following an official request to the Environmental Agency, as Competent Authority in the UK for an exception to the UK Plan for Shipments of Waste which prohibits the import or export of waste for disposal. The Written Notification Procedure applies.
  • Shipment of waste destined for disposal from Malta to ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) States are prohibited.

Wastes for Recovery

  • Shipments of hazardous waste destined for recovery from Malta are only allowed to EU Member States and to countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Written Notification Procedure applies.
  • Shipment of non hazardous waste destined for recovery from Malta are allowed to EU Member States, OECD countries (certain non-OECD countries but are subject to some restrictions for the latter) and EFTA countries which are also parties to the Basel Convention (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).  The Green list waste procedure applies.
  • Shipment of waste destined for recovery from Malta to ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) States are prohibited.

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