Was it a mistake or a loophole in revising the EU waste export regulations? Will EU temporary stop exports?

Last week of October, The European Recycling Federation (EuRIC) announced a draft of revision to the Annex of Regulation No. 1418/2007 on the export of solid waste from the EU.

This new EU regulation No. 2021/1840 defined that the export of solid waste raw materials, including waste paper, to non-OECD member countries is prohibited. Exports of difficult-to-treat waste paper such as bale compressed waste paper were also banned in the old bill, but the draft of revision covers all kinds of waste paper hence caused a turmoil in the industry.

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There are 38 member countries in the OECD who collaborate on key global issues at national, regional and local levels, starts from North & South America to Europe and Asia-Pacific.

List of countries:

©OECD. All rights reserved.

Continues to…
Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom* and United States.

     Since Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa are not qualified as members of the OECD yet but are currently working on it or under discussion. The export of waste paper to these countries are actually banned, when the destination embassy inquired, hence the waste paper was listed as an export banned item due to an administrative mistake.

     EuRIC has announced that they will urgently revise the bill, which would take around 6 to 8 weeks. The law will be effective on November 10th, and a ban on the export of waste paper from the EU to India may apply from November 10th to early December until the revision is completed.

60,000 to 150,000 tons of waste paper are exported to India every month from Spain, Italy, Netherlands and others. Though it is an administrative mistake, there are concerns about the After-impact on market conditions.

     In additions, The UK* has left the EU from this year and its UKOCC accounts for 16% of India’s imports, is out of scope. For Thailand and some South-East Asia countries who were not targeted as the OECD Key Partners, still no sign related to the Joint Programs of Work for participating in policy discussions or the debates of OECD bodies.

Finally, there remains a question about how to import EU waste paper to Non-member countries legally. Is there any room for a temporary solution or an exemption for Asian market including Middle-East market?

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