15 October 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Government publishes Brexit export guidance

The UK government has published a guidance document on import and exports with the EU that will commence from 1 January. 

The guidance included information on checks at ports, and the import/export of waste

Published on Monday, 12 October, the document covers the import and export of goods between the UK and the EU, and what will change when the transition period officially ends from 1 January 2021.

It includes advice on the movement of waste, as well as information on the documentation required for HVG drivers, which could impact RDF exporters and some recycling exports.


For waste exports from the UK from 1 January 2021, the rules for shipping non-notified waste ( ‘Green List’) waste for recycling will “remain unchanged”, the document says.

However, there will be some additional requirements on exports of notified waste (‘Amber List’) from GB to the EU.

“In broad terms, the current waste shipments procedures will still apply,” the document said.

It added: “There will, however, be some new requirements for the movement of waste between GB and the EU after the end of the transition period. The UK is a party to the Basel Convention and a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) therefore the UK will be treated in the same way as any other OECD country or any country party to the Basel convention that intends to import waste from an EU country”.

This means exporters will need to contact the authority responsible for waste in the country they are transporting waste to or through in order to find out about the authorisation process.

For notified waste shipments from the GB to the EU, exporters should continue to follow the requirements set out in the the EU customs guidelines.


HGVs exporting RDF to the continent would be impacted by any potential delays at ports

For waste imports from the EU to the UK, the document states that from 1 January 2021, there will be some “additional requirements” on imports of waste from the EU.

All imports of notified wastes (‘Amber List’) destined for GB will require the submission of a waste notification and waste movement form ahead of the waste shipment.

The subsequent authorised waste shipment will need to be carried out by an authorised waste carrier and must be accompanied by a copy of the waste movement form.

However, GB importers will not be able to import waste for disposal or import mixed municipal waste for recovery from the EU in line with EU rules.


To help with potential ques at the port of Dover,  Sevington (Ashford) may be used from 1 January as a temporary traffic management facility

When the transition period ends, it is expected that the EU will implement full import controls on goods moving from Great Britain to the EU, the guidance says.

This means that drivers taking goods from GB to the EU, regardless of where they are starting, will need to carry evidence that EU import requirements have been met.

This evidence includes customs or transit declarations, and such documentation could be checked at GB points of departure or at the EU port of arrival. “This will be true regardless of whether the UK and the EU conclude a Free Trade Agreement,” the document adds.


Drivers without the correct documentation risk being stopped from boarding services departing GB or on arrival at the EU port, being fined, or sent back to their point of departure.

“There is a risk of queues and delays, especially of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) weighing more than 7.5 tonnes, on the roads approaching ports on GB-EU routes if high volumes of HGVs do not have the correct documentation”.

To help with potential ques, Sevington (Ashford) may be used from 1 January as a temporary traffic management facility to provide lorry holding capacity in the event of disruption at Dover and Eurotunnel.

In addition, the use of the Waterbrook (Ashford) site  for traffic management purposes is being considered.

Online service

A web service, known as “Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border” (the Service) for the Roll on Roll off (RoRo) Freight Industry is also being developed. The service  will help ensure that only vehicles carrying the correct customs and import/export documentation for the EU’s import controls travel to the ports.

Where an HGV is deemed ‘border ready’ by the web service (in other words, carrying the necessary documentation) based on responses to standard questions, the web service will tell the user that the vehicle if they can ravel to the port or not.

“This will reduce disruption at GB and EU ports,” the statement says.

It adds: “In addition, provision of the data in the web service will help the relevant authorities know that consignments on an HGV have been declared as border ready and thus more likely to get across the GB/EU border”.


In a statement given to letsrecycle.com, Robert Corijn, marketing manager at Attero B.V and chair of the RDF Industry Group, said: “RDF exporters are well-prepared to meet the new administrative requirements relating to waste shipment documentation, as these have been discussed with industry for some time,” he explained.

“Any reduction in the flow of traffic could last for some time and will affect all shipments”

Robert Corijn, RDF Industry Group chair

Mr Corijn added: “We are more concerned about the level of disruption that hauliers may experience at the start of 2021 as the new general customs processes come into effect, particularly at Dover and the short strait ports. Any reduction in the flow of traffic could last for some time and will affect all shipments, not just RDF, and government needs to act to ensure the continuity of exports into Europe.”

Related links
Border document


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