Defra is understood to have secured consent for the roll-over of waste export notifications with all EU member states in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.
Spain is the last country to agree to the measure, meaning all member states have now agreed. This means that existing approvals that permit the shipment of notified waste from the UK will remain valid should the UK leave the EU without an agreement in place.
The agreement to “roll-over” consents, in a no-deal scenario, will also apply to any approvals granted by the regional Spanish Competent Authorities before 29 March.
The announcement should offer some relief to those in the RDF sector, who have previously raised concerns about exports in the event of a no-deal.
However, concerns still remain over the potential impact on exports of potential delays caused by increased customs checks, and the general traffic congestion caused by hold-ups at ports (see letsrecycle.com story).
When contacted by letsrecycle.com, Harriet Parke, secretariat at the RDF Industry Group , said: “Defra has worked hard over the past few months to engage with the European regulators to ensure that 100% of the UK‘s consents for controlled waste exports are rolled-over after exit day, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“As we now have certainty that the legal consents will remain in place, we are asking the UK government to urgently liaise with individual Member States which import waste to ensure that inspections and customs procedures do not result in significant delays that will impede the supply chain.”Harriet Parke
RDF Industry Group
“As we now have certainty that the legal consents will remain in place, we are asking the UK government to urgently liaise with individual Member States which import waste to ensure that inspections and customs procedures do not result in significant delays that will impede the supply chain.”
Commenting on the announcement, Pat Jennings, head of policy & communications at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, said: “CIWM welcomes this news and Defra’s commitment and work to date to secure these agreements with other EU Member States to ensure clarity and continuity for waste exports in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.”
Details of plans in place for waste in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit have been outlined by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove – which includes the potential for some sites to exceed their permitted storage tonnages (see letsrecycle.com story).
In the last year, the UK exported around 3.6 million tonnes of RDF to the EU and around 15% of this went via the port of Dover, according to Defra data.