As per the recent EuRIC's press release, the Council's adoption of the revised waste shipment rules marks a significant step towards modernizing intra-EU waste shipments rules and tackling illegal shipments. EuRIC welcomes the updated rules facilitating intra-EU waste shipments with the explicit goal of achieving a circular economy, and clarifying that unintentional administrative errors do not render a whole shipment illegal.

However, EuRIC regrets the absence of distinct export rules for internationally traded processed raw materials from recycling. Maintaining a level playing field between processed materials that do not pose a threat to the environment or human health and virgin materials is vital to ensure the availability of recycled raw materials when needed.

While EuRIC fully supports measures ensuring environmentally sound management of plastic waste generated in the EU, we stress that increasing plastics' circularity necessitates reliable shipment rules for processed plastics. The lack of a prior impact assessment for the plastic export ban, also affecting processed plastics, is alarming. Just as the EU is banning plastic waste exports, it must ensure, at the same time, outlet possibilities within Europe. This is vital to safeguard recycling volumes and operations across the continent and must include mandatory recycled content targets to be met with waste generated in the EU. Moreover, establishing a clear distinction between waste and used goods will be crucial for ensuring legally reliable rules for reuse markets for textiles.

Specific rules on major aspects, such as the electronic data interchange system, transparency and traceability of shipments, rules on financial guarantees and pre-consented shipments, will be outlined in separate legal acts. EuRIC commits to full engagement in the upcoming separate legal acts with practice-oriented solutions for transiting to new rules, focusing on monitoring exports to OECD countries, compliance of non-OECD countries with environmental sound waste management standards and auditing compliance of non-EU facilities.

With no planned review until 2035, EuRIC highlights the importance of effective implementation and collaboration, and pledges to engage closely with the Commission towards this end.

To learn more, visit EuRIC's website.