Members' Research Service By / March 23, 2022

Revision of the EU’s Waste Shipment Regulation [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy Podcast]

In the new circular economy action plan, part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission committed to addressing waste exports from the EU, noting that in many cases, such exports result in both negative environmental and health impacts in the countries of destination, and in loss of resources and economic opportunities for the EU’s recycling industry.

© la luz robada / Adobe Stock.

Written by Vivienne Halleux (2nd edition, updated on 11.01.2023).

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a proposal to revise EU rules on shipments of waste. The proposed regulation aims at easing shipments of waste for reuse and recycling in the EU, to support the transition to a circular economy; ensuring that waste exported from the EU is managed in an environmentally sound manner in the destination countries; and stepping up enforcement to counteract illegal shipments of waste. While supporting the proposed streamlining and digitalisation of procedures, stakeholders have stressed the need for significant improvements to ensure that the new regulation fulfils its objectives, in particular as regards exports of waste.

In Parliament, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), responsible for the file, adopted its legislative report on 1 December 2022. Strengthening the Commission’s text, notably on transparency, monitoring, and assessment of sound waste management in third countries, the report would also put an end to plastic waste exports outside the EU and EFTA countries. It awaits a vote at the January 2023 plenary session. If adopted, the report will form Parliament’s position for future negotiations with the Council, which still has to agree its position.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on shipments of waste and amending Regulations (EU) No 1257/2013 and (EU) No 2020/1056
Committee responsible:Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)COM(2021) 709
Rapporteur:Pernille Weiss (EPP, Denmark)2021/0367(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Cyrus Engerer (S&D, Malta)
Frédérique Ries (Renew, Belgium)
Sara Matthieu (Greens/EFA, Belgium)
Mathilde Androuët (ID, France)
Pietro Fiocchi (ECR, Italy)
João Pimenta Lopes (The Left, Portugal)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on
equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Plenary vote on committee report
timeline-10 steps-voted in plenary

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  • Interesting news! This is a great development that could help improve the sustainability of our environment. This is good for circular economy and countries should encourage their industries to follow the recycling of the waste, as third countries probably do not have the resources to deal with the waster in such a large manner. Recycling prevents old materials from ending up in landfills and increasing the amount of usable material. It’s also an economically viable route since it reduces costs associated with production and disposal. Thanks for sharing this update on EU legislation!

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