Enforcement Actions I – III

2006 - 2013


Project description and aims

The Waste Shipment Regulation (1013/2006/EC) requires Member States to inspect shipments of waste and to co-operate with each other.

The series of Enforcement Actions projects was set up for the following reasons:

  • Some Member States expressed the need for a formalised project framework in order to integrate this with the enforcement inspections in their own countries;
  • International cooperation is essential to tackle international environmental problems; and
  • The network of enforcers in the field should be maintained and extended to cover all Member States

The objectives of this project are:

  1. To work towards an adequate level of inspections in all Member States and a consistent level of enforcement at all exit points of the EU;
  2. Promote site inspections at points of loading and encourage a cradle-to-grave approach to inspection to minimise illegal shipments;
  3. To verify waste destination and the treatment at their destination within or outside Europe;
  4. To provide an easily accessible European enforcement project for all Member States, and encourage them to co-operate;
  5. To detect illegal shipments and deter future ones through effective communication and guidance;
  6. To facilitate take-back procedures after an illegal shipment has taken place;
  7. To maintain and improve the network of front line inspectors, inspection methods, exchange of information and knowledge; and
  8. Demonstrate that the Member States take the enforcement of the WSR seriously.

Key activities:

The activities included carrying out various enforcement actions, knowledge exchange and capacity building and updating existing tools. The enforcement actions included road, port and company inspections, Communication and capacity building activities covered the exchange of inspectors, basecamp on-line data sharing, case studies, webinars, best practice meetings and an on-line survey.

Results and Recommendations 2012-2013

A total of 9335 administrative and 6964 physical transport inspections were undertaken in Year 1. Waste shipments accounted for 21.4% of these inspections, of which 28.5% (424) were in violation of the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR). Over the same period, 225 company inspections took place, of which, 184 were waste-related, with 42 violations detected.

A total of 2555 administrative and 3560 physical transport inspections were undertaken throughout Year 2. The proportion of waste shipments was 27.4% (1673) and, of these waste-related transport inspections, a total of 587 (35 %) were in violation of the WSR. Over the same period, 210 company inspections took place, of which, 170 were waste related, with 58 violations detected.

When combining the transport and company inspections, the waste shipment violation level has increased from 28% in Year 1 to 35% in Year 2.

The waste streams most commonly detected in transport violations were ‘mixed municipal waste’ and ‘dry recyclable’ wastes. For company inspections, waste electricals accounted for 36% of the total violations. Most illegal shipments appear to be intra-EU movements. However shipments to China and Hong Kong are the most common non-OECD destination. The level of co-operation with other authorities (e.g. police and customs) remains high. This may be one of the key factors driving up waste inspection detection levels and violation rates.

The results of the Project show that significant progress has been made by environmental regulators. This has been achieved through a high level of active participation from most countries in Europe, co-ordination of enforcement action, successful officer exchange programmes and the dissemination of good practice.

The fact that not all EU Member States participate nor exchange information and the high violation rate, however, also show that considerable effort is still needed to move towards a better enforcement to close ‘escape routes’ (e.g. by port-hopping) from the Community. Physical controls could be expanded to more borders and harbours, and regional cooperation could be strengthened further. IMPEL will be continuing this work in a follow up project to assist European countries in tackling illegal waste shipments.

Number: 2006/21 - 2008/05 - 2011/18 - 2011/25 - 2012/15 - 2013/22 – Status: Completed – Period: 2006 - 2013 – Topic: Waste and TFS - Tags:

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