An awareness campaign has been launched by the Environment Agency to notify exporters of its intention to issue Fixed Penalty Notices from October on illegal shipments.
A letter has been sent to producers, exporters, brokers and importers of waste shipments to notify them of the three-month campaign.
It warns exporters of the need to check that the destination can lawfully receive their shipment, that a proper contract is in place with the recovery facility and that the Annex VII forms are in place and correctly completed.
In the letter, the Environment Agency Waste Crime and Exports Team wrote: “It should contain details of the consignee and be supported by a valid contract between the person arranging the shipment and consignee. Our aim is to improve industry compliance with the law and become more aware of rogue operators and those who are trying to cut corners and transport waste illegally.”
The letter specified what exporters will need to be compliant:
- Green List waste must be accompanied by an Annex VII form. Checks must be made to ensure that this happens.
- If you are the person arranging the shipment, you must ensure that the Annex VII form is completed, prior to the shipment taking place. You must also sign the declaration on the form certifying that all the information contained in the Annex VII is complete and correct and that you have an effective written contract with the importer/consignee.
- The Annex VII form must be fully completed in order to provide relevant details of everyone involved in the shipment and an auditable trail for the shipment of waste from its starting point in the country of dispatch through to its recovery operation in the country of destination.
- The Annex VII form must then be signed by the consignee and the recovery facility when the waste shipment is received. All three signatories must keep a copy of the document for at least 3 years from the date the shipment started.
If persistent offending takes place, the Environment Agency will seek more serious enforcement action including prosecution.
The Environment Agency has also clarified on how mixed rigid plastics can be exported legally.
If the mixed rigid plastic load contains any electrical items and batteries or PVC plastic, then it becomes an illegal load.
The reason that PVC in a mixed rigid load is considered illegal is because of a technicality under the Basel shipping regulations that means PVC has its own shipping code.
This means that PVC can be shipped separately, but not with mixed rigid plastics.