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Shipments of waste

The European Union (EU) has set up a system for the supervision and control of shipments of waste within its borders and with the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and third countries which are party to the Basel Convention.


Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste [See amended act(s)].


This Regulation aims at strengthening, simplifying and specifying the procedures for controlling waste shipments to improve environmental protection. It thus reduces the risk of waste shipments not being controlled. It also seeks to include into Community legislation the provisions of the Basel Convention as well as the revision of the Decision on the control of transboundary movements of wastes destined for recovery operations, adopted by the OECD in 2001.


This Regulation applies to shipments of waste:

  • between Member States, within the European Union (EU) or with transit through third countries;
  • imported into the EU from third countries;
  • exported from the EU to third countries;
  • in transit through the EU, on the way from and to third countries.

The Regulation concerns almost all types of waste shipped. Only radioactive waste and a few other types of waste do not fall within its application, insofar as they are subject to separate control regimes.

Lists of wastes

The Regulation also reduces the number of lists of wastes whose shipment is authorised from three to two. Wastes subject to notification are set out in the “Amber List” (Annex IV), while wastes subject only to information requirements are set out in the “Green List” (Annex III). Wastes for which export is prohibited are listed separately (Annex V).

Applicable procedures

This Regulation also reduces the number of waste shipment control procedures from three to two:

  • the “green listed” procedure applies to non-hazardous waste intended for recovery;
  • the notification procedure applies to shipments of all waste intended for disposal and hazardous waste intended for recovery.

Whatever the procedure, all persons involved in shipment must ensure that they take all necessary measures in order that waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout the shipment process and when it is recovered or disposed of. The notification procedure requires that the competent authorities of the countries concerned by the shipment (country of dispatch, country of transit and country of destination) give their consent prior to any shipment.

Waste shipments must be the subject of a contract between the person responsible for shipping the waste, or having it shipped, and the consignee of such waste. Where the waste in question is subject to a notification requirement, the contract must include financial guarantees.

Under the notification procedure, the notification must be submitted by the notifier only to the competent authority of dispatch which, in turn, will be responsible for passing it on to the competent authorities of destination and transit. The competent authorities must give their consent (with or without conditions) or express their objections within 30 days. Any changes involving the main aspects of the shipment (quantity, itinerary, etc.) must be the subject of a new notification, save in cases where all the competent authorities grant the notifier an exemption from this obligation.

Furthermore, interim recovery and disposal facilities are bound by the same obligations as final recovery and disposal facilities. The authorisation of a shipment involving interim operations can only be sanctioned if the shipment of the waste in question has also been authorised.

If a shipment cannot be completed (including the recovery or disposal of waste), the notifier must take the waste back, normally at his own expense.

The take-back obligation does not apply:

  • if the competent authorities of dispatch, of transit or of destination concerned by the recovery or disposal of the waste consider that the notifier or, if that is impracticable, the competent authority of dispatch or a physical or legal person acting on their behalf, can recover or dispose of the waste in another way in the country of destination or elsewhere;
  • if the waste has been irreversibly mixed with other types of waste before a competent authority concerned has become aware of the fact that the notified shipment cannot be completed.

Other applicable provisions

The Regulation includes other general provisions, such as a ban on the mixing of waste during shipment, the making available to the general public of appropriate information, and the obligation on the part of the notifier, the competent authority, the consignee and the facilities concerned to keep documents and information.

Exports to third countries of waste intended for disposal are prohibited, except to European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are party to the Basel Convention.

Exports of hazardous waste intended for recovery are prohibited, except those directed to countries to which the OECD decision applies.

Imports from third countries of waste intended for disposal or recovery are prohibited, with the exception of imports:

  • from countries to which the OECD Decision applies;
  • third countries which are party to the Basel Convention;
  • countries which have concluded a bilateral agreement with the EU or Member States; or
  • other areas during situations of crisis.

Member States must make provision for the organisation of checks throughout the entire waste shipment and waste recovery/waste disposal process.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006



OJ L 190, 12.7.2006

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2009/31/EC



OJ L 140, 5.6.2009

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009



OJ L 87, 31.3.2009

Decision 2010/438/EU



OJ L 210, 11.8.2010

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 have been integrated in to the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Last updated: 13.07.2011
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