Environment Agency introduces new charges for regulating waste shipments


Waste exports

Amended charges for regulating international waste shipments have come into force, which the Environment Agency said are “fairer”.

The Environment Agency said the new system was agreed in consultation with industry and will support a sustainable regulatory system that increases compliance and reduces delays in processing notifications.

Movements of certain waste to some destinations are subject to stricter notification controls. Waste shipped under these controls is known as “notified waste” and the Environment Agency has an obligation to recover the costs of its regulatory activities through charges to its customers.

Following a public consultation launched last October, the new charges scheme for regulating notified waste shipments under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations (2007) came into effect on the 1 April.

The changes reflect that some more complex types of waste shipments cost more to regulate and ensure charges are “fairer and more reflective” of its work, the Environment Agency said.

The last amendments to international waste shipment charges were published in 2012. Over the last decade, market trends and policies to improve environmental standards have increased the costs of regulation.

As a result, the Environment Agency said its regulatory activities became greater than the fees it charged waste importers and exporters, leading to difficulties in funding compliance activities and delays in processing notifications.

The Environment Agency spends its income from charges on processing applications, data reporting and compliance work to ensure shipments are lawful and do not pose a risk to the environment. It recovers the full costs of its regulatory activities via charges to avoid costs being passed onto the taxpayer, the Environment Agency said.

The changes being introduced include new charges for anyone sending more than 1,000 shipments under a notification, different charges for applications for end-of-life ships, platforms and fixed oil rigs, and additional charges for any notification that includes mercury, ozone-depleting substances (ODS), fluorinated gases (F-gases) or Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM).

Steve Molyneux, Environment Agency Deputy Director of Waste Regulation, commented: “Waste and recycling must be properly managed, whether processed at home or abroad, and we monitor the export of waste from England to make certain it is.

“We have an obligation to avoid passing on the costs of our regulatory activities to the taxpayer and prior to April had not increased our charges for regulating waste shipment notifications for more than a decade.

“Our new scheme will support a regulatory system that works for all, as well as ensuring we continue to protect people and the environment from the impacts of hazardous waste.”

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