This 30 July 2020, the European Commission’s online public consultation on the Waste Shipment Regulation closes. How topical to discuss heavy regulated border crossings in a post-pandemic era where EU citizens themselves are re-experiencing reduced freedom of movement within the EU and restricted access to non-EU countries.
Despite the re-refining sector small engagement on the topic, related developments do generate interest. GEIR had indeed been advocating in the past for facilitated shipments of used oil within the EU, in order to keep in the European economic loop the very valuable input that represent used lubricating oils. We therefore approve the Commission’s ambitions for the future revision, namely: support an effective transition to a circular economy, restrict the export of EU waste to third countries, and strengthen its provisions enforcement. In particular, GEIR will pay attention to updated rules related to end-of-waste criteria, which caused several headaches to the sector in the past.
The topic is indeed very likely to receive a lot of attention over the upcoming months as its impact go well beyond waste shipment matters. For one thing, the future Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability will notably build on previous work carried out on the interface of waste, product and chemicals legislation. In addition, the Circular Economy Action Plan from March announced a decision in 2021 on scoping the development of further EU-wide end-of-waste criteria. GEIR therefore expects the first clarifications to arrive as early as this October.