Waste Exports

Are you affected?
Further information

Are you affected?

If you wish to export – or import - waste products for whatever disposal route including recycling and recovery, you are subject to the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 (as amended). 

Amendments include:

Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2014

Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2008


  • On 12 July 2007, European waste shipments legislation came into force creating a more universal list of waste codes, and simplifying the procedures for notifiable and non-notifiable waste.
  • A 2013 Amendment updated Annex VII and Annex VIII. This applied a revised Annex VII document which must be used instead of the 2006 version.
  • All parties involved have a duty to manage the process in a way that protects the environment and human health.
  • Temporary storage, or interim recovery or disposal operations are included in the controls.
  • If notfiable:
    • There must be a financial guarantee or appropriate insurance.
    • The charges for determining notifications have been changed.
    • Prior notification and written consent must be gained from the environmental regulator for the country from which the waste is being sent and the environmental regulator for the country where the waste is being received .
    • Only one waste code is allowed on each notification, which must be selected from the more generic list of waste codes.
  • Tracking and monitoring the movement of specified non-hazardous or ‘green list’ wastes is more strictly controlled.

Information is available here.

PLEASE NOTE. From 1 January 2020 Basel amendments to plastic exports will be implemented in full by the UK.

As the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, exports of PVC and mixed plastics other than a combination of any of PE/PET/PP to any country will no longer be green list and have to be notified. Further guidance is here.

Back to top


Imports for recovery

Imports for disposal

Generally, you should not import wastes for disposal in the UK. There are a number of exceptions to this ban.

  • You can import waste from countries outside the UK where you can provide environmentally sound disposal that is not available in their own country. Governments of states wishing to dispose of waste in the UK must have an agreement with the relevant environmental regulator under a duly motivated request (DMR), the UK Correspondent (The Secretary of State), or the EU under a bilateral agreement.
  • For example, the Isle of Man is permitted to export hazardous waste to the UK under a DMR for physico-chemical treatment, disposal to landfill and high temperature incineration at authorised facilities.
  • You can import waste from EU countries that produce hazardous wastes but only in such small quantities that the provision of new specialised facilities within that state would be uneconomical. For example, Ireland and Portugal are permitted to export hazardous waste to the UK for disposal by high temperature incineration at authorised facilities.

Exports for disposal

You must not export waste from the UK for disposal . There are generally no exceptions to this ban except where there are absolutely no disposal options in the UK.

Exports for recovery

  • If waste is being moved for recovery, the type of waste must be specified - European legislation contains several annexes specifying different types of hazardous and non hazardous waste. This has been simplified into one 'Consolidated waste list'. There is an EC FAQ that helps to understand the use of these codes.
  • The EU has recently (Oct 2019) published Guidance on 'How to report on shipment of waste'.
  • Some waste codes have been replaced in the Waste Shipment Regulations by OECD codes. These should be used for WEEE, for instance.
  • You are allowed to export hazardous wastes to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member states for recovery in principle . There are some exceptions , for example, you should not export hazardous waste to Hungary.
  • The Agency has updated the 'Controls on Exports of Green List Waste to non-OECD Countries' to Version 17 (Jan 2013).
  • You must not export hazardous wastes to non-OECD countries for recovery.
  • With some exceptions, you are allowed to export specified non-hazardous waste known as ‘green list’ waste for recovery to OECD member states and certain non-OECD states.
  • Depending on the policies of the importing country, shipments of ‘green list’ waste to non-OECD countries either may be banned, require prior written notification and consent , or be excluded from control. The EA have produced a very good on-line Exports Control Tool
  • All green list waste being exported must be accompanied by an Annex VII document (2013 version) which acts like a transfer note. A recent ECJ ruling (29 March 2012) has stated that all sections of this must be fully completed regardless of any confidentiality issues.
  • The EU has issued an Annex VII Guidance document (2017) 'Correspondence Guidelines 10' and the EA issued clarification in 2014 ireminding exporters of their duties to complete all the sections regarding the Annex VII.
  • Whilst the EA only require the Annex VII to be completed and sent with the consignment, SEPA require active notification through NPWD.
  • All hazardous waste being exported from or imported into the UK must be treated as notifiable waste and must follow the EA Guidance for notifiable waste.
  • Where waste is notified and the waste type is not listed in the Basel Convention Consolidated Waste list (see above), it can be moved as unlisted waste under the Annex 1c amendment to the Shipment Regulations.
  • There are transitional arrangements for the export of specific non-hazardous wastes to Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania. You will require prior written notification and consent to export non-hazardous waste to these countries.
  • A completed movement form must also accompany each shipment of ‘green list’ waste. In Scotland, you must submit Annex VII forms to the competent authorities prior to any shipment. You can obtain these forms from your competent authority.
  • The EU has FAQ's which are helpful, but not always in line with EA application.
  • For used-EEE/WEEE exports, the EU Correspondents Guidelines should be referred to and WRAP have produced a very good Guide.
  • Please note that the EU Commision has issued special Guidelines for the export of ink cartridges as part of a number of 'Correspondents Guidelines'.

Latest EU information

Back to top

Further information


Environment Agency


Basel Convention text

Basel amendment to B3010

Signatories to Basel 

OECD Decision on Transboundary Controls

OECD waste page

List of EU and OECD member countries

List of EU competent Authorities

EU Correspondents' Guidelines

EU Guidance on 'How to report on shipment of waste'

European Commission

EC TFS Links

EC List of Waste Carrier Licence acceptance by Member States

Further EC documents and links

IMPEL 2014/15 Report

EC Report on analysis of implementation of Article 18 controls


Biffa appeal judgement