New rules will crackdown on waste cheats

Regulators seeking to control the export of waste from the UK have been granted a raft of new powers to allow them to take a tough line on would-be crooks.

The export of waste is already tightly controlled in an effort to stop wealthy states from using the developing world as a dustbin and to ensure that waste recycled or disposed of beyond a country’s borders is dealt with to the same standards as if it were treated in its country of origin.

But the new Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 laid out in Parliament set out new offences and penalties as well as adding new powers of enforcement.

Key to the regulations is the fact that the authorities can now take action against anyone in the supply chain, including transporters, freight forwarders or any other person involved in the shipment of waste.

They also allow regulators to issue a range of notices on operators requiring more detailed information on what the waste shipment contains, where exactly it is going and how it will be treated on arrival.

Other notices will allow authorities to block further movement of suspected shipments and request operators to comply with specific controls.

Authorities have also been given a power to seize waste, as a last resort in cases where there is an immediate risk to human health or the environment or where an operator is in breach, or looks likely to breach a notice.

The regulations will come into force on July 12 and replace rules published in 1994.

The introduction of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations brings the UK in line with the latest European requirements for exporting waste.

Sam Bond

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