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‘Concrete results’ in EU fight against illegal shipments

Europe – Regulatory authorities from 30 European countries have joined forces under the IMPEL banner to combat illegal waste shipments. And of the more than 22 000 shipments checked during 2012 and 2013 as part of the network’s Enforcement Actions Project, inspectors discovered that 21% of the waste shipments were in violation of the European Waste Shipment Regulation.

Europe′s environmental regulators are said to be improving year on year at detecting illegal shipments, the IMPEL partners claim. During 2013, inspectors found 35% of shipments to be in violation through random and intelligence-led inspections on roads as well as in sea ports and at waste sites.

The waste streams most commonly associated with transport violations were ′mixed municipal waste′ and ′dry recyclable′ wastes. For company inspections, e-scrap accounted for 36% of all violations. Most illegal shipments appear to be intra-EU movements of waste while China and Hong Kong provide the most common non-OECD destination for shipments.

The level of co-operation between police and customs remains at a ′high level′ and is heralded as a key factor in battling the illegal shipment problem.

According to IMPEL′s vice chair Chris Dijkens, he is ′extremely pleased′ that co-ordinated activities have yielded ′concrete results′. And he adds: ′I′m looking forward to us building on this positive work, and hope that it will encourage those competent authorities who are yet to participate to be involved in our work to combat illegal shipments of waste.′

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