Belgium/Italy – The BIR world recycling organisation has made an official approach to the European Commission and to Italy’s Environment Minister regarding what it describes as ‘far-reaching amendments to the Italian waste shipment regulation’.
A decree dated April 4 adds new requirements to the previous regulation and ‘seriously affects shipments of recyclables from Italy, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals scrap, to countries outside the EU’, according to BIR. Each international waste shipment must now be accompanied by a certificate issued by the authorities in the destination country confirming that the environmental standards applicable there are comparable to those prescribed in the EU. In a letter to the European Commission, BIR expresses its deep concern that the amended Italian legislation differs from the EU’s 2006 waste shipments regulation which is applicable in all EU member states and which should be enforced in the same manner everywhere in the EU. The world body’s letter to Italy’s Environment Minister Corrado Cini highlights the potential for this legislation to have a devastating effect on operators in Italy and to jeopardise supplies to steelworks, non-ferrous metals smelters, foundries and paper mills around the globe. A representative of Italian BIR member federation Assofermet states: ‘The requirements of the decree not only conflict with the current EU legislation but are also completely unrealistic and impracticable. There is no indication of methods for obtaining such a certificate or a list of authorities entitled to issue such a declaration. Moreover, the decree does not specify any criteria for determining whether standards of the importing country are comparable to those of the exporting country.’