Coronavirus: Commission presents practical guidance to ensure waste shipments

The Commission has prepared a guidance document for a common approach to secure the continuation of waste shipments across the EU in the exceptional circumstances created by the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission recommends using the set up green lanes and replacing paper procedures for waste shipments by electronic exchange to avoid contact as much as possible and speed up the border crossing. Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “In these difficult times, our companies dealing with waste continue providing an essential service to our society. The Commission works with the Member States on keeping the green lanes for waste open so that waste can be shipped without delay to become the resource for another industry or to get its most appropriate treatment in the EU. This is good for health and environment protection, and for the circular economy as well.” Based on identified best practices, and in line with the legal framework in place, the document provides guidance to the competent authorities in the Member States, economic operators and all relevant stakeholders with a view to prevent and reduce possible obstacles to cross-border movements of waste within the EU. Reducing obstacles to waste shipments is important for maintaining a high level of protection of public health and the environment. Intra-EU shipments of waste are a key link in the whole supply chain from the collection to the final treatment of waste and its use as a resource. The Commission is committed to advancing towards the circular economy and continues working for it also during the difficult times of the coronavirus outbreak. More information is available in the guidance document