If you import or export waste you need to be aware that shipments of waste are subject to a range of regulatory controls. You can read more about the rules you must comply with on these pages.
Waste export controls tool
Our tool will help you determine the regulatory controls that apply to the exports of wastes for recovery to specific countries from England and Wales. It will not tell you about the rules that apply in those countries of destination or transit.
What you must do
How you need to manage your international shipment of waste depends on:
- whether the waste is being sent for recovery or disposal - most shipments for disposal are prohibited and if they are allowed they are subject to notification controls
- if being moved for recovery, the type of waste - European legislation contains several annexes specifying different types of hazardous and non hazardous waste. We have simplified these into one 'consolidated waste list':
- Consolidated waste list version 5.0 (PDF, 106KB)
- the 'status' of the countries of dispatch and destination - if you're moving waste within the European Union (EU), the procedures are different from those that apply if you're moving waste out of or into the EU, or to and from Organisation for Economical Co-operation and Development countries:
- Council Regulation 1013/2006/EC (the Waste Shipments Regulation) (PDF, 1MB)
Exporting waste from the UK for recovery
Find out more about the types of waste that can be shipped abroad, the rules that apply and how to ensure you comply by using our waste export controls tool:
Please be aware that other specific local controls may also exist in the countries of transit or destination.
If you are intending to ship waste from the UK to another country, see our guide:
The export of many wastes for recovery need our written permission before moving the waste and you must comply with a range of other requirements. For more information on these see:
Importing waste to the UK
If you are bringing waste into the UK from abroad see our guide:
If you are receiving waste within the UK you must ensure the proper procedures have been followed. You will need to know if the waste import is allowed and, if so, under what controls.
You will also be required to complete specified documents on receipt and completion of the recovery or disposal of the waste and, in the case of waste subject to notification controls, send copies of those documents to the person who sent the waste and to the relevant regulatory authorities.
In all cases you will need to keep copies of the documents relating to the imported waste for three years.
Preventing illegal e-waste export
In 2008 we established a National Environmental Crime Team and a National Intelligence Team. These teams are tasked with preventing the illegal export of waste.
Using an intelligence-led approach, they identify, investigate, and prosecute those involved in the illegal export of electrical waste. The main concern is the export of hazardous e-waste to developing countries.