Waste legislation

Finnish waste legislation covers all wastes except certain special types of waste such as radioactive wastes, which are covered by separate laws.

Finnish waste legislation is largely based on EU legislation, but in some cases includes stricter standards and limits than those applied in the EU as a whole. Finland also has legislation on some issues related to wastes that have not yet been covered by EU legislation. 

The negative environmental impacts of wastes are also addressed in legislation on environmental protection:

  • Environmental Protection Act (527/2014, in Finnish, Finlex)
  • Environmental Protection Decree (713/2014, in Finnish, Finlex)

Taxes and fees payable in relation to wastes are generally included in legislation on taxation, although some fees are included in waste legislation. Other statutes covering specific economic activities also include certain controls related to wastes.

The regulations below are unofficial translations, which are available in PDF format in FINLEX, the Data Bank of Finnish Legislation. Please note that some regulations are available only in Finnish and Swedish.

General waste legislation


  • Council Regulation establishing criteria determining when certain types of scrap metal cease to be waste under Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (NO 333/2011, EUR-lex)

Waste treatment and recovery

  • Government Decree on landfills (331/2013, in Finnish)
  • Government Decree on waste incineration (151/2013)
  • Government Decree concerning the recovery of certain wastes in earth construction (591/2006, “Mara” decree)

Legislation on specific waste types, products and activities

  • Government Decree on batteries and accumulators (520/2014, in Finnish)
  • Government Decree on extractive waste (190/2013)
  • Government Decree on end-of-life vehicles and restrictions on the use of hazardous substances in vehicles (123/2015, in Finnish)
  • Government Decree on waste of electric and electronical equipment (519/2014, in Finnish)
  • Government Decree on the qualification requirements for equipment containing  fluorinated greenhouse gases or ozone depleting substances (766/2016, in Finnish)
  • Act on restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (387/2013)
  • Government Decree on limiting the use of PCB-equipment and the processing of wastes containing PCBs (958/2016, in Finnish)
  • Government Decision on amalgam-containing wastewater and waste resulting from dental care (112/1997)
  • Government Decision on the separate collection and recovery of discarded tyres (527/2013)
  • Government Decree on the collection and recycling of waste paper (528/2013)
  • Government Decree on packaging and packaging waste (518/2014, in Finnish)
  • Government Decree on the return system for beverage containers (526/2013, in Finnish)

Waste shipments

International shipments of wastes to and from Finland are covered by EC Regulation No. 1013/2006 on shipments of waste, which is enforced in all EU and European Economic Area member states. This regulation sets out detailed controls over the import, export and trans-shipment of wastes, as well as conditions for the related permits.

  • Regulation (EC No 1013/2006, EUR-lex) of the European Parliament and of the Council on shipments of waste

The controls set out in this European regulation have been supplemented in Finland by a Government Decision on the part of the National Waste Plan concerning transfrontier waste shipments (495/1998), which sets out the conditions under which the Finnish Environment Institute, as the competent authority, may approve international waste shipments to, from, or through Finland.

  • Government Decision on the part of the National Waste Plan concerning transfrontier waste shipments (495/1998, Finlex)

Other legislation

  • Waste Oil Charge Act (894/1986, Finlex)

Further information

Environment Councellor Susanna Wähä, Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 325

Published 2017-06-22 at 12:44, updated 2017-06-22 at 12:57