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International cooperation and EU affairs – wastes

Photo: Wilma Hurskainen

The directives of the European Parliament and of the Council amending six directives concerning the waste sector were published in the Official Journal on 14 June 2018. The key objective of the reform is to set new, more ambitious targets for the preparation of the reuse and for the recycling of municipal and packaging waste and reducing the landfilling of municipal waste.

The date of entry into force of the directives is 4 July 2018 and they must be implemented in the national legislation by 5 July 2020.

The Commission gave the proposal for the reform of the waste directives in connection with the Circular Economy Package published in December 2015. This proposal replaced the Commission’s proposal of July 2014, which was then withdrawn. A provisional agreement on the proposals was reached in the trilogue between the European Parliament, Council and Commission in December 2017. The Council of the European Union adopted the directives on 22 May 2018.

Read more about the original proposal by the Commission and waste issues on the Commission’s website.

International agreements

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most extensive and important international agreement on waste. It regulates the movement of hazardous wastes between countries, with the aim of minimising the generation of such waste and its transport across national borders. The Convention entered into force in May 1992. A total of 179 states have ratified it so far.

The parties to the Basel Convention adopted the Protocol on Liability and Compensation for Damage Resulting from Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal in 1999. The Protocol is not yet in force internationally.

OECD member countries must supervise and control transboundary movements of waste destined for recovery operations in the OECD area. The aim is to strengthen, simplify, and clarify the procedures for controlling transboundary waste shipments to improve the level of environmental protection. The provisions of the Basel Convention and the OECD decision concerning transboundary movements of waste have been incorporated into the EU Waste Shipment Regulation.

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009) has not yet entered into force. The European Union is currently preparing provisions supporting the ratification of this convention. Finland has not yet ratified the convention.

Further information

EU waste directives: Riitta Levinen, Senior Environmental Adviser, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 162

Basel Convention and transboundary movements of waste: Else Peuranen, Ministerial Adviser, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 225

Hong Kong Convention: Tarja-Riitta Blauberg, Ministerial Adviser, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 059

OECD cooperation: Tarja-Riitta Blauberg, Ministerial Adviser, firstname.lastname@ym.fi, tel. +358 295 250 059

Published 2018-06-20 at 9:42, updated 2018-06-20 at 13:16