EFE/David Arquimbau Sintes

Brussels, Nov 17 (EFE).- The EU Council, which represents the Member States, and the European Parliament, have closed a political agreement to reduce waste shipments outside the European Union and increase control regimes to guarantee that do not represent a threat to human health and the environment.

“It will provide us with the necessary framework to better recover and reuse waste as secondary material. At the same time, it will help us ensure that the waste we export is not harmful,” said Spanish Vice President and Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa, in a statement. Ribera, representing the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU.

The pact, which will have to be validated by both the Council and the plenary session of the European Parliament, covers waste shipments within the EU (with or without transit through third countries), as well as waste imported and exported from and to third countries, and also shipments of waste in transit through the EU to or from third countries, the Council reported.

Specifically, the pact prohibits sending outside the EU all waste intended for disposal within the communicated territory, except in justified and authorized exceptions, as well as in cases of waste “explicitly intended for laboratory analysis and experiments if they do not exceed 250 kilos”.

The agreement details the deadlines for procedures and notifications, as well as for responses from the competent authorities.

The information, which will be managed by the European Commission, will be public and when exceptionally the shipment of hazardous waste is authorized to third countries outside the EU or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the facilities that deal with that garbage at the destination will have to be audited by independent organizations.

Member States must apply “effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions in the event of infringement”, which may include fines and the suspension of authorizations to ship waste.

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