Transfrontier Shipment

For information on the impact of Brexit on oil and gas environmental legislation, please refer to the pdf document downloadable from the Home Page.

Key Legislation:

For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:

Supporting Legislation:
European Waste Catalogue:

Commission Decision 2000/532/EEC as amended by Commission Decision 2001/118/EC and 2001/119/EC (European Waste Catalogue and Hazardous Waste List)

The European Waste Catalogue provides a list of definitions and codes for classifying wastes. This system provides a more precise method of identify the type of waste. Copies of the catalogue can be found at the following links


Consent Needed:

Consent required depends on the category of waste. A three tiered system is in place (see the Performance Standards tab).

Note: the export of waste from the EU for disposal is prohibited and export is only permitted for recovery purposes.

Export of Green List (see the Performance Standards tab) waste for recovery to countries covered by the OECD Decision does not require consent. However, shipments must be accompanied by the following information in order to assist the tracking of shipments of waste for recovery. Not providing this information is an offence.

  • The name and address of the holder
  • The usual commercial description of the waste
  • The quantity of the waste
  • The name and address of the consignee
  • The operations involving recovery as listed in Annex IIB to Directive 75/442/EEC

Export of Green List waste to countries not covered by the OECD Decision – additional guidance should be sought.

Export of Amber and Red (see the Performance Standards tab) List waste for recovery requires the provision of a completed notification form, movement tracking form and supplementary information to the EA or SEPA as appropriate. This is known as the Notification Package (see below for more detail).

Note: the export of Amber and Red list wastes to non-OECD states is prohibited, whether for disposal or recovery.

Amber List wastes are subject to a streamlined procedure, where shipments may proceed in the absence of objections from the EA or SEPA within a statutory assessment period (i.e. by tacit consent). No written confirmation is required.

Shipments of Red list and unassigned wastes require the written consent of all the competent authorities concerned prior to the shipment of the waste.

Notification Package: The following information is required for the Notification Form:

  • Company name and contact details
  • Consignee name and contact details
  • Disposal/recovery site contact details and waste licence details
  • Waste producers name and contact details
  • Waste carriers name and contact details
  • Total quantity of the proposed shipment by weight or volume
  • Number of waste shipments and first/final intended dates of shipment
  • Method of disposal
  • Transport methods
  • Waste packaging details
  • Common name of waste together with chemical names of constituents
  • Physical characteristics of waste (e.g. solid/liquid)
  • Waste code that describes the waste (either International Waste Identification Code or European Waste Catalogue – see the Legislation tab)
  • Whether Amber list, Red list or unassigned
  • UN identification number, UN class and proper shipping name of waste
  • Destination country and transit countries

The Movement Tracking Form requires similar information as detailed above. This form must accompany the waste but must also be pre-submitted with the Notification Form.

Supplementary Information that must also be submitted with the Notification Form is as follows:

  • The Waste Shipment Regulations require a contract to be in place between the notified and the consignee. A copy of this contract must be submitted with the Notification Package.
  • Waste being shipped for recovery purposes, must provide additional information on the recovery method, including the planned method of disposal for the residual waste; the amount of the recycled material in relation to the recovered waste; and the estimated value of the recycled material.
  • A financial guarantee is required to be in place prior to shipment. This need not be submitted with the Notification Package but non-submission may extend the required 30 day assessment period. The financial guarantee ensures availability of funds in case of re-shipment of the waste back to the country or origin or alternative destination or alternative disposal operations.

Liability insurance is also required to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to compensate for losses incurred which have been caused by the insured or for which the insured is otherwise liable. Insurance details need not be submitted but must be in place before shipment.

How to Apply for it:

Notifiers wishing to export waste should obtain a “GB” prefixed Notification and Movement Tracking Form from SEPA/EA as appropriate.

In Scotland: contact SEPA East Region (0131 449 7296)

In England & Wales: contact the Environment Agency TFS National Service (0161 973 2237 / x3625).

When to Apply:

Green List waste

Not applicable.

Amber List and Red List waste.

Once the Notification Package is received, the SEPA or EA will formally acknowledge receipt within 3 days. Acknowledgement formally indicates that the statutory assessment procedure has commenced. The Notification Package will only be acknowledged once all the elements considered necessary under the minimum acceptance criteria have been received.

A 30-day period of assessment applies to notifications for imports or exports of waste for recovery within the OECD area. Tacit consent can be assumed for Amber waste exports if written notification/objection is not received back within this period. For exports of Red List waste, written consent must be received prior to shipment.

Green List, Red List and Amber List:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Decision classifies wastes to be recovered into one of three categories according to their hazard, the Green List, Amber List and Red List.

  • Green List wastes (see Annex II of the EU Regulations) are considered to be non-hazardous wastes. Green list wastes are not controlled under the OECD system, but documentation must still accompany transshipments as described under Article 11 of the EU Regulations.
  • Amber List wastes (see Annex III of the EU Regulations) are considered to be hazardous wastes.
  • Red List (see Annex IV of the EU Regulations) are considered to be the most hazardous wastes.
  • Wastes that do not appear in any list are considered as unassigned waste and will be treated as Red List wastes.

Note: the OECD Decision has recently been revised and Amber List and Red List wastes under the revised Decision are considered under a single heading of Amber List. However, this Decision is not yet in force.

Exports for Disposal:

All exports of waste from the EU for disposal are prohibited. It is the UK Government’s policy that no waste should be exported from the UK for disposal.

Exports for Recovery:

Exports of Amber List, Red List and unassigned wastes are permitted to countries that are parties to the OECD Decision. The export of hazardous wastes to non-OECD countries for recovery is prohibited.

Exports of Green List waste for recovery are permitted to some non-OECD countries, and further guidance should be sought.

Imports for Disposal: Imports may be accepted into the UK for disposal:

  • From countries outside the EU that do not have and cannot reasonably acquire, the technical capacity and necessary facilities to dispose of the waste in question in an environmentally sound manner.
  • From countries within the EU that produce hazardous wastes in such small quantities that the provision of new specialised disposal facilities within that state would be uneconomical, e.g. Ireland and Portugal.
Certificate of Receipt and Certificate of Disposal or Recovery:

The Movement Tracking Form must accompany the waste and relevant sections completed during the journey.

On receipt of the waste, the consignee must complete the Movement Tracking Form to indicate their receipt of the waste, this is known as the Certificate of Receipt. Following receipt, this certificate must be supplied to the concerned competent authorities concerned within three days.

Following receipt of the waste, the consignee must also issue a Certificate of Disposal or Recovery to the notifier and all the concerned competent authorities within 180 days. Not to do so is an offence.

Relevant convictions Guidance on Relevant convictions for waste environmental permits

Shipment of waste without proper documentation or authority as laid out by Council Regulation EEC/259/93 is deemed to be illegal traffic and is an offence under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994. In addition, a number of other offences are also allowed for including mixing of wastes, falsifying information, shipment without adequate financial guarantees, transport or handling of waste in contravention of the EEC Regulations, failure to comply with any notices served and failure to supply a certificate of recovery or disposal within the time limit given.

Any offence under the Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum in the UK or conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

The period of authorisation for shipment is one year after the date of authorisation or consent. The consent may be made for a series of shipments of similar waste.

International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments The Australian Government is introducing new ballast water management requirements under the Biosecurity Act (2015) for ships engaged in international voyages. Changes include ballast water exchanges to take place 12 nm from the coast or outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef or part of the Torres Strait.More details available here.
International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments Accession by Finland has triggered the entry into force of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention), a key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water. The BWM Convention will enter into force on 8 September 2017.
Reporting F-Gas emissions environmental alert: BEIS put out an Environmental Alert in November 2013 alerting operators that many have not been reporting all F-Gas emissions to the atmosphere through the Environmental Emissions Monitoring System (EEMS). It is BEIS’s understanding that this is attributed to a mistaken belief that if an F-Gas is not listed on the relevant EEMS reporting form then this eliminates the requirement to report the emission. BEIS reiterates the point that when operators become aware of the requirement to report an F-Gas to EEMS that is not included within the existing reporting form, they are requested to inform BEIS by email, who will then arrange for this product to be added to the return. This will ensure the details of the F-Gas are recorded on the system for future reporting.