News article

Brexit: Exporting waste preparations in case of no deal

26 March 2019

This guidance is no longer current. It told you how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. After 31 January 2020 there will be a transition period until the end of 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. For current information on importing and exporting waste after the transition period, see Importing and exporting waste from 1 January 2021.

Companies which export waste from the UK need to review their contingency plans in case of disruption at ports, should the UK leave the EU without a deal

The waste industry is being urged to review contingency plans in case of disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

With or without a deal, all existing consents which authorise the export of hazardous waste, known as 'notified waste', to any EU country will remain valid when the UK leaves the EU. Companies that export waste from the UK will see no change in the processes that govern the export of 'non-notified waste' ('green-list' wastes) to the EU.

However, in the event of no deal, changes to border controls may impact on some waste exports. Disruptions at container ports are not expected, but there may be some delays at ports which operate 'roll-on, roll-off' systems.

What you should do if you export waste
If you or your business collects, transports or stores waste that is due to be exported to the EU, your existing permit or licence still applies and you are expected to continue to meet its conditions.

Given anticipated disruption at some ports, you should make a plan to minimise any impacts on your business:

  • review your own capacity and how long you can store waste on your site
  • identify alternative storage facilities that could accept your waste
  • assess if there are other export routes to market that avoid impacted ports
  • identify any alternative recovery or disposal routes for your waste
  • contact your haulage operator to discuss any potential changes to transport plans

If you do change your export route, you will also need to change your export notification. This must be agreed by the UK and overseas competent authority. You should contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency for advice.

You can find further no deal Brexit government guidance to the waste industry on the GOV.UK website.