Businesses that export waste from the UK are being reminded to review their contingency plans in case of disruption at ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
All existing consents which authorise the export of hazardous waste, called ‘notified waste’, to any EU country will remain valid when the UK leaves the EU, with or without a deal.
The Department for Environment, Food Rural Affairs (Defra) said companies that export waste from the UK will see no change in the processes that govern the export of ‘non-notified waste’ or ‘green-list waste’ to the EU.
However, changes to border controls could have an impact on some waste exports if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Defra adds while disruptions at container ports are not expected, there may be some delays at ports which operate ‘roll-on, roll-off’ systems, with the Port of Dover predicted to be the most affected.
Waste exports using the Eurotunnel could also experience disruptions.
Businesses are therefore advised to review their capacity and how long they can store waste at their sites as well as identify alternative storage facilities that could accept the waste, however, they must consider any resulting environmental risks and take steps to keep these properly controlled.
The government also suggests they should assess if there are other export routes to market that avoid impacted ports, identify any alternative recovery or disposal routes for the waste and contact their haulage operator to discuss any potential changes to transport plans.
Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “Our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy makes clear that we are committed to dealing with more of our waste in the UK and increasing recycling. But in the short term, we have taken important action to ensure any disruption caused by a no-deal Brexit can be minimised.
“This government has been absolutely clear on our commitment to deliver a Brexit deal negotiated with the EU. But the government is preparing for any eventuality and we need our businesses to do the same.”