Transboundary Waste Shipments in Estonia


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Last Updated: July 7, 2011
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Introduction

The shipment of electronic waste from and to Estonia is regulated chiefly by European law, with some elements being subject to the national laws of Estonia. This report reviews the main legal requirements governing shipments of electronic waste from and to Estonia.

Where electronic waste is (i) shipped between Estonia and other EU Member States, (ii) imported into Estonia from outside the EU, or (iii) exported from Estonia to outside the EU, the European waste shipment law applies. The key EU legislative instrument is Regulation 1013/2006 on the shipment of waste (the "Regulation"), which implements the Basel Convention and the OECD Decision. This Regulation is directly effective in all Member States of the European Union and does not require transposition by Estonia. Therefore, the Regulation's provisions are directly binding on private parties in Estonia.

The Regulation's controls differ depending on (i) whether the shipments are for disposal or recovery, and, if so, (ii) how the waste involved is listed, and (iii) whether the shipment is intra-EC or imports into or exports from the EC. Generally, the requirements for shipments for disposal resemble the prior authorization scheme of the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Shipment of Hazardous Waste. The requirements for shipments for recovery are based on the OECD Decision on the Transfrontier Movement of Waste for Recovery. Where the shipment is subject to notification, the Regulation also requires a contract with the receiving facility and a financial guarantee.

In addition, Estonia has adopted specific legislation to implement the Regulation's regimes. Specifically, it amended the Waste Act on 8 February 2007, which deals with administrative organization and allocation of authorities, modalities of compliance monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, the required bank guarantee, and the state fee for proceedings relating to an application for a transport permit.

Intended waste shipments subject to notification must be notified to the Estonian Environmental Inspectorate through a form prescribed by Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council. In Estonia, a shipment of waste regulated by the Waste Shipment Regulation shall upon import, export or transit be accompanied by a copy of the transport permit and the consignment note. In respect of waste shipments subject to notification, the notifier must provide a financial guarantee.

Estonia's laws on transboundary waste shipments apply only to waste defined as such by the Waste Act of 2004, which implements the Waste Framework Directive in Estonia. The Ministry of Environment is in charge of monitoring compliance with and enforcing the Regulation. Sanctions for violations of the Regulation include fines.

 
 


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