Select Committee on Merits of Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fourth Report

Other instruments of interest


18.  The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have laid these draft Regulations. Regulations made in 2007 (the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/871)) impose on exporters an obligation to be accredited by either the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency before they may issue a packaging waste export recovery note (PERN). The PERN provides evidence of the export of packaging waste for reprocessing outside the United Kingdom. Under the 2007 Regulations, an application for accreditation as an exporter can be granted only if the Agencies are satisfied that a reprocessing site outside the United Kingdom operates under conditions that are "broadly equivalent" to those prescribed by relevant Community legislation. DEFRA have explained that exporters of metal waste are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain evidence of "broadly equivalent" conditions from overseas re-processors. The changes made by the latest Regulations will mean that the Agencies will have more discretion on what constitutes sound evidence of "broadly equivalent" conditions, and that this may be based on waste-specific environmental criteria (including proper sorting, existence of a quality system for reprocessing, no environmental dis-benefits and a buoyant market). We note that DEFRA have stated that, in making these changes, the requirements of the Regulations will reflect more closely the wording in the EU Directive[3] which they serve to implement. This statement is perhaps recognition that the approach followed in the 2007 Regulations represented over-implementation of the EU legislation.

3   Council Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1882/2003; Council Directive 2004/12/EC; and Council Directive 2005/20/EC) Back

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