IMPEL conference on tackling illegal shipments of waste
Stamping out illegal shipment of waste was the subject of a three day conference in Liverpool (UK) that brought together authorities from over 30 countries. The conference, held between 29 and 31 May, was hosted by the Environment Agency for England and Wales and co-organised with the IMPEL network.
100 delegates who represented environmental law authorities from across Europe attended the annual IMPEL TFS conference. They were joined by global organisations including Interpol, the World Customs Organization, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention and the Asian Network on the Prevention of Illegal Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste. Representatives from industry and NGOs also attended the meeting.
The conference concentrated on the ongoing activities and projects of the IMPEL cluster that is dedicated to the issue of transfrontier shipments of waste (TFS). New project proposals, activities from partner organisations, the consequences of the end-of-waste criteria in relation to the enforcement of the Waste Shipment Regulation, national case studies, improving the recycling of end-of-life vehicles and compliance tools were presented and discussed. There was significant interest in the development of a network of public prosecutors that has already begun with the assistance of IMPEL. A separate session was held on the emerging issue of ship recycling.
The theme of this year’s annual IMPEL conference was “Improving the Quality of Recyclates and Resource Efficiency”. Opening the event, Defra Minister for Waste, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, said: “As regulators one of the key ways you can achieve more without necessarily expending significant resources is to share your knowledge, experiences and expertise as regulators and learn from each other. IMPEL plays a key role in facilitating the collaboration among frontline officers. Working together you can achieve much more than working alone. The illegal export of waste is a global problem and requires countries to work collaboratively to ensure the controls put in place to protect vulnerable countries are not exploited.”
Dutch MEP Ms Judith Merkies spoke to delegates via video link. Ms Merkies, who sits on both the Industry and Environment Committees in the European Parliament, spoke about the future of waste management and its value as a resource. This underpinned the importance of a zero-waste economy.
It was concluded that the IMPEL TFS conference remains a good opportunity to network and share experiences with good inter-agency involvement. The outcomes of the conference will also be used as feedback to the European Commission that are responsible for European legislation related to transfrontier shipments of waste.
For a link to a video of Judith Merkies shown at our conference.