Report says EU scrap restriction vote delayed

Argus cites sources who say export system vote likely delayed until next year.

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Recovered paper is among the established secondary commodities facing restrictions pending the outcome of a European Parliament vote.
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Business information and media company Argus says sources have indicated to it that a committee of the European Parliament will delay a previously scheduled late November vote on scrap export restrictions into early next year.

The vote of the legislative body’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee concerns the revised waste shipment regulation (WSR), which has been met with concern and opposition by collectors, processors and traders of scrap materials.

The revisions call for a preapproval or permission process for scrap materials shipped from EU member states to non-Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations, with recipients required to demonstrate they operate to EU environmental standards.

Some EU regulators and legislators have become convinced scrap materials are being “dumped” on non-OECD nations. That notion is called off target by recycling companies who trade aluminum, copper, steel and cardboard scrap in shipments worth tens of thousands of euros. The recyclers also say non-OECD nations deserve access to low-carbon scrap inputs.

Trade organizations including the Brussels-based European Waste Management Association (FEAD), the Berlin-based Association of German Metal Traders and Recyclers (VDM) and the Brussels-based European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) all have voiced their objections to the looming system and have encouraged member companies to contact their parliamentary representatives.

According to Chi Hin Ling of Argus, the parliament committee vote on the revised WSR initially had been scheduled for either early or late November). Now, however, the vote might not take place before January because of hectic legislative schedules.

While recycling and trading companies will use the added time to lobby against the WSR revisions, Argus says steelmakers and other producers of basic materials favor the revisions, with some even advocating for greater trade restrictions within the EU.

Producers and recyclers of paper and board will gather in mid-November in Rotterdam for the 2022 Paper & Plastics Recycling Europe Conference Europe, with the pending trade rules a scheduled topic of discussion.

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