Withdrawal of the UK & EU rules for the use of the EU waste law

Ever since the United Kingdom submitted its notification of its intention to withdraw from the Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (29 March 2017), the status of EU legislation upon withdrawal as been hotly debated.

Unless a ratified withdrawal agreement is established at another date, all European Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h (CET) (‘the withdrawal date’). As a consequence, the United Kingdom will then become a ‘third country’.

Preparation for the withdrawal is not just a matter for EU and national authorities but also for private parties. This website has been proactive in ensuring that a “blow-by-blow” account is provided each week to facilitate business to understand the current and developing positions & to take appropriate actions.

Given the considerable uncertainties, in particular concerning the content of a possible withdrawal agreement, relevant stakeholders will need to be aware of legal repercussions, which need to be considered when the United Kingdom becomes a third country.

Subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, as of the withdrawal date, EU waste law no longer applies to the United Kingdom.

The most direct consequence is in relation to the shipments of waste into and out of the European Union & waste management targets.

The European Commission has published a “Notice to Stakeholders” to clarify the position of the United Kingdom with respect to the direct consequences for shipments of waste into and out of the European Union & waste management targets, which can be freely accessed here.


  1. Review the European Commission’s “Notice to Stakeholders – Withdrawal of the United Kingdom & EU Waste Law” with respect to your waste management activities in relation imports and exports as well as achievement of recycling targets as a compliance obligation.
  2. Consider the risks and opportunities arising from Brexit and its impact on EU Waste Law on your business.
  3. Further review the status of the Brexit withdrawal from the EU and waste management legislation leading up to the “withdrawal date” (30 March 2019).
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