European Steel Association EUROFER, on the occasion of the presentation of the draft report by the Environment Committee at the European Parliament, has warned that the current Waste Shipment Regulation proposal lacks effective measures to tackle environmental challenges of waste exports and to enhance EU resiliency on valuable secondary raw materials, risking to undermine the EU’s Circular Economy and Green Deal objectives. EUROFER Director General Mr Axel Eggert said “The current provisions on waste export are clearly insufficient and bound to become a missed opportunity for climate, industry, citizens and the EU as a whole. We are in an absurd situation where the EU sets very high environmental standards and circular economy objectives for the internal market that the EU steel industry fully shares, while millions of tonnes of valuable secondary raw materials are being exported to jurisdictions where these same standards and objectives are not met. We cannot afford to give away a key secondary raw material such as scrap, if we want to fulfil the circular economy and climate objectives as well as ensuring EU strategic autonomy and social standards.”Mr Eggert said “In particular, the Waste Shipment Regulation should not automatically grant equivalence of such strict EU standards to all third countries with OECD status, as reports have shown evidence of serious shortcomings in waste treatment in some of them. Therefore, a proper country level assessment should be introduced for all export destinations. This would also contribute to ensure a level-playing field across operators and jurisdictions. Why should countries get a free ride only because they have OECD status? This does not make any sense.”He added “The obligation on waste exporters to conduct an audit is the most innovative part of the proposal, but its success depends on how audits will be carried out. This is why an effective and reliable procedure is needed to ensure trustworthiness and transparency. Social standards should also be included together with environmental requirements, as health, safety and labour conditions are key aspects of the Environmentally Sound Management principle. Finally, it is also crucial to minimise the risk of circumvention and illegal waste shipments by avoiding the reclassification of exports as end-of-waste, as it would completely undermine the entire legislative proposal.”Already today 48% of EU steel production is based on scrap, and more will be needed in the coming years as the transition to low carbon steel production accelerates. However, the EU is increasingly exporting its waste to third countries with lower environmental, climate, labour and social standards. According to Eurostat, EU total export of ferrous metals scrap reached 19.5 million tonnes in 2021, representing 48% of all exported recyclable materials. Turkey was the first export destination, with 13.1 million tonnes of ferrous metal exported from the EU.