Almost 10 years after the United States committed in an international agreement to strengthen its hazardous waste regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that governs the shipping of hazardous waste between the United States and other countries. Details on the new rule can be found in The Sentinel, Reed Smith's quarterly newsletter that discusses export, customs and trade developments.

According to EPA, the new measures will increase regulatory oversight of the international shipping of hazardous waste and provide stricter controls. The final rule, which will be effective on July 10, 2010, is also designed to make international shipment regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act more consistent with those of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a consortium of 31 Member countries that includes the United States. Key changes to the rules include:

  • Modifying the requirements concerning international shipment of hazardous waste destined for recovery among OECD countries;
  • Establishing notice and consent requirements for SLABs intended for reclamation in another country;
  • Changing the hazardous waste import-related requirements for U.S. hazardous waste management facilities to confirm that individual import shipments comply with the terms of EPA’s consent; and
  • Revising the EPA address to which exception reports concerning hazardous waste exports are to be sent.