Written Question: Illegal shipment of waste between Italy and Tunisia

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 29 March 2021

Question for written answer E-001736/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Piernicola Pedicini (Verts/ALE), Rosa D’Amato (Verts/ALE)

Subject: Illegal shipment of waste between Italy and Tunisia

This is our second(1) Written Question concerning 282 containers shipped between May and July 2020 by the Italian company SRA to Soreplast, a Tunisian company, containing mixed municipal waste.

The contract stated that the recyclable waste would be recovered for recycling and that the remaining waste would be disposed of in Tunisia. The border authorities did not find materials ready for recycling, but instead found mixed municipal waste.

Judicial investigations were launched in both Tunisia and Italy, resulting in the detention of Tunisia’s Minister of the Environment and the Campania Region called for the repatriation of the containers. Since then, SRA has filed several appeals to regional tribunals blocking the bank guarantees to be used for the repatriation of the shipment.

Article 9 of the Basel Convention requires that the party violating the Convention must take back the waste within 30 days from the time the information came to light.

  1. How is the Commission ensuring that Italy immediately repatriates the waste in accordance with its obligations under the Waste Shipment Regulation, the Basel Convention, and the Bamako Treaty(2)?
  2. Is the Commission investigating Italy’s violation of the Waste Shipment Regulation?
  3. Does the Commission intend to ensure that European Waste Code 19 12 12 is not used again in violation of waste trade laws?


(1) Written Question E-006183/2020 – Monitoring and preventing the illegal trafficking of toxic waste between the EU and Tunisia – Piernicola Pedicini, Rosa D’Amato and Ignazio Corrao, supported by Eleonora Evi.
(2) 93/98/CEE: Council Decision of 1 February 1993 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention), OJ L 39, 16.2.1993, p. 1; Council Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 of 1 February 1993 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community, OJ L 30, 6.2.1993, p. 1; Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste, OJ L 190, 12.7.2006, p. 1; 98/238/CE, ECSC Decision of the Council and the Commission of 26 January1998 on the conclusion of a Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Tunisia, of the other part, OJ L 97, 30.3.1998, p. 1; Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import to Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa, 30 January 1991, Bamako, Mali.
(3) This question is supported by Members other than the authors: Ignazio Corrao (Verts/ALE), Eleonora Evi (Verts/ALE)

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