Eurofer calls on EU to ensure standards on scrap exports by closing loopholes

European steel industry association Eurofer welcomed the revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation adopted by the European Parliament in a vote Jan. 17, but warned that existing loopholes must be closed in order to avoid circumvention of the new measures.

Eurofer said that while the new text represents an improvement over the initial proposal, the risk of circumvention remains as long as the “level playing field” between the EU and other countries is not ensured.

“Europe should not allow to export its waste challenges abroad, even more so when waste such as ferrous scrap is a strategic secondary raw material in the circular economy and for decarbonization,” Eurofer’s director general Axel Eggert said in a statement.

“Scrap should be rather considered a critical raw material, as already today it is acknowledged to be a scarce resource, and our low-carbon projects will need significantly more ferrous waste already by 2030 and even larger quantities by 2050 to produce green steel,” he added.

Eurofer called for the introduction of “a comprehensive monitoring system” including the “effective verification of environmental sound management, or ESM compliance at a country level” to ensure that standards are met.

“It is of utmost importance to get this right early on, otherwise we risk jeopardizing the EU’s climate, environmental and social targets as well as its strategic autonomy,” said Eggert.

— Euan Sadden