In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environment and Resources Authority (the "Authority") has adopted the following "temporary guidelines" in relation to the notification procedure for the transfrontier shipment ("TFS") of waste from Malta to ensure minimum disruption and timely processing of notifications.

The transfrontier shipment of waste from Malta takes place in accordance with Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations, the Waste Shipment Regulation (EC 1013/2006) and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Notification Form

Instead of insisting on original hard copies of the Notification Form and related documentation, the Authority is accepting, electronically, a scan copy of the original notification pack, clearly indicating the relative TFS Notification Reference Number. Due to e-mail size restrictions, applicants are encouraged to make use of "file sharing applications" to ensure that all documents are duly received by the Authority.

The Authority have requested that the required care is exercised to ensure that all documentation is submitted in the correct order – failing which the Authority will refuse to process the notification.

Processing Fees

The notification pack is to include evidence that payment of the relevant notification and movement document processing fees has been made. Upon request from the applicant, the Authority can issue an invoice before the payment is made. Following receipt of the complete notification pack and evidence of payment, the Authority will issue a receipt and commence processing of the notification pack.

Should the Authority require any further information or additional documentation, it will send such requests via email to the applicant or an authorised representative in Malta. It's important that said requests are met in a timely manner so as to ensure an expedient review of the whole dossier.

Endorsement by ERA of Notification Form and Related Supporting Documentation

Once the Authority confirm that they do not have further comments or requests vis-à-vis the notification pack, the applicant will be required to re-submit the consolidated notification pack for endorsement by the Authority. Following the endorsement, the Authority will send scans of the original cover letters to the applicant with instructions to send the original notification pack and copies thereof directly to all parties concerned including the competent authority of destination, the consignee and competent authority(ies) of transit (if applicable).

Normally such couriers are prepared by the applicant but are picked up from the offices of the Authority. However, in these extraordinary circumstances, the couriers are to be collected from the applicant's offices who in turn will be required to send scanned copies of the waybills to the Authority within three working days from collection by the nominated courier as proof of collection.

Furthermore, in its communication with the applicant the Authority shall start including the following statement: "The Authority shall not be held liable for the unsuccessful delivery of your notification to all parties concerned and for the omission/inclusion of documents other than those approved in our endorsed consolidated notification".

Effective Date of Temporary Measures Adopted by ERA

The temporary procedures outlined above shall come into force with immediate effect until further notice and are applicable to new as well as pending notifications. The Authority shall refuse to process any notifications which do not comply with the above procedures. Furthermore, such procedures may be amended by the Authority subject to a three-day notice being given to the industry. The Authority also reserves the right to request a hard copy of the consolidated notification pack for their records.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.