Effective on July 7, 2010, under revisions to 40 CFR 264.71(a)(3) and 40 CFR 265.71(a)(3),the US TSDF receiving a RCRA manifested hazardous waste shipment from a foreign source is required to send EPA a copy of import consent documentation that confirms EPA’s consent for that import along with a copy of the RCRA manifest for the import shipment. The matched import consent documentation and RCRA manifest must be submitted by the US TSDF within 30 days of shipment delivery. Consent documentation supplied by EPA will clearly identify the waste stream, the specific foreign source, and the allowable time period and maximum quantity of waste.
No, the import consent documentation cited in the revisions to 40 CFR 264.71(a)(3) and 40 CFR 265.71(a)(3) is not a copy of the notice required to be submitted to the Regional Administrator under 40 CFR 264.12(a)(1) or 40 CFR 265.12(a)(1). Under 40 CFR 264.12(a)(1) and 40 CFR 265.12(a)(1), the US TSDF must submit a notice to the Regional Office 4 weeks before it expects the first shipment to inform EPA that the US TSDF soon will be receiving a unique hazardous waste from a unique foreign source for the first time. This import notice is only required once, unless the facility intends to import a different waste or from a different foreign source.
Only facilities that are required to submit to EPA copies of RCRA manifests for import shipments under 40 CFR 264.71(a)(3) or 40 CFR 265.71(a)(3), or the state equivalent to those requirements, are affected by the new import consent documentation requirements that become effective on July 7, 2010.
Up until now, EPA has provided consent to the country of export only. Starting on June 1, 2010, EPA will send a cover letter and copy of the foreign notice to all US receiving facilities listed in the foreign notice when we inform the country of export that the import is allowable. The EPA cover letter and attached foreign export notice will serve as EPA’s import consent documentation for the export described in the foreign notice. EPA will mail, fax, or email the letter and foreign notice using the contact information listed for the facilities in the foreign notice.
For prior consents that will still be active on or after July 7, 2010, EPA sent letters and relevant foreign notices to the listed US destination facilities in batch mailings.
EPA is providing the letter and foreign notice for your potential use and recordkeeping because your facility is listed as a receiving facility or interim receiving facility in the attached foreign notice. If your facility is not required to submit the RCRA hazardous waste manifest under §§ 264.71(a)(3) or 265.71(a)(3) during the period of consent in the cover letter, then you may disregard the letter and foreign notice.
No, some examples of when you would not receive consent documentation from EPA are:
- The waste in the shipment is not regulated hazardous waste in the country of export, so no foreign export notice is sent to EPA.
- The waste in the shipment is regulated as hazardous waste in the country of export, but that country considers the shipment a return rather than an export (e.g., shipments of maquiladora waste from Mexico to the US), so no foreign export notice is sent to EPA.
There could be other unanticipated reasons why you may not receive consent documentation from EPA, such as incorrect contact information or incomplete foreign export notice.
7. What should I do if I receive a RCRA manifested hazardous waste import shipment from Canada, Mexico, or a non-OECD country that I cannot match with any of the import consent documentation provided by EPA?
As explained in the previous question, there are a number of situations under which your facility would not receive consent documentation from EPA.
If an import shipment of RCRA hazardous waste from Canada, Mexico, or any non-OECD country arrives in the US accompanied by a RCRA manifest that you cannot match to any EPA-provided import consent documentation, you should immediately contact your foreign customer to ask for verification that either:
- the shipment contents were not considered an export of hazardous waste within the country of export; or
- the exporter submitted a notice to export and received consent.
When the country of export does not regulate the exported waste as hazardous, the country of export will not send an export notice to EPA. Under the requirements effective July 7, 2010, in 40 CFR 262.82(a)(2)(ii)(B), if the waste to be exported to the US for recycling from an OECD Member country listed in 40 CFR 262.58(a)(1) is not considered hazardous by the country of export but is considered hazardous within the US, then the US importer is required to assume the duties of the foreign exporter, submit the export notice to EPA, and obtain consent from EPA prior to any transboundary shipment. The notice should include the data elements listed in 40 CFR 262.83(d) and detail the proposed export from the foreign country to the US for recovery. EPA will forward copies of the notice to any listed transit country (i.e., countries a shipment may pass through between the exporting country and the importing country) for their review, and will transmit consents directly back to the US importer. If the US receiving facility is not the importer, EPA will send a copy of the consent documentation to the listed US destination facilities at the same time. Therefore, your facility should have consent documentation on file from EPA regarding import shipments of RCRA hazardous waste for recycling from an OECD country other than Canada or Mexico.
Please note that under long standing RCRA policy discussed in a June 25, 1985 memo to EPA Region 9 (PDF) (2 pp, 40K, About PDF), EPA may consider your facility responsible for complying with the notification requirements under 40 CFR 262.82(a)(2)(ii)(B) as a contributor to the import of the hazardous waste even if other parties were involved in arranging the import. To avoid noncompliance with RCRA regulations when multiple parties are involved in arranging the import, we recommend that the parties to the transaction assign and document the importer responsibilities among themselves to ensure that the importer duties are met.