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Basic Information on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Export and Import Requirements

ALERT:

With two exceptions, export shipments of hazardous waste operating in compliance with an Acknowledgement of Consent (AOC) letter issued by EPA prior to 12/31/16 are subject to the export requirements in effect at the time their AOC letter was issued until the consent expires. Learn more about the requirements for previously consented exports of hazardous waste.

ALERT:

With one exception, import shipments of hazardous waste operating in compliance with a consent issued by EPA prior to 12/31/16 are subject to the import requirements in effect at the time of EPA's consent was issued until it expires.  Learn more about the requirements for previously consented imports of hazardous waste.

ALERT:

U.S. exporters submitting export notices proposing shipments of hazardous waste to Canada for recycling or disposal should make sure that the U.S. exporter, the Canadian importer, the carriers/transporters and all receiving facility names, addresses and contact information entered in the notice EXACTLY matches the names, addresses and contact information entered in the Canadian import notice being submitted to the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) by the Canadian receiving facility. EPA and ECCC strongly recommend that U.S. exporters and Canadian importers double check this information to ensure identical entry of such information prior to submitting their notices to avoid significant delays in obtaining consent or a possible rejection by the Canadian competent authority (ECCC) due to discrepancies between the entries submitted to EPA and ECCC. An objection by the Canadian competent authority will mean that the U.S. exporter will have to submit to EPA a new notification of intent to export.


On this page:

EPA regulates the exports and imports of hazardous waste from and into the United States under RCRA and recently finalized changes to existing regulations. Information about the updated requirements that exporters and importers must follow is summarized below.


RCRA Requirements for Hazardous Waste Exports

Under RCRA, any person exporting a hazardous waste from the United States to a foreign country is subject to RCRA export requirements.

The following table provides an overview of the RCRA requirements for U.S. exports of hazardous waste and links to the corresponding implementing regulations and guidance materials that are effective as of December 31, 2016.

ALERT: Export shipments of hazardous waste operating in compliance with an Acknowledgement of Consent letter issued by EPA prior to 12/31/16 are subject to different requirements until the consent expires.

Requirement Exports of Hazardous Waste
40 CFR 262 Subpart H

Overview of Requirements

Provides guidance for exporters

Information for exporters

Flowchart of export process, Subpart H

40 CFR Part 262 Subpart H

EPA Identification Number

Issued by authorized State program or EPA Regional office based on Form 8700-12 notification of RCRA Subtitle C activity (e.g. acting as hazardous waste exporter)

Required
§262.12(d)

Contracts

Specifies the responsibilities of the U.S. exporter and foreign recovery facility

Required
§262.83(f)

Notice of Intent

Notifies EPA of the intent to export hazardous waste

Required
§262.83(b)

Acknowledgement of Consent

EPA letter documenting the written consent of the receiving country to accept hazardous waste and describing the terms and conditions of consent

Consent required per §262.83

Electronic Export Information (EEI)

Additional RCRA items as part of the Electronic Export Information submitted for each export shipment to the Automated Export System (AES) under the International Trade Data System (ITDS)

Optional until AES filing compliance date; required thereafter
§262.83(a)(6)

RCRA Manifest

Contains information on the type and quantity of waste transported, instructions for handling waste, and consent numbers for listed hazardous wastes; accompanies shipment from origin to port of exit or border crossing

Required
§262.20 – 262.23; §262.83(c); §262.83(a)(6)(i)(B)(2)

International Movement Document

Includes information about the shipment, recovery facility, and transporters and accompanies the waste from origin to foreign recovery facility

Required
§262.83(d)

Confirmation of Receipt

Exporter must require destination facility to confirm delivery of the hazardous waste to that destination facility using international movement document

Required
§262.83(d)(xv) and §262.83(f)(4)

Exception Report

Submit exception reports if shipment is delayed, lost, or returned to the United States

Required under circumstances specified in §262.83(h)

Confirmation of Recovery or Disposal

Affirms that the waste materials were recovered or disposed in the manner specified in the contract

Required
§262.83(f)(5)

Annual Reporting

Submit annual reports by March 1 of each year

Required
§262.83(g)

Recordkeeping

Maintain business records for a specified period of time to be provided upon request

Required
§262.83(i)

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RCRA Requirements for Hazardous Waste Imports

Under RCRA, any person importing a hazardous waste into the United States from a foreign country is subject to the hazardous waste generator standards. Importers can be any entity that receives hazardous waste from a foreign source, including a treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF), recovery facility, transporter, or a broker of hazardous waste. While more than one person may be considered an importer, all of the parties, as contributors to the import of hazardous waste, could be held jointly and severally liable for compliance. When multiple parties are involved in the importing process, one party should accept the importer responsibilities on behalf of all the parties.1 Additionally, hazardous waste generators should check with their state regulatory agency because certain states have additional or more stringent requirements than the federal government.

  • Importers of hazardous waste are responsible for complying with all generator requirements in 40 CFR Part 262 Subparts A – D and F, except those related to actual accumulation on-site (See 40 CFR 262.34), since hazardous waste import shipments are already in transit when they enter the country. Refer to this table for an overview of the requirements for hazardous waste generators.
  • Importers of hazardous waste must also comply with import-specific generator requirements in 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart H, in addition to 40 CFR Part 262 Subparts A – D.

The following table provides an overview of the RCRA requirements for U.S. imports of hazardous waste that are effective as of December 31, 2016 and links to the corresponding implementing regulations and guidance materials.

ALERT - Import shipments of hazardous waste operating in compliance with a consent issued by EPA to the country of export or to a U.S. importer prior to 12/31/16 are subject to different requirements until the consent expires.

Requirement

Imports of Hazardous Waste for Recovery or Disposal
40 CFR Part 262 Subparts A-D, and H

Overview of Requirements

Provides guidance for importers on the import process

Information for importers

Flowchart of import process, Subpart H

40 CFR 262 Subpart H

EPA Identification Number

Issued by authorized State program or EPA Regional office based on Form 8700-12 notification of RCRA Subtitle C activity (e.g. acting as hazardous waste importer)

Required
§262.12(d)

Contracts

Specifies the responsibilities of the foreign exporter, U.S. importer, and U.S. receiving facility

Required for importers and receiving facilities
§262.84(f)

Notice of Intent

U.S. importer notifies EPA of the intent to import hazardous waste in those cases in which the country of export does not control the waste as an export of hazardous waste

Required for importer
§262.84(b)

Consent Documentation

Acknowledges EPA’s written consent back to the country of export or the U.S. importer that the proposed management complies with US laws, and describes the terms and conditions of EPA’s consent

Sent to receiving facilities when EPA consents to country of export or U.S. importer; supplies consent numbers to match listed hazardous wastes on manifest
§264.71(a)(3)(i); §265.71(a)(3)(i)

RCRA Manifest

Contains information on the type and quantity of waste transported, and instructions for handling waste; accompanies import shipment from entry port/border crossing in the United States) to final management (i.e., recycling or disposal)

Required for importers
§262.20; §262.84(c)

Not required for imports of universal waste (§273.52) or spent-lead acid batteries (§266.80)

Required for TSDFs
§264.71(a)(3)(i); §265.71(a)(3)(i)

International Movement Document

Includes information about the shipment, recovery facility, and transporters and accompanies the waste from origin to receiving facility site

Required for importers
§262.84(d)

Required for TSDFs
§264.12(a)(2); §265.12(a)(2);

Notification of Need to Arrange Alternate Management or Return of Hazardous Waste Import Shipment

Informs EPA, U.S. importer, and foreign exporter of the need to arrange alternate management or return of an import shipment.

Required for receiving facilities, including TSDFs
§262.84(f)(4)(i), §264.12(a)(3), §265.12(a)(3)

Exception Reports

Submit exception reports if the shipment delayed, lost, or partially or wholly rejected by the U.S. receiving facility

Required for importers under circumstances specified in §262.42

Packaging, Labeling, Marking, and Placarding

Contains instructions for packaging, labeling, marking and placarding hazardous waste for shipment. Importer is responsible for ensuring compliance with these requirements prior to public transportation of the import shipment within the United States

Required for importers
§262.30-262.33

Confirmation of Receipt

TSDF must add relevant consent numbers matched to listed hazardous wastes to manifest, and send copy of signed RCRA manifest to EPA's International Compliance Assurance Division within 30 days of shipment delivery until the facility can send the paper manifest to the e-Manifest system

Within three days of shipment delivery, TSDF or recovery facility must send copies of signed international movement document to the country of export, any countries of transit, and the foreign exporter.As of the electronic import-export reporting compliance date, the facility must also send copy to EPA electronically using EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS)

Required for TSDFs
§264.71(a)(3), §265.71(a)(3), §267.71(a)(3)

Required for receiving facilities, including TSDFs §262.84(d)(xv), §264.12(a)(2), §264.71(d), §265.12(a)(2), §265.71(d), §267.71(d)

Confirmation of Recovery or Disposal

TSDF or recovery facility must send to country of export, and the foreign exporter to affirm that the waste materials were recovered in the timeframe and manner specified in the contract. As of the electronic import-export reporting compliance date, the facility must also send copy to EPA electronically using WIETS.

Required for TSDFs or recovery facility
§262.84(g), §264.12(a)(4)(i), §265.12(a)(4)(i) 

Reporting

Submit biennial reports to EPA

Required for TSDFs
§264.75; §265.75

Required for importers that are large quantity generators (LQGs)
§262.41

Recordkeeping

Maintain business records for a specified period of time to be provided upon request

Required for importers
§262.40; §262.84(h)(1)

Required for TSDFs
§264.12(a)(2); §265.12(a)(2); §264.71(d); §265.71(d); §264.74; §265.74

Required for receiving facilities, including TSDFs
§262.84(h)(2)

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