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Frequent Questions about Hazardous Waste Imports and Exports

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Frequent Questions about Hazardous Waste Imports
Accumulating Import Shipments

Can hazardous waste importers take advantage of the generator provisions to accumulate imported wastes for 90 days without a RCRA storage permit?

Although importers must comply with applicable generator requirements in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 262, including the special requirements of Part 262, Subpart F, importers cannot accumulate hazardous waste for more than 10 days without a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) storage permit. The 90 day generator accumulation time is not applicable to imports of hazardous waste, which are already in transportation.[1] The hazardous waste may be stored during the normal course of transportation to the designated facility at a transfer facility for 10 days or less, provided that the hazardous waste is packaged in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) packaging regulations (40 CFR section 263.12).

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EPA Identification Number Requirements - Imports

I arrange for imports of hazardous waste. How do I obtain an EPA ID number?

You need to fill out and submit EPA Form 8700-12. Instructions on how to access EPA Form 8700-12 and where to submit it are available at How Hazardous Waste Generators, Transporters, and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities Can Obtain EPA Identification Numbers.

Changes to EPA Form 8700-12 are being developed and approved in order to clarify on the form the need for recognized traders to obtain an EPA ID number prior to arranging for new exports or imports of hazardous waste. Until changes to EPA Form 8700-12 are approved by OMB, EPA recommends that recognized traders wishing to request an EPA ID number in order to arrange for import of hazardous wastes fill out and submit the current form. The requester should: 1) on page 1 of the form, reflect his or her place of business as the site in question; and 2) in “Item 13-Comments” on page 4 of the form, state that he or she is a recognized trader that arranges for import of hazardous waste, universal waste or spent lead batteries subject to Part 262 Subpart H requirements.

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Manifest Requirements - Imports

Can a foreign broker sign a hazardous waste manifest?

Foreign brokers can sign the manifest if they meet certain requirements. The regulations for imports of hazardous waste allow the importer or the importer's agent to sign the RCRA generator certification statement on the manifest in place of the generator (See 40 CFR section 262.60(b)(2)). The only requirement for an agent signing the manifest is that the agent must be somehow legally affiliated with the U.S. importer’s EPA identification number used on the manifest. The broker could sign the manifest certification only if the broker's company has an EPA identification number (requiring a U.S. address) or the broker is legally related to the importer (e.g., a subsidiary). A broker signing as an agent because of a legal relation to the importer must place the U.S. address and the U.S. EPA identification number of the importer on the manifest.[2]

What import consent documentation must be added to the RCRA manifest?

Under 40 CFR section 264.71(a)(3) and 40 section CFR 265.71(a)(3), the U.S. treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF) receiving a RCRA manifested hazardous waste shipment from a foreign source is required to add the relevant consent number from consent documentation supplied by EPA to the TSDF for each waste listed on the manifest, matched to the relevant list number for the waste, and send a copy of the manifest within thirty (30) days of delivery to EPA using the addresses listed in 40 CFR 262.82(e) until the facility can submit such a copy to the e-Manifest system per 40 CFR 264.71(a)(2)(v). 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. The waste stream consent number for each waste stream is a combination of the EPA notice ID number along with the waste stream number from the notice. The EPA notice ID number for an import notice is always six digits, followed by a “/”, followed by two digits, followed by “I/”, followed by two digits. An example of an EPA notice ID number is “000373/10I/10”. The waste stream consent number is the first six digits of the EPA notice ID number, followed by “I”, followed by the last two digits of the EPA notice ID number, followed by the sequence number from the notice for the specific waste stream in question, padded out to 3 digits. For example, the waste stream consent number for the third waste stream listed in the example notice would be “000373I10003”.

What facilities are subject to the import consent documentation requirements?

Only facilities that are required to submit to EPA copies of RCRA manifests for import shipments under 40 CFR section 264.71(a)(3) or 40 CFR section 265.71(a)(3), or the state equivalent to those requirements, are affected by the import consent documentation requirements.

How can facilities obtain documentation confirming EPA’s consent?

EPA sends a cover letter and copy of the notice to all U.S. receiving facilities listed in the notice when we inform the country of export or the U.S. importer that the import is allowable. The EPA cover letter and attached notice serve as EPA’s import consent documentation for the shipments. EPA will mail, fax, or email the letter and notice using the contact information listed for the facilities in the notice.

What if EPA sends my facility the documentation but I am not required to submit copies of the RCRA manifests for import shipments under 40 CFR section 264.71(a)(3) or 40 CFR section 265.71(a)(3)?

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 notice. If your facility is not required to submit the RCRA hazardous waste manifest under 40 CFR section 264.71(a)(3) or 40 CFR section 265.71(a)(3) during the period of consent in the cover letter, then you may disregard the letter and notice.

Will I always get consent documentation from EPA prior to receiving a RCRA manifested hazardous waste import shipment?

Under normal circumstances you should receive consent documentation from EPA, but some examples of when you would not receive consent documentation from EPA are:

  • Incorrect contact information was listed for your facility in the notice by either the foreign exporter or the U.S. importer, or
  • Your facility agreed to recycle or dispose of a single import shipment that was rejected by the receiving facility listed in the consent documentation.

What should I do if I receive a RCRA manifested hazardous waste import shipment 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 limited situations under which your facility would not receive consent documentation from EPA.

If an import shipment of RCRA hazardous waste from a foreign location arrives at your facility accompanied by a RCRA manifest that you cannot match to any EPA-provided import consent documentation, you should first check the RCRA manifest to determine whether the shipment was initially rejected by the original designated facility. If the shipment was initially rejected, you should contact the original designated facility or the listed U.S. importer to obtain a copy of the EPA-provided consent documentation. If the shipment was not initially rejected, you should immediately contact the listed U.S. importer to obtain a copy of the consent documentation.

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Import Shipments from U.S.-owned Maquiladora Facilities in Mexico

I receive RCRA hazardous waste import shipments from US-owned maquiladora facilities located in Mexico. Do I need to have consent to receive these shipments?

Yes. Starting on December 31, 2016, all imports of RCRA hazardous waste must have EPA consent, including those hazardous wastes managed under the alternate standards of 40 CFR Part 266 or the universal waste standards of 40 CFR Part 273.

In cases where the country of export does not regulate the shipment as a hazardous waste export, the US importer is required to submit an import notice to EPA directly. Mexico regulates shipments from US-owned maquiladora facilities to the US as returns of hazardous waste, so US importers must submit import notices to obtain consent for maquiladora shipments that will occur on or after December 31, 2016.

I import RCRA hazardous waste import shipments from US-owned maquiladora facilities located in Mexico. What should I do?

You should complete and submit an import notice as soon as possible. EPA does not have a required form, but all the information listed in 40 CFR 262.84(b) must be included.

Notifications submitted prior to the electronic import-export reporting compliance date may be created and submitted electronically using EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS), or paper notices may be mailed or delivered to EPA. If submitting a paper notice, you can use the widely accepted Basel/OECD notification form.Exit

Paper notices must be mailed or delivered to EPA at one of the following addresses:

For U.S. Postal Mail Delivery, mail to:

Attention: Notice of Intent to Import
Office of Land and Emergency Management
Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division
International Branch (Mail Code 2255A)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460

For Courier Service, mail to:

Attention: Notice of Intent to Import
Office of Land and Emergency Management
Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
Materials Recovery and Waste Management Division
International Branch (Mail Code 2255A)
Environmental Protection Agency
William Jefferson Clinton South Building
Room 6144, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004

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Shipments from U.S. Territories

Are imports from U.S. territories subject to importing requirements?

Shipments of hazardous waste from U.S. territories, such as the island of Midway, are not subject to import regulations because they are not imported from a foreign country.[3] On the other hand, if a hazardous waste is imported from a U.S. military base located in another country, import regulations will apply.

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Counting Import Shipments Towards Generator Status

Who is responsible for counting import quantities of hazardous waste?

It is the responsibility of a hazardous waste importer to carry out all normal RCRA generator requirements. As part of complying with Part 262, the importer must count the imported waste quantity along with any domestically generated waste quantity towards the monthly quantity total used in determining its RCRA generator status.

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Frequent Questions about Hazardous Waste ExportsTransit Shipments

Is it necessary to comply with the export notification requirements if shipments of hazardous waste must be transported through a foreign country to a US territory or another State?

If a waste is transported from a U.S. territory or State to a second U.S. territory or State via another country, the export requirements do not apply because the designated facility is not in a foreign country. If the waste simply passes through a foreign country, RCRA does not require that transit countries be notified.[4] However, the exporter should be aware of and comply with any requirements imposed by the transit countries' laws.

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EPA Identification Number Requirements - Exports

I arrange for exports of hazardous waste. How do I obtain an EPA ID Number?

You need to fill out and submit EPA Form 8700-12. Instructions on how to access EPA Form 8700-12 and where to submit it are available at How Hazardous Waste Generators, Transporters, and Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities Can Obtain EPA Identification Numbers.

Changes to EPA Form 8700-12 are being developed and approved in order to clarify on the form the need for recognized traders to obtain an EPA ID number prior to arranging for new exports or imports of hazardous waste. Until changes to EPA Form 8700-12 are approved by OMB, EPA recommends that recognized traders wishing to request an EPA ID number in order to arrange for export of hazardous wastes fill out and submit the current form. The requester should: 1) on page 1 of the form, reflect his or her place of business as the site in question; and 2) in “Item 13-Comments” on page 4 of the form, state that he or she is a recognized trader that arranges for export of hazardous waste, universal waste or spent lead batteries subject to Part 262 Subpart H requirements.

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Notification Requirements

How do I submit an export notice?

Beginning on December 31, 2016, all hazardous waste export notices and CRT export notices for recycling must be submitted electronically using EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS). US exporters and notice preparers must access WIETS through EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX).

How do I register in CDX?

U.S. exporters will need to first register in CDX as a certifier for WIETS in order to be able to prepare export notices in WIETS and certify/sign/submit them electronically to EPA. Only a US exporter can certify that an electronic notice is complete, sign it electronically, and submit it to EPA.

I prepare export notices for a US exporter. Can I register in CDX first?

No. Companies that prepare export notices for US exporters can register as a notice preparer in CDX for WIETS. But since notice preparers must list a US exporter-certifier that will have to sponsor or confirm you in CDX, your client must complete the CDX registration process first. EPA staff cannot act as sponsors for notice preparers in CDX.

Please note that exporter-certifiers should generally select the first option when sponsoring a notice preparer from a separate company (“Sponsor individual, above, to perform duties that represent my organization”).

Can I copy one of my old notices that I submitted in paper form and revise it as needed? Or do I need to enter every required field in my export notice?

Yes, you can duplicate any of the notices that you can access in WIETS based on your company name or site contact email address. After duplicating a notice, you can then edit information concerning the listed waste streams, destination facilities, transporters, and ports, or add new items as needed.

I already submitted a paper export notice to EPA but have not received consent. What should I do?

Paper export notices must have consent issued prior to December 31, 2016. If previously submitted paper export notices do not receive consent prior to December 31, 2016, a new electronic notification will have to be submitted. EPA is asking every country with US export notices still under review to complete their determination prior to December 31, 2016.

EPA strongly recommends that you complete your CDX registration so that you can duplicate and resubmit your export notice as quickly as possible if your consent is not issued prior to December 31, 2016.

What happens if the name or management of the ultimate foreign recycling or disposal destination facility designated on the notification of intent to export changes?

In this case, the exporter must obtain consent reflecting the new name by using an amended notification or completing a new notification altogether. Whether an amended or new notification is used depends on the policies and procedures of the country to which the waste is being exported.

What happens if you want to ship to a different foreign recycling or disposal facility?

In this case, the exporter must submit a new notice of intent to EPA and obtain consent prior to shipping to the different foreign facility.

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Recognized Traders

Can a recognized trader who is arranging for export act hold the Acknowledgement of Consent as the US exporter if he is not the generator identified on the manifest?

Yes. The manifest and the Acknowledgement of Consent serve different purposes. The manifest is required to track the hazardous waste from "cradle to grave." As such, it is important to identify the generator of the hazardous waste. On the other hand, the intent of the Acknowledgement of Consent is to ensure that the importing country is aware of a proposed transboundary movement of waste and consents to that movement, therefore the exporter who receives the Acknowledgement of Consent from the EPA may include recognized traders arranging for export (See 40 CFR 262.81 for exporter definition).[5]

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Export Shipment Returns

What happens if a hazardous waste shipment is exported and subsequently returned to the United States?

If a waste shipment is returned to the United States, the exporter must file the exception report with EPA's International Compliance Assurance Division within thirty (30) days of receiving a notification concerning the need to return the export shipment, or one (1) day prior to the date the return shipment commences, whichever is sooner (See 40 CFR 262.83(h)(1)(iii)).

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Export Annual Report Requirements

Is an Annual Report required for exporters that do not ship any hazardous waste during a calendar year?

Exporters are required to submit an export annual report with EPA no later than March 1 of each year summarizing the types, quantities, frequency, and ultimate destination of all such hazardous waste exported during the previous calendar year. If the exporter did not ship any hazardous waste after having obtained consent to export certain hazardous wastes, the exporter should submit an export annual report noting that the quantity shipped under the issued consent(s) was zero.

At what time is a waste considered exported for the purposes of filling out the annual report?

A waste is "exported" when it leaves the United States, as documented by the transporter signing and dating item 16 on the manifest, not when the manifest is initiated. For example, if an exporter signs a manifest in 2015 for a waste to be exported, but the waste does not leave the country until 2016, the shipment would be reported on the 2016 annual report which is due on March 1, 2017.

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Manifest Requirements -Exports

Where can exporters find the waste stream consent numbers they are required to list on the manifest for each listed hazardous waste under 40 CFR 262.83(c)(3)?

The Acknowledgement of Consent letter will list the waste stream consent numbers for each waste stream from the export notice. For your information, the waste stream consent number for each waste stream is a combination of the EPA notice ID number along with the waste stream number from the notice. The EPA notice ID number for an export notice is always six digits, followed by a “/”, followed by two digits, followed by “E/”, followed by two digits. An example of an EPA notice ID number is “000373/10E/10”. The waste stream consent number is the first six digits of the EPA notice ID number, followed by “E”, followed by the last two digits of the EPA notice ID number, followed by the sequence number from the notice for the specific waste stream in question, padded out to 3 digits. For example, the waste stream consent number for the third waste stream listed in the example notice would be “000373E10003”.

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Land Disposal Restrictions

Are exporters of hazardous waste subject to land disposal restrictions (LDR)?

The requirements of Part 268 are applicable to all hazardous wastes (40 CFR 268.1(b)) unless specifically provided otherwise in Part 261 or Part 268. Neither Part 261 nor Part 268 categorically excludes exported hazardous wastes from the LDR requirements. Therefore, the LDR notification requirements are applicable while these hazardous wastes remain in the United States. However, the hazardous wastes to be exported would not have to meet the LDR treatment standards prior to disposal in another country.[6]

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Temporary Storage of Export Shipments

If I receive a hazardous waste from the generator, can I store that waste prior to shipping it to a foreign destination facility without getting a RCRA storage permit?

If the waste is stored for 10 days or less at a transfer facility meeting the requirements of 40 CFR section 262.30 prior to being exported, the facility should not need to get an EPA ID number and a storage permit unless required by more stringent authorized state regulations. The facility should check with their authorized state agency.

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Sources

  1. Monthly Hotline Report Question; August 1992 (PDF)(1 pp, 29.9 K, About PDF)
  2. Monthly Hotline Report Question; March 1995 (PDF)(1 pp, 28.9 K, About PDF)
  3. Monthly Hotline Report Question; January 1998 (PDF)(1 pp, 7.21 K, About PDF)
  4. Monthly Hotline Report Question; March 1995 (PDF)(1 pp, 28.5 K, About PDF)
  5. Memo, Cotsworth to Prior; February 16, 2000 (PDF)(1 pp, 39.6 K, About PDF)
  6. Memo, Lowrance to Levy; April 23, 1991 (PDF)(2 pp, 4.58 K, About PDF)

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