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Information for Exporters of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste

Exporters of RCRA hazardous waste are subject to specific exporter requirements described in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 262 Subpart H, under RCRA. Exports of hazardous waste, like imports, may be handled or managed by several different parties, each having distinct requirements under RCRA. The exporter has specific responsibilities under RCRA. The exporter is defined as “the person under the jurisdiction of the country of export who has, or will have at the time the planned transboundary movement commences, possession or other forms of legal control of the wastes and who proposes transboundary movement of the hazardous wastes for the ultimate purpose of submitting them to recovery operations. When the United States is the country of export, exporter is interpreted to mean a person domiciled in the United States.” (See 40 CFR section 262.81).

Federal requirements for exports of hazardous waste from the United States are described on this page, including the summary table of RCRA Requirements for Hazardous Waste.

On this page:

 

EPA Identification (EPA ID) Number

All exporters must obtain an EPA ID Number before arranging for export of hazardous waste, whether they be hazardous waste generators (40 CFR section 262.12(a)), hazardous waste transporters (40 CFR section 263.11(a)), hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) (40 CFR sections 264.11 and 265.11), or recognized traders arranging for export of hazardous waste (40 CFR section 262.12(d)).

If you do not have an EPA ID number, you may apply to obtain one using EPA Form 8700-12 (or an authorized State’s equivalent form). EPA Form 8700-12 is being modified so recognized traders wishing to arrange for export can request an EPA ID number. Until changes to EPA Form 8700-12 are finalized, EPA recommends that recognized traders wishing to request an EPA ID number in order to arrange for export of hazardous wastes fill out the Site ID form, reflecting his or her place of business as the site in question, and note on the form in “Item 13-Comments” that the requestor is a recognized trader that arranges for export of hazardous waste, universal waste or spent lead batteries subject to Part 262 Subpart H requirements. For more information, go to EPA's Web page about obtaining an EPA ID number.

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Contracts

Before any hazardous waste transactions may take place, the exporter must establish a written contract with the foreign receiving facility and foreign importer (if different from the foreign receiving facility) (See 40 CFR section 262.83(f)). This contract must specify the duties of both the U.S. exporter, foreign importer (if different from the foreign receiving facility), and the foreign receiving facility and require that each part comply with all applicable requirements under 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart H.

As in the contract for hazardous waste imports into the United States, the contract must specify the name and the EPA ID number (where available) of the generator of the waste, each person that will have physical custody of the hazardous waste, each person that will have legal control of the wastes, and the foreign receiving facility. The contract must also designate the party or person that will assume responsibility for adequate management of the waste and if necessary, for alternate management of the hazardous waste.

Contracts must specify that the foreign receiving facility send a copy of the assigned and dated confirmation of recovery or disposal no later than 30 days after completing recovery or disposal on the waste in the shipment and no later than one calendar year following receipt of the waste, to the exporter and to the competent authority of the country of import. For contracts in effect on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date, contracts must also specify that the foreign receiving facility send a copy to EPA using methods described in 40 CFR section 262.83(b)(1).

For additional contract requirements, refer to 40 CFR section 262.83(f).

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Notice of Intent

Exporters must provide notification in English to EPA at least 60 days before the first shipment of hazardous waste is expected to leave the United States. Notifications must be submitted electronically using EPA's Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS). Exporters may access WIETS through EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX).

The notification can cover up to one year of shipments of hazardous wastes being sent to the same recovery or disposal facility and must include the information outlined in 40 CFR section 262.83(b), which includes:

  • Exporter’s name, EPA identification number, address, telephone, fax numbers, and email address;  
  • Foreign receiving facility name, address, telephone, fax numbers, and e-mail address;
  • Foreign importer name (if not the owner or operator of the foreign receiving facility), address, telephone, fax numbers, and e-mail address;
  • Intended transporter(s) and/or their agent(s); address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address;
  • Country codes and ports to be used for country of import and any countries of transit (see 40 CFR section 262.83(b)(1)(vi)-(vii));
  • Statement of whether notification covers a single shipment or multiple shipments;
  • Requested Start and End Dates of shipments;
  • Description of each hazardous waste being shipped, including:
    • whether the waste is regulated universal waste, spent lead-acid batteries being exported for recovery of lead, or industrial ethyl alcohol being exported for reclamation;
    • the estimated total quantity of each waste in either metric tons or cubic meters;
    • the applicable RCRA waste code(s) for each hazardous waste;
    • the applicable OECD waste code from the list incorporated by reference in 40 CFR section 260.11; and
    • the United Nations/U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ID number for each waste (as identified in 49 CFR Part 172).
  • Specification of the recovery or disposal operation(s) as defined in 40 CFR section 262.81. For notifications listing interim recycling operations or interim disposal operations, the notification must also include information about the final foreign recovery or disposal facility as described in 40 CFR section 262.83(b)(3);
  • Certification/Declaration signed by the exporter that states: I certify that the above information is complete and correct to the best of my knowledge. I also certify that legally enforceable written contractual obligations have been entered into and that any applicable insurance or other financial guarantee is or shall be in force covering the transboundary movement.

OECD countries may pre-consent recycling facilities to receive imports of amber list wastes from other OECD member countries for recycling. Those OECD countries doing so inform the OECD Secretariat of the recovery facility's name and address, technologies employed, waste types to which the pre-consent applies, and the time period covered by the pre-consent. These pre-consented facilities are listed on the OECD website Exit

When the destination facility for a proposed export has been pre-consented to receive that hazardous waste from exporters in other OECD countries, the exporter must notify EPA at least ten days in advance of the desired initial export shipment, and the notice may cover up to three years of shipments to the pre-consented facility (40 CFR section 262.83(b)(2)).

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Acknowledgement of Consent

Once EPA receives a complete notification, it will forward the notification to the country of import and any countries of transit. If all countries consent to the shipment, EPA will forward an Acknowledgement of Consent letter to the exporter to document the required consents (See 40 CFR section 262.83(b)(6)). If the importing country or any transit countries object to receipt of the hazardous waste or withdraws a prior consent, EPA will notify the exporter in writing, and export shipments may not occur until the countries withdraw their objection or consent to a corrected notification.
 

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Submission of Electronic Export Information (EEI)

Because EPA’s Acknowledgement of Consent letter is equivalent to an export license, exporters, or their U.S. authorized agents, must submit Electronic Export Information (EEI) for each shipment to the Automated Export System (AES) (15 CFR 30.2(a)(iv)(F)). The AES resides in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) under the International Trade Data System. For more information, go to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Export System Technical Information Web page.

Between December 31, 2016 and the AES filing compliance date, exporters must choose whether to comply with the paper border process or the electronic border process (40 CFR section 262.83(a)(6)(i)). If the exporter chooses to comply with the paper border process, the exporter must:

  1. Provide the transport with paper documentation of consent (i.e., a copy of the EPA Acknowledgment of Consent, international movement document) to attach or carry along with the manifest, or shipping papers (if a manifest is not required) for the hazardous waste shipment; and
  2. For manifested hazardous waste shipments, provide the transporter with an additional copy of the manifest, and instruct the transporter via mail, email or fax to deliver that copy to the U.S. Customs official at the point the hazardous waste leaves the United States in accordance with 40 CFR section 263.20(g)(4)(ii).

If the exporter instead chooses to comply with the electronic border process, the exporter, or their U.S. authorized agent, must submit the following items in the EEI for each shipment, along with the other information required under 15 CFR section 30.6:

  1. EPA license code;
  2. Commodity classification code for each hazardous waste per 15 CFR section 30.6(a)(12);
  3. EPA consent number for each hazardous waste;
  4. Country of ultimate destination code per 15 CFR section 30.6(a)(5);
  5. Date of export per 15 CFR section 30.6(a)(2);
  6. For RCRA manifested shipments, the RCRA hazardous waste manifest tracking number listed in item 4 of the manifest;
  7. Quantity of each hazardous waste in shipment and units for reported quantity, if required reporting units established by value for the reported commodity classification number are in units of weight or volume per 15 CFR section 30.6(a)(15); or
  8. EPA net quantity for each hazardous waste reported in units of kilograms if solid or in units of liters if liquid, if required reporting units established by value for the reported commodity classification number are not in units of weight or volume.

Starting on the AES filing compliance date, hazardous waste exporters must comply with the electronic border process listed above.

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RCRA Manifest

The exporter must comply with the manifesting requirements (40 CFR Part 262, Subpart B) and the special manifest provisions for primary exporters in 40 CFR section 262.83(c), including:

  • In place of the name, site address and EPA ID number of the designated permitted facility, the exporter must include the name and site address of the foreign receiving facility.
  • In the International Shipments block of the manifest, the exporter must check the export box and enter the point of exit (City and State) from the United States; and
  • The exporter must list the consent number from the AOC for each hazardous waste listed on the manifest, matched to the relevant list number for the hazardous waste from block 9b.

In addition to initiating the manifest, the exporter must send an international movement document with the shipment.

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International Movement Document

Exporters must ensure that a movement document accompanies each transboundary movement of hazardous waste from the initiation of the shipment until it reaches the foreign receiving facility. The international movement document must include all of the information required in 40 CFR section 262.83(d)(2), including:

  • The corresponding consent number(s) and hazardous waste number(s) for the listed hazardous waste from the relevant EPA Acknowledgement of Consent(s) (AOCs);
  • The shipment number and the total number of shipments from the EPA AOC;
  • Exporter name and EPA identification number, address, telephone, fax numbers, and e-mail address;
  • Foreign receiving facility name, address, telephone, fax numbers, e-mail address, technologies employed, and the applicable recovery or disposal operations as defined in 40 CFR section 262.81;
  • Foreign importer name (if not the owner or operator of the foreign receiving facility), address, telephone, fax numbers, and e-mail address;
  • Description(s) of each hazardous waste, quantity of each hazardous waste in the shipment, applicable RCRA hazardous waste code(s) for each hazardous waste, applicable OECD waste code for each hazardous waste from the list incorporated by reference in 40 CFR section 260.11, and the United Nations/U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ID number for each hazardous waste;
  • Date movement commenced;
  • Name (if not exporter), address, telephone, fax numbers, and e-mail of company originating the shipment;
  • Company name, EPA ID number, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address of all transporters;
  • Identification (license, registered name or registration number) of means of transport, including types of packaging;
  • Any special precautions to be taken by transporter(s);
  • Certification/declaration signed and dated by the exporter that the information in the movement document is complete and correct;
  • Appropriate signatures for each custody transfer (e.g., transporter, importer, and owner or operator of the foreign receiving facility);

Each person in the United States who handles the waste shipment must sign the international movement document.

Use of the widely accepted OECD/Basel international movement document, or any other movement document required by the country of import is acceptable provided that all the required information can be included on the movement document. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) confirmed in 2015 that use of the Canadian movement document is required, and Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) confirmed in Spring 2016 that they would prefer use of the Mexican tracking document to minimize the number of tracking documents accompanying each shipment. Use of the Mexican tracking document is acceptable to EPA so long as all required items in 40 CFR section 262.83(d) are included.

As part of the contract requirements described above, the exporter must require that the foreign receiving facility send a copy of the signed movement document to confirm receipt within three working days of shipment delivery to the exporter, and to the competent authorities of the countries of import and transit. The exporter must additionally require that the foreign receiving facility send a copy electronically to EPA using EPA’s WIETS for shipments occurring on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date.

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Confirmation of Receipt

Exporters must require that the foreign receiving facility send a copy of the signed international movement document to confirm receipt within three working days of shipment delivery to the exporter, to the competent authorities of the countries of import and transit. The exporter must additionally require that the foreign receiving facility send a copy electronically to EPA using EPA’s WIETS for shipments occurring on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date. Receipt of this signed international movement document serves as confirmation of receipt of the hazardous waste shipment (See 40 CFR section 262.83(d)(2)(xv)).

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Exception Report

Exporters must file an exception report with EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement if any of the following occurs:

  • For manifested shipments, the exporter does not receive a copy of the RCRA manifest signed by the transporter within 45 days from the date it was accepted by the initial transporter; or
  • The exporter does not receive written confirmation from the foreign receiving facility that the shipment was received within 90 days from the date the waste was accepted by the initial transporter; or
  • The foreign receiving facility notifies the exporter, or the country of import notifies EPA, of the need to return the shipment to the U.S. or arrange alternate management. In this case, the exporter must file an exception report within 30 days of notification, or one day prior to the date the return shipment commences, whichever is sooner.

When filling out this report, the exporter should follow the applicable guidelines for domestic exceptions (See 40 CFR section 262.42), but must send the exception report to EPA. Prior to the electronic import-export reporting compliance date, the exporter must send Exception Reports to EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the address specified below (see 40 CFR section 262.87(b)).

Send exception reports to:

Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of Federal Activities
International Compliance Assurance Division (2254A)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20460

Subsequently, exception reports must be submitted electronically to EPA using EPA's Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS).

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Confirmation of Recovery or Disposal

Under contract requirements, foreign receiving facilities must be required to send a copy of the signed and dated confirmation of recovery or disposal, as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after completing recovery or disposal on the waste in the shipment and no later than one calendar year following receipt of the waste, to the exporter and to the competent authority of the country of import. For contracts that will be in effect on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date, the contracts must additionally specify that the foreign receiving facility send a copy to EPA electronically at the same time using EPA’s WIETS (See 40 CFR section 262.83(f)(5))).

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Annual Report

Exporters must submit an annual report to EPA by March 1 of each year (40 CFR section 262.83(g)). This report summarizes the type, quantity, frequency, and ultimate destination of all hazardous waste exported during the previous calendar year. For the specific information required in the annual report, refer to 40 CFR section 262.83(g)(1)-(6). Prior to one year after the AES filing compliance date, the exporter can send reports to EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) at the address specified below:

Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of Federal Activities
International Compliance Assurance Division (2254A)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Prior to one year after the AES filing compliance date, exporters may instead submit annual reports electronically to EPA using EPA’s WIETS if the exporter electronically filed EPA information in AES for all export shipments made the previous calendar year.

One year after the AES filing compliance date, all exporters must submit annual reports electronically to EPA using EPA’s WIETS.

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Recordkeeping

Primary exporters must maintain the following records for at least three years and provide them to EPA or authorized state personnel upon request (See 40 CFR section 262.83(i)):

  • Each notification to export and each EPA Acknowledgement of Consent (AOC);
  • A copy of each contract or equivalent arrangement;
  • A copy of each annual report;
  • A copy of any exception reports and a copy of each confirmation of receipt sent by the foreign receiving facility to the exporter; and
  • A copy of each confirmation of recovery or disposal sent by the foreign receiving facility to the exporter.

Exporters may satisfy these recordkeeping requirements by retaining electronically submitted documents in the exporter’s account on EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS), provided that copies are readily available for viewing or production if requested by any EPA or authorized state inspector.

 

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Summary Table of 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

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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