We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Information for Importers and Receiving Facilities of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste

Disclaimer for import shipments

Importers of RCRA hazardous waste are subject to the hazardous waste generator and importer requirements described in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 262 Subpart A – D and H. Information about the updated requirements for such imports are described on this page.

Hazardous waste importers should also check with their state regulatory agency because certain states have additional or more stringent requirements than the federal government.

On this page:


EPA Identification (EPA ID) Number

All importers must obtain an EPA ID Number before arranging for import of hazardous waste, including hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs) (40 CFR sections 264.11 and 265.11), hazardous waste transporters (40 CFR section 263.11(a)), and recognized traders (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). For more information, go to EPA's Web page about obtaining an EPA ID number

Top of Page


Contract

U.S. recovery or disposal facilities that receive hazardous waste shipments must establish a contract with the foreign exporter and the U.S. importer (if different from the U.S. receiving facility) before any shipment can occur (See 40 CFR section 262.84(f)). This contract must be a valid, written contract which specifies the responsibilities of the foreign exporter, importer, and the receiving facility and require that each part comply with all applicable requirements under 40 CFR Part 262 Subpart H.

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 waste, each person that will have legal control of the wastes, and the 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 waste. Transboundary movements of waste are prohibited unless they occur under the terms of the contract.

Top of Page


Notice of Intent

The importer (or TSDF, if acting as the importer) is responsible for submitting a notice in English to EPA proposing import of hazardous waste at least 60 days before the first shipment is expected to depart the country of export in cases where the country of export does not control the shipment as an export of hazardous waste (40 CFR section 262.84(b)). Otherwise, EPA expects to receive the notice from the competent foreign authority of the exporting country.

Notifications must include information about the foreign exporter, receiving facility, importer and transporter(s), statement of whether the notification covers a single shipment or multiple shipments, dates of the shipment, means of transport, description of each hazardous waste, specification of the recovery or disposal operation(s), and signed certification statement (40 CFR section 262.84(b)(1)(i)-(xiii)). The notice can cover up to one year of shipments of wastes having similar physical and chemical characteristics, the same United Nations classification, the same RCRA waste codes and OECD waste codes, and being sent from the same foreign exporter.

EPA will either provide its consent or objection to the foreign competent authority or U.S. importer. Imports are prohibited without EPA’s consent.

The importer must send notification to EPA using the allowable methods described in 40 CFR section 262.84(b)(1). Notifications submitted prior to the electronic import-export reporting compliance date must be mailed or hand 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 Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of Federal Activities
International Compliance Assurance Division (2254A)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

For Hand Delivery, mail to:

Attention: Notice of Intent to Import
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of Federal Activities
International Compliance Assurance Division
Environmental Protection Agency
William Jefferson Clinton South Bldg., Room 6144 12 St. and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Notifications submitted on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date must be submitted electronically using EPA’s WIETS.

Top of Page


Consent Documentation

If and when EPA determines that the proposed import of hazardous waste complies with U.S. laws and regulations, it will consent. If the notice was sent by the country of export, EPA will inform the country of export that the import is allowable. If the notice was sent by the U.S. importer, the Agency will send an EPA Acknowledgement of Consent letter to the importer documenting EPA’s consent and the consent of the competent authorities of any transit countries.

If and when EPA informs the country of export or the U.S. importer that the import is allowable, the Agency will send a cover letter and copy of the foreign notice to all U.S. receiving facilities listed in the foreign notice to facilitate compliance with manifest-related reporting requirements (See 40 CFR sections 264.71(a)(3)/265.71(a)(3)). The EPA cover letter and attached foreign export or U.S. importer-submitted notice will serve as EPA’s import consent documentation for the export described in the foreign or U.S. importer notice. EPA will mail, fax, or email the import consent documentation using the contact information listed for the facilities in the notice.

A U.S. TSDF receiving a RCRA manifested hazardous waste shipment from a foreign source is required to list the relevant consent number from consent documentation supplied by EPA to the facility for each waste listed on the manifest, matched to the relevant list number for the waste. If additional space is needed, the owner or operator should use a Continuation Sheet(s) (EPA Form 8700-22A). The TSDF must also send a copy of the manifest within thirty (30) days of delivery to EPA using the addresses listed in 40 CFR section 262.82(e) until the facility can submit such a copy to the e-Manifest system per 40 CFR section 264.71(a)(2)(v).

Top of Page


RCRA Manifest

Hazardous waste importers must complete a manifest when the waste enters the United States (40 CFR section 262.84(c)). Importers follow the general manifesting requirements for domestic generators in 40 CFR section 262.20(a), except for the following special provisions in 40 CFR section 262.84(c), including:

  • In place of the generator's name, address and EPA identification number, the importer must use the name and address of the foreign generator and the importer's name, address and EPA identification number;
  • In place of the generator's signature on the certification statement, the U.S. importer (or importer’s agent) and the initial transporter must sign and date the certification; and
  • In the “International Shipments” block on the manifest, the importer must check the import box and enter the point of entry into the United States.

Additionally, the importer must provide the transporter with an additional copy of the manifest prior to transporting the import shipment within the United States. The receiving facility will add the relevant consent number from consent documentation supplied by EPA to the facility 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 section 262.82(e) until the facility can submit such a copy to the e-Manifest system per 40 CFR section 264.71(a)(2)(v) (See 40 CFR sections 264.71(a)(3)/265.71(a)(3)).

Please note that the RCRA manifest is not required for imports of universal waste (40 CFR section 273.52) or spent-lead acid batteries (SLABs) (See 40 CFR section 266.80). For more information about the import and export requirements for universal waste and SLABs can be found on the requirements for imports and exports of specific RCRA wastes page.

When a shipment cannot be delivered for any reason to the receiving facility, under contract requirements in 40 CFR section 262.84(f)(4) the transporter or receiving facility having actual possession or physical control over the hazardous wastes will immediately inform the foreign exporter and importer, and the competent authority where the shipment is located of the need to arrange alternate management or return. The person specified in the contract will assume responsibility for the adequate management of the hazardous wastes in compliance with applicable laws and regulations including, if necessary, arranging the return of the hazardous wastes and, as the case may be, shall provide the notification for re-export required in 40 CFR section 262.83(b)(7). For manifested hazardous waste import shipments located in the United States, and after consulting with the responsible person specified in the contract, the importer must instruct the transporter to return the hazardous waste to the foreign exporter or designate another facility within the United States and revise the manifest in accordance with the importer’s instructions, in lieu of the requirements of 40 CFR section 262.20(d)
(see 40 CFR section 262.84(c)(5))).

Top of Page


International Movement Document

Transboundary shipments of hazardous waste must be accompanied by an international movement document from the initiation of the shipment in the country of export until it reaches the receiving facility. The international movement document includes information on the date the shipment commenced, the name of the exporter, recovery facility, and all transporters, and a certification statement. For information about the information required on the international movement document, see 40 CFR section 262.84(d)).

Use of the widely accepted OECD/Basel international movement document, or any other movement document required by the country of export 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 262.84(d) are included.

All U.S. parties that manage the hazardous waste shipment (transporters, the ultimate TSDF or recovery facility owner) must sign this international movement document and ensure that it accompanies the shipment to the recovery facility. Within three working days of receiving the shipment, the recovery facility must send signed copies of the international movement document to the following parties:

  • the foreign exporter;
  • the competent authority of the exporting country;
  • the competent authority of the transit countries (if any); and
  • EPA's Office of Compliance and Enforcement at the address specified above. For shipments received on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date, send the international movement document to EPA electronically using EPA’s WIETS.

Top of Page


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

When a shipment cannot be delivered for any reason to the U.S. receiving facility, under contract requirements in 40 CFR section 262.84(f)(4) the transporter or receiving facility having actual possession or physical control over the hazardous wastes will immediately inform the foreign exporter and importer, and the competent authority where the shipment is located of the need to arrange alternate management or return. As per the contract requirements and the TSDF requirements in 40 CFR sections 264.12(a)(3) and 265.12(a)(3), if the U.S. receiving facility has physical control of the waste and it must be sent to an alternate facility or returned to the country of export, the receiving facility must inform EPA, using the allowable methods listed in 40 CFR section 262.84(b)(1) of the need to return or arrange alternate management of the shipment.

Notifications submitted prior to the electronic import-export reporting compliance date must be mailed or hand delivered to EPA at one of the following addresses:

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

Attention: Notification of Need to Arrange Alternate Management or Return of an Import Shipment
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

For Hand Delivery, mail to:

Attention: Notification of Need to Arrange Alternate Management or Return of an Import Shipment
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of Federal Activities
International Compliance Assurance Division (2254A)
Environmental Protection Agency William Jefferson Clinton South Bldg., Room 6144 12th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Washington, DC 20004

Notifications submitted on or after the electronic import-export reporting compliance date must be submitted electronically using EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System.

Top of Page


Exception Reports

If the manifested shipment is delayed, lost, or partially or wholly rejected by the U.S. receiving facility, the importer must submit an exception report to EPA or the authorized State Agency (See 40 CFR section 262.42).

Top of Page


Packaging, Labeling, Marking, and Placarding

The importer is responsible for ensuring compliance with requirements for packaging, labeling, marking and placarding hazardous waste for shipment prior to public transportation of the import shipment within the United States (See 40 CFR sections 262.30 – 262.33).

Top of Page


Confirmation of Receipt

The TSDF must send a copy of the signed manifest listing waste consent numbers matched to each waste on the RCRA manifest to EPA within 30 days of receipt of the shipment until such time the facility can send the paper manifest to the e-Manifest system (See 40 CFR sections 264.71(a)(3)/265.71(a)(3)). The TSDF or recovery facility must also send copies of the international movement document within three days of shipment delivery to the foreign exporter, to the countries of export and transit that control it as hazardous waste export or transit respectively. Additionally, for shipments occurring after the future electronic import-export reporting compliance date, the TSDF or recovery facility must send a copy within three days of shipment delivery to EPA electronically using EPA's WIETS (40 CFR sections 262.84(d)(xv), 264.12(a)(2), 264.71(d), 265.12(a)(2), 265.71(d)).

Top of Page


Confirmation of Recovery or Disposal

The U.S. receiving facility must send copies of the confirmation of recovery or disposal no later than 30 days of completing management of shipment and no later than one year after shipment delivery to the foreign exporter, to the country of export if the country of export controls it as hazardous waste export, and on or after future electronic import-export reporting compliance date, to EPA electronically using EPA's WIETS (40 CFR sections 262.84(g), 264.12(a)(4)(i), and 265.12(a)(4)(i)).

The confirmation of recovery or disposal includes a signed, written and dated statement that affirms that the waste materials were recovered or disposed in the manner specified in the contract and the consent.

Top of Page


Biennial Report

The receiving facility of an imported hazardous waste must file a biennial report by March 1 of each even numbered year covering activities from the previous calendar year with its authorized State Agency or regional EPA office (if the State Agency is not authorized to implement the BR program).  This report must include the name and address of the foreign generator as described in 40 CFR sections 264.75(c)/265.75(c).  If a large quantity generator, the importer must similarly file a biennial report with its authorized State Agency or regional EPA office (if the State Agency is not authorized to implement the BR program) by March 1 of each even numbered year to report hazardous wastes generated during the previous calendar year, including those from a foreign source, as described in 40 CFR section 262.41.

When calculating the total quantity of hazardous waste generated in a month, importers should add the quantity of hazardous waste imported during the calendar month to any hazardous waste generated at the importer’s physical site during that calendar month. Under the RCRA regulations the date an import of hazardous waste enters the country is considered the date the waste is “generated”. All hazardous waste import shipments listing the importer’s EPA ID number in Item 1 on the RCRA hazardous waste manifest should be included as part of the total monthly quantity, regardless of the port of entry or border crossing used.

Top of Page


Recordkeeping

The importer must comply with the recordkeeping requirements of hazardous waste generators and maintain the following records for at least three years (40 CFR sections 262.40 and 262.84(h)(1)):

  • A copy of each notification the importer sends to EPA;
  • A copy of each RCRA manifest, any exception reports and any biennial reports;
  • A copy of each EPA Acknowledgement of Consent; and
  • A copy of each contract.

Receiving facilities must keep the following records for at least three years (40 CFR sections 262.84(h)(2), 264.71(a)(2)(vi), 264.74, 265.71(a)(2)(vi), and 265.74):

  • The original confirmation of receipt (i.e., movement document), a copy of which the receiving facility sends to the foreign exporter;
  • A copy of each RCRA manifest;
  • A copy of each confirmation of recovery or disposal that the receiving facility sends to the foreign exporter;
  • A copy of each contract;
  • A copy of the biennial report, and any exception reports; and
  • For receiving facilities that performed any interim recovery or disposal operations, a copy of each confirmation of recovery or disposal that the final recovery or disposal facility sent to it;

Importers and receiving facilities may satisfy these recordkeeping requirements by retaining electronically submitted documents in the importer’s or receiving facility’s account on EPA’s WIETS, provided that copies are readily available for viewing or production if requested by any EPA or authorized state inspector.

Top of Page