Posted on 26/09/2014 in category BIR

BIR seeks environmental goods listing for recycling materials/machinery

Many members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) currently impose an inefficient mix of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on the trade in both secondary raw materials and in machinery and equipment used by the recycling industries around the world. “Reducing or eliminating those tariffs and non-tariff barriers would bring benefit to the global environment, boosting the circular economy on a global scale, improving resource efficiency and minimising waste and unwanted emissions to air, land and water,” comments BIR Environmental & Technical Director Ross Bartley regarding ongoing discussions at the WTO in Geneva.

At the WTO level, 13 countries* and the EU - which together make up 86% of global trade in environmental goods - have been taking part in the discussions towards a possible Environmental Services and Goods Agreement. If achieved, this could lead to a reduction or elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on machinery and equipment that is necessary for optimising the sorting and processing of waste into quality-controlled secondary raw materials. Furthermore, such an agreement would help improve industrial competitiveness through improved access to secondary raw material (scrap).

“BIR, the world federation of the recycling industries, encourages its affiliated national associations and companies to promote to each of their WTO negotiators that secondary raw materials, as well as machinery and equipment used by the recycling industries, are added to the WTO list of environmental goods,” Mr Bartley underlines.


*Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Costa Rica, Hong Kong China, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the USA.