Clerical goof up causes more pain for print

In what could be deemed as an oops moment, the "apparent ban on recovered paper exports from EU to India has been attributed to a clerical error". EuRIC has confirmed that the entry prohibiting Basel Convention code B3020 materials was a mistake.

27 Oct 2021 | By Rahul Kumar

As per reports shared by senior members of the paper industry in India with PrintWeekthe Indian Embassy in Brussels has confirmed that a clerical error was made that meant it accidentally banned recovered paper imports from the EU.

As reported by REB Market Intelligence, the European Commission had published a response from India that recovered paper imports were banned. As a result, by default, "it became illegal to export cardboard and paper from the EU to India for recycling."

The chronology can be traced to the official release of updated rules for exporting green-listed wastes from the EU to non-OECD countries. This "caused quite a stir" in recovered paper circles. As per the officials of ERPA, the recovered paper division of the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (Euric) "the source of industry concern was changes to the annex of EU Regulation 1418/2007". This regulation lists the waste types which may be exported from the EU to individual non-OECD countries for recovery and which control procedures apply to them.

The Indian representatives will submit "an official written request" to the EU Commission. After which the Commission will initiate "corrigendum procedure". This correction procedure is expected to take between six and eight weeks. Which means the export ban will apply to mid or late December.

When PrintWeek spoke to a senior paper trader he said, "The paper industry in India relies on imported recovered paper for raw material. India is a key destination market for EU exports in the first half of this year." As per market reports, EU exports to India range from 66,000 tonnes in May to about 150,000 tonnes in March. Spain, Italy and the Netherlands export the largest volumes of recovered paper to India.