Enforcement action against illegal WEEE export

WEEE Design

February 2013

In the UK’s largest illegal WEEE export case, three men have been fined and ordered to pay confiscation monies under the Proceeds of Crimes Act. The largest penalty issued to one of the men was £17,000 with £20,000 of costs, a surcharge of £15 and a £75,000 confiscation order within six months or 18 months in prison if he failed to pay.

The man, who had been fined in 2007 for having no waste management licence, pleaded guilty to shipping hazardous WEEE for recovery. The material was exported to Nigeria, Ghana and Pakistan in breach of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 and the European Waste Shipment Regulation 2006.

The Agency said the fifteen containers that were exported from the site were ‘window-dressed’. The equipment in the containers had a failure rate of above 90%, with only equipment in the front few rows in good order.