EA investigates suspected illegal shipment of WEEE to Nigeria

WEEE Design

February 2013

A suspected illegal shipment of WEEE from the UK to Nigeria is being investigated by the Environment Agency.

Two containers, which were marked as used electrical and electronic equipment (UEEE), have been impounded by the Nigerian National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

The Nigerian authorities have issued a $1million (£632,000) fine to the multinational shipping container group that owns the vessel upon which the containers entered Tin Can Island Port. The authorities have also ordered the return of the containers to the UK. Until the fine has been paid, the vessel will be detained at the port by the authorities.

According to NESREA the cargo did not have certification showing it was reusable and so it represented a danger of pollution. The origin of the waste has yet to be revealed, but the Environment Agency has been in communication with the Nigerian authorities. The shipping container group is awaiting a court hearing where it will be decided if the fine will be upheld.