You are on page 1of 1

9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/23

If the holder discards or has the intention to discard the worn clothing the definition of waste applies.
The destination of the clothes, for example whether the clothes are collected separately, taken to a charity shop or
put together with the household waste is irrelevant in this respect.

It is however not excluded that worn clothing which the holder has discarded can lose the qualification of being a
‘waste’ and can be considered as a product again. To this end, an adequate treatment, following the (separate)
collection but preceding a possible export, could take place in the form of sorting, cleaning, reparation etc.

Discussions in the framework of the Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD)
concerning the definition of waste currently aim to establish a number of criteria which must give an indication
whether in a given case an object is a waste or not, and also when a waste could be considered a product again.
On the basis of the final results of this discussion, which are due for April 1998, the Commission will examine
whether there is a need to take up the debate on the Community definition of waste, and in particular concerning
possible amendments which should lead to a better application of the definition.

The current situation with regard to exports of non-hazardous waste, including worn clothing, to developing
countries is that these can take place as normal commercial transactions, without specific control, as foreseen in
Article 1.3(a) of Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 of 1 February 1993 on the supervision and control of shipments of
waste within, into and out of the Community (2).

However, Article 17 of Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 provides that the Commission consults all non-OECD
countries whether they want to be able to import waste listed in Annex II of this Regulation (the so-called green
list) without control or whether they prefer that one of the control procedures of the Regulation be applied to such
exports out of the Community.

On the basis of the answers to this consultation the Commission has made proposals for legislation to
accommodate the answers of the third countries. However, several countries have answered that they did not
wish to receive any such waste for recovery, and also a large number of countries did not reply to the

Taking into account the precautionary principle, the Commission proposal for a Council regulation concerning
this group of countries foresees to apply the control procedure which normally applies to export of waste listed in
Annex IV. In its opinion on the proposal, the Parliament asked for a prohibition of exports of waste to the
countries which asked for such a prohibition as well as to countries which did not react to the consultation.
The Commission has taken the amendments of the Parliament on board as far as the countries requesting an
export prohibition are concerned. However as regards the countries which did not take position, the Commission
is of the opinion that the control procedure foreseen in the proposal is sufficient. The Council of December 1997
came to a common position along the same lines.

The future situation concerning the export of worn clothing to developing countries will therefore depend on, in
the first instance, the answer of the country in question to the consultation of the Commission, and in second
instance on the final position which the Parliament and the Council will take as regards the proposal in question.
Of course a third country can at any time change its position, in general or with regard to specific categories of
waste, pursuant to which the Commission can then propose new measures to accommodate the modified

(1) OJ L 78, 26.3.1991.

(2) OJ L 30, 6.2.1993.

(98/C 310/25) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0113/98

by Susan Waddington (PSE) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: Driving Licence Directive 91/439/EEC

Following the modification of Directive 91/439/EEC (1) people suffering from certain medical conditions, such
as diabetes, are restricted to driving vehicles below 3.5 tonnes. Is a person with type 1 diabetes banned from
driving a vehicle, such as a minibus, which weighs over 3.5 tonnes or do they have to seek a medical certificate
stating that they are fit to drive?

(1) OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 1.