New Space Industry Task Force to address the EU’s revised Waste Framework Directive

Eurospace announces the creation of a new Task Force in response to the EU’s Waste Framework Directive (WFD) 2008/98/EC. The revised WFD is a legislative action to promote the EU’s Circular Economy policy. It entered into force on 4 July 2018 and is to be transposed by the Member States by 5 July 2020.

Article 9 of the revised WFD foresees a notification requirement for EU article suppliers and creation of a corresponding database by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for articles containing substances included in the REACH Candidate List above above 0.1% weight by weight. ECHA shall provide access to that database to waste treatment operators.

Products sent into space and related means of transport such as launch vehicles typically do not result in waste on the EU territory. Therefore, such products are not part of the Circular Economy and appear to fall outside the scope of the WFD. Yet, an explicit exemption is not foreseen for such products, and information disclosure in ECHA’s database would raise serious concerns.

The WFD Task Force of the European Space Industry has been set up to jointly take the required actions to communicate its special case to the regulators and industry stakeholders at EU and national levels, in order to be taken into account for the implementation of the revised WFD.

The WFD Task Force is a splinter group of the Materials and Processes Technology Board of the European Space Components Coordination (ESCC MPTB).

Industrial participants are:

  • Airbus Defence & Space,
  • ArianeGroup, Avio,
  • MT Aerospace,
  • OHB,
  • RUAG,
  • Thales Alenia Space.

The Task Force is also attended by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the following national space agencies: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR). The European Defence Agency (EDA) is an observer.

ASD-Eurospace is acting as the Secretariat and REACHLaw Ltd. as consultant.

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