I want to export used goods to Africa or Asia. What should I take into consideration?

Used goods from industrialised countries have become increasingly sought-after commodities in other parts of the world. However, only good quality used goods that do not contain substances prohibited by law can be legally exported from Norway and EU to Africa and Asia. Your shipment may therefore be classified as «waste» and treated as an illegal waste shipment by waste regulation authorities or customs.

Why is illegal shipment of obsolete items or e-waste a problem?

Illegal shipments of obsolete items or e-waste undermine law-abiding recycling businesses in Norway and EU and risk harm to human health and the environment in some recipient countries. It is also generally prohibited under the Norwegian Waste Regulation to export waste to non-OECD countries*.

Who bears the cost involved in handling illegal waste shipment cases?

As a rule, if a shipment is regarded as illegal by a transit country and sent back to Norway, the cost arising from the return of the consignment, including transport, storage and recovery and/or disposal, shall be charged to the exporter pursuant to chapter 13 of the Norwegian Waste Shipment Regulation. The same rule applies to containers or vehicles detained or stopped in Norway.

In order to ship used goods form Norway in a legal way, please check thelist below:

  • The item must be in functional order (i.e. the item must be evaluated and fully tested)
  • The item is highly marketable
  • The item does not contain a substance that is prohibited by law
  • The age of the item is reasonable (relatively new technology)
  • The outward /external appearance of the item does not show any waste characteristics
  • The packaging/packing is sufficient for protection during transport, loading and unloading
  • Copies of receipts or contracts relating to the sale and/or transfer of ownership can be provided

For more information, kindly peruse this guidance brochure: A guide for Exporters of Used goods.

Below are some examples of illegal waste shipments cases and activities:

Read more about hazardous substances in e-waste.