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Document 3:6 (2022-2023) / Published The authorities’ control of transboundary waste shipments

The investigation reveals that the authorities' control and inspection work is inadequate, that the risk of detection is low and sanctioning ineffective.


  • Waste has developed into an international commodity. This is partly because waste can contain valuable materials that can be extracted.
  • Stricter environmental requirements in many countries have led to an increase in the costs of waste management. It is therefore an increasing problem that waste is exported to developing countries with fewer regulations or weaker enforcement of the regulations.
  • The objective of the investigation has been to assess whether the authorities' control of waste exports ensures environmentally sound treatment of waste in line with the Storting's decisions and assumptions. The investigation covers the period 2017–2021.


  • Government sanctions against illegal waste exports are not very dissuasive.
  • The regulations make it difficult to sanction violations.
  • The Norwegian Environment Agency cannot document that it carries out a risk-based inspection of the export of waste.
  • Norwegian Customs has an inaccurate system for selecting shipments to be controlled.
  • The controls carried out by Norwegian Customs are not well suited to uncovering illegal waste exports.
  • The Norwegian Environment Agency's preventive work against illegal waste export has several weaknesses.


The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Climate
and Environment

  • ensure that the Norwegian Environment Agency reacts in a way that is effective, proportionate and dissuasive
  • ensure that the Norwegian Environment Agency has adequate sanctions and, towards this purpose, introduces administrative fees as soon as possible
  • ensure that the Norwegian Environment Agency has updated risk assessments and a plan that facilitates good systematic implementation of inspection
  • follow up on the Norwegian Environment Agency organizing its inspections so that they can uncover serious violations to a greater extent

The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Finance

  • follow up on Norwegian Customs to a greater extent carrying out physical controls when this is needed for detecting illegal waste exports
  • ensure that Norwegian Customs provides the Norwegian Environment Agency with sufficient information about Norwegian Customs' controls and discovered regulatory violations
Kategorier: Environment