FP7-project CWIT (2013-2015)

f7_cwit“Countering WEEE illegal trade”.

Grant agreement no: 312605. Date: 1.9.2013-31.8.2015.
CWIT URL: http://www.cwitproject.eu/


The research and development project Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT) will provide a set of recommendations to the European Commission and law enforcement authorities that will assist them in countering the illegal trade of WEEE ( Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), also known as ‘e-waste’ within and from Europe.  Funded by the European Union’s Framework Program 7, this 2 year security research project brings together a group of experts skilled in the fields of e-waste analysis, crime analysis, supply chain security, and database management.

Only around 3 million tons of the estimated total of 8 million tons in WEEE was officially collected, treated, and reported to authorities across Europe in 2010. E-waste contains materials such as gold, copper, and palladium which makes it very valuable on the black market; attracting not just illegal single operators but serious organised crime groups.

However e-waste also contains hazardous substances such as mercury and cadmium. Therefore illegal e-waste handling, often in poorer countries, leads to huge health issues and environmental pollution.  At the same time, European Union Member States are losing a vast amount of rare earth metals and other important minerals due to increasing illicit activities, poor compliance rates, and limited enforcement activities in eWaste.

These issues call for increased attention and enhanced enforcement in the context of WEEE trade, transport, and treatment.  The CWIT project, has been established to identify the policy, regulatory, procedural, and technical gaps as observed in today’s business environment, and to suggest tangible improvements.  The CWIT consortium is composed of partners that have a great deal of expertise on the WEEE area, crime analysis and the management of large databases, it comprises  Interpol, WEEE Forum aisbl, United Nations University (UNU), Zanasi & Partners (Z&P), Compliance and Risks (C2P), Cross-border Research Association (CBRA) and United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).


Publications and presentations:

Forthcoming: Luda di Cortemiglia, V. and Hintsa, J. (2014), “Coordinating research efforts”, in Pink, G. and White, R. (Eds.), Environmental Crime and Collaborative State Intervention”, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Hintsa, J. and Wieting, M. (2014), “A new research protocol to develop multiple case studies on illicit activities in trade, logistics, processing and disposal of WEEE – waste in electrical and electronic equipment”, Proceedings of the Hamburg International Conference of Logistics, September 18-19, 2014, Hamburg.