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Import of waste under control


„All waste imported to Poland will be covered by the SENT system. Through this, illegal import of waste will be under special supervision and vehicles transporting waste will be better monitored” – informed the Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Jacek Ozdoba, at a press conference held on 18 November 2021. The meeting was also attended by the head of the National Revenue Administration, Magdalena Rzeczkowska and the acting Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection, Michał Mistrzak.

Import of waste under control

The Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Jacek Ozdoba, pointed out that movement of waste entails significant financial revenue at the time of accepting this waste by a waste collection entity but also requires enormous financial inputs for its further management. This creates a room for fraud for dishonest entrepreneurs which, as a consequence, makes it difficult for persons acting legally to obtain income and stay in the market.

As he added, the low responsibility for environmental crime contributed to developing the so-called informal sector which is estimated, approximately, at 10% to even 40% of the whole waste management market.

Deputy Minister Ozdoba stressed that an important problem of the waste management market is illegal import of waste to Poland from the neighbouring countries.

It should be pointed out that the latter, in particular, generates a number of problems for local governments and expenses from the State Treasury budget for its removal or for removal of damage to the environment. Recently, a significant increase in the number of cases related to abandoning such waste in places not intended for this purpose has been recorded all over the country and, in particular, in the Pomorskie and Kujawskie-Pomorskie Voivodeships.

– he said.

In view of the fact that these were publicly available places, in many times acting as places of recreation and relaxation, this waste contributed not only to the risk of environmental pollution or to generating costs related to disposal of it but also posed a direct threat to the health and life of persons who may have had potential contact with it.

At present, its producers cannot be unambiguously indicated but it also cannot be ruled out that it did not originate in Poland and was illegally imported to our country. Confirmed, numerous cases of abandoning this kind of waste and the increased scale of this kind of acts point to the significant profitability of such illegal activities taking place without permission of the Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection and outside any registers, also outside the tax records of pursued business activity.

Having regard to the need to “eliminate the gaps” in the waste management market and to prevent depletions with respect to the tax on goods and services related to movement of waste, the Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection, together with the National Revenue Administration, developed an amendment to the implementing provisions to the Act of 9 March 2017 on the monitoring system for the road and railway carriage of goods. It will consist in obliging companies involved in transboundary movement of waste to register each carriage of waste via the electronic platform PUESC.

The head of the National Revenue Administration, Magdalena Rzeczkowska, stressed that the result of cooperation between the National Revenue Administration and the Ministry of Climate and the Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection will be the fact of covering waste imported to Poland with the SENT system. As she added, the efficiency of SENT had been confirmed in practice, in particular, with regard to decreasing the informal sector in the fuel and tobacco industries.

KAS supports fair competition in the market and fights against unfair business practices. SENT is one of the tools we use for this purpose. Between April 2017 and June 2020, we carried out more than 1.4 million inspections and detected more than 16 thousand irregularities in carriage of sensitive goods

– she explained.

A consequence of the regulations introduced will consist in imposing, respectively, on a sending entity, receiving entity and carrier in movement of waste, at the time of starting carriage of waste, obligations as regards notifying the carriage, its completion and update. In addition, a carrier will be obliged to guarantee the provision of geolocation data and a driver will be obliged to hold a reference number and to activate a locator.

These solutions will streamline control of transboundary movement of waste, result in limiting the “informal sector” phenomenon and contribute to increasing proceeds to the State Treasury due to the tax on goods and services, resulting from economic events which so far have been concealed by dishonest entrepreneurs

– stressed Deputy Minister Ozdoba.

Michał Mistrzak, acting Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection, stressed the role of the SENT system as a tool allowing to support joint activities carried out by the inspectors of the Inspection for Environmental Protection and officers of the National Revenue Administration, implemented for the purpose of preventing environmental crime.

The use of the SENT system will have an impact on the efficiency of our joint inspection activities. Illegal import of waste to Poland will be much more difficult and highly risky. I expect that this will significantly reduce crime in this area

– added the acting Chief Inspector. 

The new regulations will also result in a level playing field for entities pursuing business activities in the waste management market. In this respect, the efficiency of the provisions of the SENT carriage package has been confirmed by the Ministry of Finance, in particular, in the field of reducing the informal sector in the fuel industry and, to a large extent, reducing the related VAT gap.

Control of import and transit of waste to Poland with the use of the SENT system does not limit business activity, is not any threat to competitiveness in this market and does not require entrepreneurs to incur additional financial inputs. And it will actually contribute to making it easier for entities pursuing business activity in line with all requirements specified in the laws to operate in the market.

– explained Jacek Ozdoba, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment.