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1 July 2019

DWMA is calling on Dutch government: 'Do not execute the import tax for foreign waste'

Taxation on the import of foreign waste is counterproductive. Instead of a CO₂ reduction, the measure just causes more emissions. This measure goes directly against the principles set out by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EAC) recently. 'It is incomprehensible where this extra tax suddenly comes from', says Robbert Loos, Director of the Dutch Waste Management Association. 'We are calling on the government not to include this measure in the new national Tax Bill. It is completely unclear how much CO₂ emissions the government is aiming to achieve with this measure.'

Dutch waste companies process a small portion of the British waste in a high-quality manner. Otherwise this waste would be landfilled in the UK. This causes the release of methane, which is significantly more harmful than CO₂ (1 tonnes methane equals 25 tonnes CO2). The government does not make clear how much CO2 saving this measure must deliver. Minister Wiebes of the Ministry of EAC states in his letter to the House of Representatives that proposed measures must not lead to CO2 emissions abroad. 'The import tax on foreign waste just does that', says Loos. The signal of this sudden announcement is not well received in the Dutch waste and recycling market. Loos: 'Our members are shocked and consider this to be a bad signal for sustainable investments in the waste sector. We would like to first thoroughly map all related consequences, to prevent that the government is shooting itself in the foot in view of the circular economy - and climate ambitions, which are foremost related to the European context.'

Robbert Loos (Director DWMA):

"It is incomprehensible where this extra tax suddenly comes from."