‘RDF tax’ passes first stage of Dutch Parliament

Plans for a €31 per tonne charge on the import of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for incineration in the Netherlands have passed through the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).

However, the Dutch Waste Management Association is hoping it will be able to lobby parliament to amend the legislation before a final vote in the Senate next month, but there is no indication that this will happen.

The Dutch House of Representatives, where the bill was passed yesterday, November 14 (picture: Tweede Kamer)

Confirming that the bill was passed, a spokesperson from Tweede Kamer said: “The voting for the whole plan was yesterday and is accepted and passed the House. The whole plan is now at the Senate.”

If it passes the Senate, the proposals will come into effect from 1 January 2020, according to Tweede Kamer.

The tax could have a major impact on the UK as statistics suggests it exports about 14% of its residual waste overseas in the form of RDF for energy recovery, with about half going to the Netherlands.

Some of the other standout climate measures in the bill include a 30kmph reduction in the national speed limit to 100 kmph and a change in what farmers can feed their livestock.

Under the Dutch Constitution, before a bill can enter into law it must be passed by both stages of Parliament and then signed by the monarch and countersigned by the responsible minister or state secretary.

The UK exports about 14% of its residual waste overseas in the form of RDF for energy recovery

On the Tweede Kamer website, it states that the Senate “pays particular attention to the feasibility of the new law and whether the proposal is well put together”.

The Dutch Waste Management Association said it will use the time between now and the vote on the 17th December to lobby for its alternative proposals.

Robbert Loos, director of the Association said: “Unfortunately, the government has not succeeded in getting the alternative plan of the Dutch Waste Management Association for CO2 reduction included in the tax plan 2020. The time turned out to be too short for the cabinet to be able to thoroughly assess the plan and financial coverage before the votes in the Lower House.

“Unfortunately, the government has not succeeded in getting the alternative included in the tax plan 2020”

Robbert Loos, Dutch Waste Management Association

“The package includes various CO2 reduction measures that can take effect next year. This will reduce more CO2 emissions in the Netherlands in 2020 than through the planned import levy for foreign waste in the Tax Plan. Moreover, the alternative plan does not have major business consequences for the waste and recycling sector.”

He added: “The departments involved have viewed the alternative constructively. Later this fall, the Upper House will deal with the proposals of the government. The VA wants to use the intervening period to further elaborate the alternative proposal together with the government.”

The tax could have significant implications for the UK depending on how much is passed on to waste companies. However, alternative solutions such as landfill and energy form waste are edging up in price terms and are likely to be influenced by the Dutch tax should it be confirmed.

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