The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Russian Environmental Operator (PPK REO) have published amendments to the legislation to restart the mechanism of extended liability of producers and importers for waste (EPR). Experts and market participants call the document corruption-intensive: it gives the REO PPK extensive regulatory and financial powers without responsibility for the results. At the same time, the Ministry of Natural Resources sent to the White House a bill on secondary material resources, which equates them to waste. These documents leave observers openly questioning the competence of industry officials.
Amendments to the laws “On production and consumption waste” and “On the fundamentals of state regulation of trade in the Russian Federation” published by the Ministry of Natural Resources to assess the regulatory impact, according to Kommersant, until the last moment were classified as “DSP”. The document, created in co-authorship with the PPK REO, is intended to outline the basic principles of the system and describe the place of the PPK in it. Thus, the amendments establish the need for a methodology for calculating the eco-tax rate for companies that do not independently manage the generated waste, the procedure for declaring released and imported goods and packaging, and describe the procedure for reporting on EPR. It assumes an annual increase in the standards for the disposal of goods by 10%, up to 100%, and for packaging, the recycling rate will be 100% already from 2022. “This will entail a significant increase in the amount of the fee for some companies and may affect the cost of goods. And preparation and submission of reports twice a year will increase the administrative burden on business, ”says Yulia Fakhrudinova, Senior Manager of Tax and Legal Department at Deloitte CIS. Lyubov Melanevskaya, director of the RusPek Association (unites the largest participants in the ROP), agrees with her, noting that the doubled environmental collection rate proposed by the bill for companies that have not reached 100% utilization contradicts the principles of the government’s ROP concept (see Kommersant dated January 12) – in it, companies’ self-disposal of waste takes precedence over paying the eco-fee. “Why does business need these risks (attempts to meet the standard. – “B”), if you can just pay 100%, ”she says indignantly.
Most of the document is devoted to the control of the PPC REO of the eco-collection receipts (Rosprirodnadzor did not manage to create a GIS for their accounting) and the distribution of these funds through the EPR Fund. From 2024, goods and packaging not included in the GIS will not be allowed for circulation in the Russian Federation. “Experience shows that nothing good can be expected from such systems. This should be done by people with relevant experience and qualifications at the Federal Tax Service, and not at the RER PPK, ”said Sergei Zavyalov, a board member of the Union of Processing Enterprises. The same was said earlier in the Ministry of Finance (see Kommersant on February 11).
Experts and market participants interviewed by Kommersant also highlight the obviously corruption-intensive provisions of the bill. So, its authors propose to finance from the fund the collection, processing, transportation and disposal of waste from the use of goods by persons, information about which is included in a special register (it will be maintained by the REO), and waste management “. Mr. Zavyalov notes that REO intends to carry out such selection of PPK in addition to licensing of market participants. And the head of the laboratory for researching the financial, managerial and technological foundations of the circular economy of the RANEPA Sodnom Budatarov adds that “it is clear who and how will set the criteria for these persons.”
At the same time, the Ministry of Natural Resources returned to the government the amendments to the law on waste, sent for revision by Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko (see Kommersant of March 31), introducing the concept of secondary resources into it, but as a result introduces the category of secondary material resources (SMR), which also classified as waste, and recyclable materials are defined as products obtained from BMP. “Secondary raw materials cannot be products – they need to be collected, sorted and delivered to factories. This misunderstanding is possible due to the low competence of the drafters of the bill, ”says Sodnom Budatarov.
All the interlocutors of Kommersant speak about the incompetence of the authors of the documents. Thus, Natalya Belyaeva, deputy head of the profile committee of Delovaya Rossiya, notes that the amendments “bring even more chaos into the already complex structure of the reform.” At the same time, the industry does not see any effective incentives for recycling and recycling waste, which is required by national goals, in the development of the PPK and the Ministry of Natural Resources. “There hasn’t been any more clarity in the system. Compliance and costs will rise, but these amendments do not contribute to the development of processing and the transition to a cyclical economy, ”concludes Artem Larin, Head of Sustainability Services at EY.