Minister Dimitrov presented waste import control measures in front of MPs

30 Jan, 2020 | 20:04

A package of measures to strengthen controls on waste import was presented by the Minister of Environment and Water Emil Dimitrov at a session of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Water. Based on the current legislation, the points of entry where the import of the three most risky categories of waste - plastic and rubber, RDF modified fuels, and mixed waste – is allowed will be restricted. They will be subjected to enhanced 100% physical control by Customs Agency officials, the Ministry of Interior, and the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water (RIEW). The information on the movement of these goods will be collected in an electronic system and will be provided to the Customs Agency, the structures of the Ministry of Interior, and the RIEW, for this purpose instructions for interaction will be approved. “Thus it will be possible to receive information in real time about every single waste movement crossing the borders of the Republic of Bulgaria,” said the Minister.

 Legislative measures that will be proposed for control on the import of waste include the introduction of bank guarantees for activities with all types of waste, also for traders and brokers. It is envisaged that the persons who arrange the shipment or import, as well as the recipient, will be obliged to notify the respective RIEW depending on the destination of the waste at least three working days before the actual start of each shipment.

 “We will follow the same logic with water - not once a month, but every day all interested institutions will be informed about the inflow quantities to the dams and the measures taken so that everyone will be able to act within their respective powers,” added Emil Dimitrov .

 The Minister also informed the MPs about the implementation of the project “Environmentally friendly disposal of out-of-use pesticides and other expired plant protection products” financed by the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Program. By the end of 2019, 3 750 tons of pesticides, plant protection products and other have been exported for final disposal. They have been treated at facilities in France, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. This amounts to 85% of the programme's initially planned 4 388 tons. 70 warehouses were cleaned throughout the country. Until June 30, 2020, the activity continues with national funds under the budget of the Enterprise for Environmental Protection (EMEPA) from Bulgaria will be exported another 650 tons of unfit pesticides from 68 warehouses.

 Minister Dimitrov called for refraining from political speculations on the topic of pesticides, because their removal and disposal in an environmentally friendly way solves a problem that has been accumulating for decades since the time of the former Labor cooperative agricultural holding.