Dutch to ‘reconsider’ import tax if EfW phased out

The Dutch parliament has been discussing its levy on the import of waste for incineration this week, in news which will receive a mixed reaction from the sector. 

While a motion looking to have the tax withdrawn from 1 January 2022 was overwhelmingly rejected, a separate motion calling on the government to reconsider the ban if an incinerator capacity reduction plan is agreed was passed.

Two motions were discussed in the Dutch parliament on 29 June

Plans for a €31 per tonne charge on the import of refuse derived fuel (RDF) for incineration in the Netherlands were passed through the Dutch House of Representatives in 2019 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Motions

The motion which passed was submitted by the centre-left Christian Democratic Party last week (24 June), and approved on Tuesday (29 June).

The motion called on the government and the waste sector “to arrive at a realistic scenario for phasing out Dutch WIP [waste incineration plants] capacity”.

The motion said any realistic scenario should consider the sector’s concerns on the “entire waste chain, employment, sustainable energy and heat that supply WIPs and CO2 reduction at European level”.

If this is agreed, the Christian Democratic Party calls on the government to “reconsider the import levy on foreign residual waste, and to inform the House of Representatives about this before the budget possibly in the form of an alternative proposal”.

Translated to English, the motion said: “The waste sector experiences the import levy as restrictive and they would like to see an alternative to it.”

It continued: “Once agreement has been reached on the phase-out, we urge the government to reconsider the import levy on foreign residual waste.”

The motion was approved by the Dutch parliament by 127 votes to 32 in a vote this week.

‘Contribution’

While the sector will be reluctant to see capacity reduction plans introduced, Robert Corijin, chair of the RDF Industry group, told letsrecyle.com they would try to reach a working solution.

Robert Corijin, chair of the RDF Industry group

Mr Corijin said: “We are pleased to see that a vast majority of Parliament values the contribution that our EfW plants provide in the European climate targets and energy transition.

“Parliament asks to reconsider the import tax and consider a capacity regulation plan towards 2050 instead. We are keen to see how we can come to a policy where EfW capacity will only be restricted when European climate and renewable energy goals are no longer contributed to.”

Withdrawn

The motion to have the tax withdrawn next year was filed last week (24 June) by the centre-right SGP party, and rejected by 27 votes to 132 .

The SGP argued that research has shown “that the import duty on foreign net waste is more likely to cause more greenhouse gas emissions than less” and called for the government to adopt an alternative plan.

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