New legislative amendments in the field of packaging and packaging waste management

In brief

Law no. 31/2019 (hereinafter “Law") has been adopted, on the approval, with amendments and completions, of Emergency Ordinance no. 74/2018. The Law amends and clarifies a number of aspects on packaging and packaging waste management.


In detail

I. Law no. 211/2011 regarding the waste regime

Compared to the initial form adopted by the Government, the Law brings the following changes to the waste regime:

  • Elimination of the restriction established by GEO no. 74/2018 on the authorisation of organisations that implement the extended producer responsibility through tacit approval;
  • Clarifying the obligations of local public authorities with respect to the separate collection of waste, in the sense that the authorities have to determine whether the separate collection of municipal waste is managed through a single sanitation contract;
  • Establishing the deadline of 30 June 2019 by which the local public administration authorities have to implement the "pay-as-you-throw" principle and set distinct tariffs for the sanitation services beneficiaries regarding the management of recyclable waste and other categories of waste;
  • Establishing the date of 30 April 2019 as the deadline by which the deliberative authorities of the administrative-territorial units have to take decisions in order to ensure that the provisions of the contracts for the delegation of the management of the sanitation service are in line with the legislative changes.

II. Law no. 249/2015 regarding packaging and packaging waste management

Compared to the original form adopted by the Government, the Law amends and supplements the management of packaging and packaging waste:

  • Clarifications regarding the obligation to pay the money guarantee for reusable packaging materials, i.e. that its value is due both between economic operators and between such operators and the final consumer;
  • The minimum return percentage of reusable primary packaging materials applicable as of 1 January 2019 has been reduced to 80%, compared with the 90% provided for by the Ordinance in its original form;
  • With regard to the obligation to implement the “guarantee-return system” for non-reusable primary packaging materials as of 2021, new categories of beverages (i.e. wines and spirits) have been introduced, with application of the system mandatory for the packaging materials related to such products;
  • A clarification has been introduced regarding the achievement of the annual recycling / recovery targets, i.e. the inclusion of the packaging materials imported / intra-community purchased for internal use or consumption purposes in the category of packaging for which operators are required to meet the  packaging waste recycling targets;
  • Organisations implementing the extended producer responsibility have a 90-day period as of the publication of the authorisation procedure to comply with the required provisions, under the sanction of withdrawal of their operating licences. The order approving the authorisation procedure, annual approval and withdrawal of the operating right of organisations implementing the obligations of extended producer responsibility was published in the Official Gazette no. 39/15 January 2019;
  • Concerning the recovery / recycling targets for packaging waste, a separate recycling target for PET has been introduced, accounting for 55% of the recycling target for plastics.

III. Government Emergency Ordinance no. 196/2005 regarding the Environmental Fund

Contribution to the circular economy will also be charged for building and demolition waste.

[Source: Law no. 31/2019 on the approval of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 74/2018 for the amendment and completion of Law no. 211/2011 regarding the waste regime, of Law no. 249/2015 regarding the packaging and packaging waste management and Government Emergency Ordinance no. 196/2005 regarding the Environmental Fund, published in the Official Gazette no. 37/14.01.2019]

The takeaway

The Law for the approval of Emergency Ordinance no. 74/2018 brings some clarification and introduces new deadlines for the key issues that have undergone changes in packaging and packaging waste management.

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