The Coalition for the Circular Economy (CERC) brings to the attention of the public the negative effects that the Emergency Ordinance 74/2018 for amending and completing the Law no. 211/2011 on the waste regime, of Law no. 249/2015 on the management of packaging and packaging waste and the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 196/2005 on the Environment Fund, will have on the waste management and the achievement of the recycling targets imposed by the European Commission on Romania.
The main argument put forward by the Ministry of the Environment regarding the adoption of GEO 74 was that, under the current conditions, Romania can not fulfill its goals towards the European Union and the transfer and increase of authority over waste to the Inter-community Development Associations (ADIs) ) would solve this problem.
The argument is not a valid one, considering that ADIs not only fail to reach their targets, but most of them do not even work! Furthermore, the GEO does not provide for any penalties for the lack of performance of these associations.
We underline that the changes proposed in Government Emergency Ordinance 74/2018 actually diminish the effectiveness of the economic instruments needed to align with European legislation in the field, generating technical and financial problems for all actors involved in the waste management chain.
Government Emergency Ordinance 74/2018 removes the most important instrument, "Dump Tax", although it is mentioned in the Preamble to the Ordinance as one of the economic instruments recommended by the European Commission "for the modernization of waste management in Romania".
Instead, the Ordinance introduces a non-existent surplus fee in other EU member states, called the uninspired total: "Contribution to Circular Economy." This transmits a negative message on the concept of Circular Economy, as a generator of additional taxes and taxes for the Romans.
The extensive liability of the producer, another mechanism modified by OUG 74/2018, obliges manufacturers to manage their packaging recovery targets exclusively through the Intercommunity Development Associations.
Thus they become captive funders of a non-performing, centralized and monopolistic system, with unoptimized, non-transparent costs, totally disconnected from the realities of a free-market market. These high costs will inevitably result in the sale price of packaged products, which are ultimately paid by the citizen.
Another novelty of this normative act is the introduction, starting in 2021, of the guarantee system for recyclable primary packaging. This change was not discussed in any of the public debates and is based on an impact or opportunity study.
The Coalition for the Circular Economy appreciates the decision to introduce the differentiated charging system "Platesti cat Arunci". However, we also notice the lack of details for the implementation of this system, as this requires a renegotiation of tariffs and the modification of all public sanitation services contracts by 1st January 2019.