By BOHEMIST STAFF
PRAGUE – The Czech Republic is to be hauled in front of the EU Court of Justice after the European Commission referred the EU member state for gross violations of the Waste Shipments Regulations.
And when we say gross, we actually mean gross.
The European Commission announced it had referred Czech Republic to the Court of Justice in a press release published yesterday.
The dispute dates back to late 2010/2011 between Czech Republic and its Visegrad fellow Poland when a Czech operator refused to repatriate more than 20,000 tonnes of toxic waste it had dumped in Poland.
The dump was a delicious mixture of a mixture of acid tar from petroleum refining, coal dust and calcium oxide.
“Following a complaint, the Commission has stepped in to resolve the dispute between the two Member States,” the press release reads. “A reasoned opinion was sent to the Czech Republic in November 2015, rejecting the Czech arguments for classifying the shipment as a product and urging it to take it back. As the Czech authorities still refuse to take the waste back, the Commission has now referred the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.”
The reasoned opinion of the Commission on the dispute reads, “The Commission is asking the Czech Republic to take back 20 000 tonnes of hazardous waste. The waste, a mixture of acid tar from petroleum refining, coal dust and calcium oxide, was shipped to Katowice, Poland, by a Czech operator in late 2010, and classified as a product under Czech law. Poland, however, refuses to accept the shipment on the grounds that is hazardous waste, and is demanding that it be returned to its place of origin.”
The Commission continued by stating that EU law stipulates that “if the relevant authorities in different member states cannot agree on whether a shipment is waste or non-waste, it must be treated as waste, and, therefore, taken back by its country of origin.”
“The Commission sent a letter of formal notice in November 2014, but, as the Czech Republic has still not taken back the waste, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion. If the Czech Republic fails to act within two months, the Commission may take the matter to the Court of Justice of the EU,” the statement reads.
This isn’t the first time the Commission has hauled the Czech Republic in front of the Court of Justice. Recent infringements that have landed Czech in hot water include failing to implement EU financial stability, financial services and capital markets procedures, for not establishing national electronic registers of road transport, and for failure to implement EU railway safety procedures.