Dutch RDF shipment confirmed as illegal

Sweden backs return of waste-based fuel after Dutch authorities fail to inform exporter of new rules

The Swedish environmental protection agency today confirmed that a shipment of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) pellets from the Netherlands which was blockaded by Greenpeace earlier this week is indeed illegal. The EPA called for the shipment to be returned.

Greenpeace stopped the RMS Aries and its cargo outside the port of Soedertaelje on Monday to highlight its campaign against waste incineration (ENDS Daily 29 November). It subsequently claimed to have discovered that the vessel's papers were not in order, an allegation rejected by the firm exporting the RDF, Icova.

Until recently, RDF was considered by the Netherlands as a fuel rather than a waste, and therefore not subject to EU rules on advance notification of exports. According to the Swedish EPA, these rules were recently changed and RDF reclassified as a waste, but Icova was not informed.

Swedish officials stress that RDF imports would not necessarily be rejected, but that the rules should have been followed. "We should have been notified in advance and we should have had the chance to accept or rejected it," said the EPA's Margareta Appelberg.

Follow Up:
Swedish EPA, tel: +46 86 98 10 00, and press release.

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