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Dutch EfW Incineration Tax

August 28, 2014

Dutch EfW tax ‘unlikely to harm UK RDF trade’

Plans to impose an incineration tax on energy from waste (EfW) plants in the Netherlands have lead to concerns over an ‘uneven playing field’ in the Dutch waste market, but look unlikely to harm demand for RDF from the UK.

Amsterdam's AEB EfW Plant
Amsterdam’s AEB energy from waste plant is one of several Dutch facilities taking in RDF from the UK

In November 2014 the Dutch coalition government is due to finalise proposals to introduce a €13 (about £10.40) per tonne tax on the deposit and treatment of waste at EfW plants, in a bid to bring €100 million-a-year into government coffers. Should it be agreed, the measure is likely to apply from early 2015.

However, the tax is unlikely to affect the strong demand from Holland for waste material in the form of refuse derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) from the UK, as in its current form the tax will not apply to material imported from overseas.

In a letter sent out to Dutch MPs last month, Dutch finance minister Eric Wiebes outlined the measure, and explained that the government is reluctant to apply the tax to foreign firms which would make it ‘considerably more complicated’ and could be difficult to enforce.

Exporting RDF for EfW

One UK waste management expert said that it will be ‘business as usual’ for UK firms sending RDF to Dutch incineration plants, and suggested that it could even result in an increased demand for UK material, as under its current form, the tax does not include a levy on material leaving the Netherlands for treatment.

Dutch waste firms are currently lobbying the government to ensure that the tax is also applied to export of waste from Holland, as they fear that the move could see waste management firms from neighbouring countries benefiting.

Dick Hoogendoorn, director of Dutch waste industry trade body Vereniging Afvalbedrijven, said that his organisation would only support the measure if a tax on waste leaving the country for treatment in EfW plants is included.

Tax the Export of Waste

Speaking today (22 August) to letsrecycle.com, he said: “We think it is a bad idea, however we are willing to accept it if the level playing field is not destroyed. This means that we would ask for the tax not to be applied on the incoming waste and to introduce a tax on the export of waste.”

Mr Hoogendoorn explained that the Dutch waste management firms are concerned at the competitive advantage that this would give German firms in securing waste from the Netherlands, as no incineration tax currently exists in Germany.

He added: “At the moment the government is willing to say that there is no import tax on waste, but they are not willing to impose a tax on export for waste. We are currently preparing a letter to all for a tax on export.”

Recycled from http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/waste-management/dutch-efw-tax-2018unlikely-to-harm-uk-rdf-trade2019