Amendments on waste sector
Romania has adopted two normative acts that introduce amendments in the waste sector, namely: (i) Law No. 17/2023 approving the Government Emergency Ordinance No 92/2021 on the waste regime ("Law 17/2023") and (ii) Government Decision No. 12/2023 amending Government Decision No. 1.074/2021 on the establishment of the guarantee-return system for primary non-usable packaging ("GD 12/2023").
I. Law 17/2023
Law 17/2023 was published in the Official Gazette No. 21 of 9 January 2023 and entered into force on 12 January 2023. Law 17/2023 approves and amends, at the same time, the Government Emergency Ordinance No. 92/2021 on the waste regime ("GEO 92/2021"), which transposes the provisions of Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain directives.
The main amendments introduced by Law 17/2023 are the following:
- It introduces the obligation for local authorities to provide the necessary premises for separate collection of waste, including waste oils, within 6 months as of the date of entry into force of Law 17/2023; as of 1 January 2025, local authorities will be obliged to organize separate collection of textiles;
- Strict rules are introduced on the transport of waste: as a result of the changes implemented by Law 17/2023, waste transport will only be possible in vehicles marked with the letter “D” in a visible place. The transport/transfer of waste introduced nationwide shall be carried out only on generic routes pre-established by the central public administration;
- It introduces the obligation for units and companies carrying out collection and sanitation activities to obtain an integrated environmental permit;
- It prohibits the dumping, concealment, holding or storage of waste outside authorized premises;
- It imposes an obligation of the titleholders of waste management and/or waste-generating economic activities to designate a waste management officer from among their employees or to delegate this obligation to a third party;
- The amount of the fines is increased, in particular for legal entities, where the new minimum fine limit is RON 40,000 (approx. EUR 8,160) as compared to LEI 20,000 (approx. EUR 4,081) before the amendments introduced by Law 17/2023, and the maximum limit is LEI 60,000 (approx. EUR 12,245) as compared to LEI 40,000 (approx. EUR 8,160) before the amendments introduced by Law 17/2023;
- The possession and storage of waste outside authorized premises and the abandonment, dumping and/or concealment of waste are categorised as crimes.
II. GD 12/2023
GD 12/2023 was published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 39 of 12 January 2023 and entered into force on the date of publication. It supplements the provisions of Government Decision No. 1.074/2021 on the establishment of the guarantee-return system for primary non-refillable packaging.
GD 12/2023 brings forward the deadline by which producers placing packaged products on the national market and traders are required to register with the database managed by the SGR (Return and Warranty System) administrator, the new date being 28 February 2023.