In recent times, businesses received electrifying information that a register was established, as expected for more than 5 years, of entities marketing products, products in packaging and entities managing wastes. The establishment of the Register and the rules of being entered therein may, however, baffle quite a few entrepreneurs. In the worst case, a failure to follow the new rules may even entail the suspension of the operations of the enterprise for some time.
A duty of entry in the register
For those uninitiated in the matter, I explain that the duty of entry in the newly-established register will extend to entrepreneurs conducting a certain type of activity, let us call it the “environmental” activity. The group of the selected ones will include, among others, wastes transporting entities. And it is those entities which should exercise special caution in order not to fall in the trap set up for them by the provisions of law which may effectively suspend, at least for some time, the operation of their wastes transporting business. That is because one of the anticipated changes is ….. the expiry of permits for transport of wastes. But this will not happen straight away.
What about the already-issued permits?
Today we can say that an entity wishing to provide wastes transport services has been obliged “since always” to obtain a relevant permit. This was based on the Act on Wastes of 2001 and such solution (using, by the way, a very interesting legal structure) was transferred to the currently-binding law of 2012. But nothing lasts forever. Starting on 24 January 2018, i.e. the date on which the aforementioned Register was established, permits for transport of wastes will no longer be issued. They were replaced by a duty of an entity transporting wastes to have an entry in the Register. Confirmation of the fulfilment of this issue will be a unique registration number allocated individually to a given entrepreneur.
A question arises what about the permits which were issued before the magical date of establishing the Register? The answer is certainly satisfactory for businesses, namely …. they remain valid. But – because, after all, there is always a certain “but” – they remain valid only for a certain, precisely specified period of time. The border date is 24 July 2018. After that date, all permits issued for transport of wastes will expire and an entrepreneur who wishes to continue an activity in this sector should have an entry in the Register. A delay in applying to the office with a relevant request may, in consequence, entail a situation where the business of transport of wastes is carried out without administrative decisions required by law.
During the present interim period, after waking up from the initial shock connected with the establishment of the Register, an entrepreneur providing wastes transport services should submit an application in the office for an entry or an update of an entry if such entry has already been obtained in other circumstances. This will protect him against inability to carry out wastes transport services according to the provisions of law, but most of all against high fines. In such case, they will definitely not be lower than PLN 1000, and their top limit, at least theoretically, may even be a million PLN.
The author of the article is Marta Banasiak, a trainee attorney-at-law at GWW.