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The Ministry of natural resources does not approve the transformation of the eco-tax

The Ministry of natural resources and ecology of the Russian Federation does not support the transformation of the environmental fee into an environmental tax, without collecting it in its current form, the new waste management system in Russia may not work, Deputy Minister of natural resources and ecology Denis Khramov said in an interview with TASS.

The environmental fee is part of the Institute of extended producer responsibility (EPR), which implies that the company that produces the goods must be responsible for the disposal of waste generated from it (mainly packaging). ROP gives three options to the manufacturer: to pay an environmental fee for the disposal of packaging, to conclude a contract with the contractor for the processing of garbage or to organize the process yourself. The purpose of this institution is to encourage producers to involve their waste back into the economy and pay less for the eco-collection. The Ministry of Finance, in turn, believes that the transfer of the tax collection will increase its collection, and the relevant bill as a whole is developed and can enter into force from January 1, 2020 or later.

“The tax in the truest sense of the word, when everyone is obliged to pay for future disposal and can pollute [the environment], we do not support completely. The eco-collection is part of the new waste management system. If it is “taken out”, the system will not work, ” he said.

Khramov added that the Ministry of natural resources plans to justify its position at government meetings, and “the Ministry of Finance hears and shares our point of view in many ways.”

He reminded that the environmental fee rate should be increased so that the construction of waste processing facilities and the conclusion of contracts with operators would be more profitable for producers of goods than just pay. “Ideally, we should strive to ensure that the rates of eco-collection were high, and the payment to the budget was small. To select manufacturers and importers of products from the options — to process itself, to conclude a contract or to pay the money of eco — collection — was not done in favor of the latter,” the Deputy Minister said.

Eco-catchment will not accelerate
In addition to the environmental fee rate, there is a gradual increase in the share of goods subject to it. The utilization rate of packaging and plastic containers for manufacturers in 2015, when the EPR was launched, was zero, next year it was 5% of the produced, in 2017-2018 — 10%, in 2019 it will increase to 15% and in the future it should gradually reach 100%. Representatives of the processing industry believe that this arithmetic progression is too slow to make ROP an effective tool. Producers of goods do not agree with them, because they fear a sharp rise in prices for the final producer.

The Ministry of natural resources does not plan to accelerate the transition to one hundred percent environmental taxation levied on the package in Russia, said Temples. “If we accelerate the transition to one hundred percent taxation of all containers handled on the territory of Russia by the eco-collection, it can “bring on the turn.” As planned, so it is done, a phased input is provided, ” he explained.

Khramov added that the state company for waste management “Russian environmental operator”, created in January, “will move the topic of shifting the emphasis from paying the environmental fee to the construction of processing facilities.”