A formal notice and subsequent reasoned opinion was issued to Italy raising concerns over implementation of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (Directive 75/442/EEC) as amended by the Hazardous Waste Directive (Directive 91/156/EEC), to which no response was received, necessitating action to be brought before the ECJ.

The case concerned implementation of Article 12 of the WFD, which provides that “establishments or undertakings which collect or transport waste on a professional basis or which arrange for the disposal or recovery of waste on behalf of others (dealers or brokers), where not subject to authorisation, shall be registered with the competent authorities”.

However the Italian national legislation established an exception to that obligation in favour of undertakings which do not transport in excess of 30 litres or 30kg of waste per day.

The Italian authorities argued that this provision did not infringe the objectives of the Directive as the waste producer who directly transports waste to his recovery or disposal establishment ‘discards’ that waste only when it is delivered to that establishment and there is therefore no need for him to register since the obligation to register applies only to undertakings which collect or transport waste on a professional basis.

However, as in Case C-311/99 Caterino, the concept of ‘undertakings which collect or transport waste on a professional basis’ is not confined to undertakings who carry out those activities on behalf of others.

The Court therefore held that by permitting undertakings to collect and transport their own non-hazardous waste, as a normal and regular activity, without being required to register on the Italian national register of undertakings carrying out waste disposal services, there had been a breach of Article 12 of the WFD.

Further, by permitting undertakings to transport their own hazardous waste in quantities not exceeding 30kg and 30l per day, again without being registered with the national authorities, there had been a breach of Article 12 of the WFD.

The full judgement of the case can be found at the following link

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