Water Framework Directive: Case C-270/03 Commission v Italy

The Advocate General gave his opinion in the case of Commission v Italy on the 14 April 2005, recommending that the Italian government be condemned under the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 75/442/EEC).

The case came before the court on 23 June 2003 following a complaint by the Commission that Italy had failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 12 of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), as amended.

Article 30(4) of the Italian Legislative Decree was found to expressly exempt undertakings which, on their own account, collect and transport non-hazardous waste in the course of their particular occupational activities from the requirement of registration in the national register of undertakings carrying out waste disposal services.

In respect of hazardous waste transported directly by its producer, Article 30(4) of the Italian Law provided a further exemption from the registration requirement, for those transporting less than 30 litres or 30 kg of waste per day.

While a Member State may exempt establishments or undertakings carrying out their own waste disposal at the place of production or which carry out waste recovery, all establishments and undertakings, must nevertheless, whether subject to the requirement to hold a permit or not, be registered with the competent authorities. By permitting undertakings, under the Italian Legislative Decree No 22 to collect and transport their own non-hazardous waste, and to transport their own hazardous waste in quantities of less than 30kg and 30 litres per day, without requiring them to be registered as official waste carriers, the waste framework directive had been breached.

Whether Italy will be pulled up for the above breaches of European law will depend on the judgement of the European Court of Justice and whether they do indeed follow the recommendation of the Advocate General.

The case is not yet available in English but can be found in a variety of other European languages at the following link: CURIA

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