Roadmap on EU Fertilisers Regulation bring good news for UK composts and digestates
The DG GROW has released a Roadmap on the Revision of the Fertilisers Regulation on 22 October.
This is an official document from the relevant Chemicals unit in DG GROW, outlining the main considerations concerning the upcoming revision. The roadmap highlights that the Commission is considering an "optional harmonisation”, where digestate and compost that is produced and used nationally (ie not traded across borders) may not be required to comply with the requirements of the future Fertilisers Regulation. In other words, it seems likely that the Commission proposal will allow national legislation to prevail as long as digestate and compost remains within national borders.
This potential approach was also verbally confirmed to EBA by Vincent Delvaux (Chemicals unit of DG GROW), who said that:
- "Optional harmonisation” (Fertilisers Regulation Roadmap of 22/10, also referred to as "partial harmonisation”) is being tabled as an option;
- Non-harmonised digestate (under national legislation) does not need to conform either with EU "recovery rules” (EoW) or with EU "product requirements”;
- While "optional harmonisation” seems a good option, it is not 100% confirmed that it will be in the final proposal because there are some potential disadvantages (as specified in the roadmap) and the views of other DG’s still have to be taken into account in the coming months; and
- The official proposal of the Commission may take a bit longer than expected, but it should still be out by early 2016.
While we can't afford to count our chickens before they've hatched, we are pleased to see that the Commission has taken into account the extensive feedback provided by the UK AD industry and the Government (Defra).
Considerable effort has been put by the REA and other trade associations into lobbying the Commission to minimise the possible negative implications of the proposed revised Fertiliser Regulations on UK composts and digestates. A summary of our lobbying activities and all feedback provided to the Commission can be found here.
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