Imports of 3.5K tonnes of waste from Italy barred from Portugal landfills

The General Inspection of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Regional Planning (IGAMAOT) has prevented 3,591.84 tonnes of waste from Italy from being deposited in domestic landfills in the first half of the year.

As part of actions to control cross-border movements of waste, IGAMAOT prohibited the departure of 108 waste containers from the port of Sines and 36 from the port of Leixões, from Italy to domestic landfills, according to official information to which Lusa has had access on Friday.

The measure was part of the Government’s decision to suspend, from 17 May until the end of the year (in the context of the pandemic), permits for the entry of waste into Portugal for disposal when it is destined for landfill.

The ban, in a joint operation with the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) and the Maritime Police, is justified because the waste landed in Portugal after 17 May, “thus configuring illegal shipments” under the terms of the exception regime.

The actions in the first half of IGAMAOT included two campaigns to reinforce the control of cross-border movements of waste by land and sea, and 18 inspection operations, with the collaboration of several Portuguese and Spanish entities.

According to the balance sheet, to which Lusa had access, 517 movements of goods were controlled in the first campaign, 79 of which were transport of waste of various types. Two of these 79 transports were sent back to the origin “because they had an unlicensed waste management operator as their destination” and a third was sent to an authorized destination.

IGAMAOT also cancelled an attempt to export a mixture of waste by sea to Malaysia without prior notification and consent.

In all, in the first campaign, IGAMAOT detected 26 situations that could constitute environmental offences.

The second campaign of cross-border movements of waste was carried out in the industrial areas of Barreiro, Setúbal, Chamusca and Maia, on the 25 de Abril Bridge and in the seaports and their accesses. 201 movements of goods, 79 of waste were controlled.

According to the information to which Lusa had access, there was an attempt to export plastic waste by sea to Hong Kong “in default”. In all, nine infringements were identified that could be environmental offences.