Earlier this month, Parliament of the Republic of Srpska has adopted amendments to the existing Law on Waste Management (the “Law”), originally adopted in 2013. The amendments were adopted in urgent procedure, triggering queries from the interested public and civil organizations, questioning reasons for shortening entire procedure of the adoption of Law.
According to explanation provided by the proposer of the Law, aim of the adopted changes was to provide alignment with the EC Directive 2008/98 , which should finally led to adoption of the National Plan on Waste Management, instead of so far existing and prescribed individual plans. The adoption of the National Plan should follow the goals set out in the Waste Management Strategy for the period 2017-2026.
The other reason for amending the existing Law, was to determine quotas for calculation of fees for polluters disposing packaging waste, based on the “polluter pays” principle. Namely, on 20th December 2017, Constitutional Court ruled that certain provisions of the Law on Waste Management and accompanied bylaw are not complied with the Republic of Srpska Constitution. Respective decision of Constitutional Court suspended previously valid Decree on the Coefficients for Calculating Charges for Polluting the Environment with Packaging Waste and the Goals of Packaging Waste Management for 2015 and 2016. Reasoning for this suspension provided within the legal opinion of the Constitutional Court, says that the parameters for calculating of aforementioned compensation should be determined by the law and not under by-laws; i.e. they should not be prescribed by the Government through decree, but by the Parliament, through the adoption of the law, since they represent public income and as such, they should be regulated under the law.