Monday 13 October 2008

Exemption from a Waste Carriers Licence

Apparently, the Environment Agency has said that non-commercial users of waste cooking oil can collect and transport it without a waste carriers licence.

I'm not sure whether their advice is correct or not, but they are failing to mention another legal issue, which I think is relevant. It would be illegal for a business (such as a restaurant) to let you have their waste if you weren't registered as a waste carrier.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 34 (1) c) says that waste producers (amongst others) must secure:
"(i) that the transfer is only to an authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes;"

The terms are defined in the Act as follows:
"(3) The following are authorised persons for the purpose of subsection (1)(c) above—
(a) any authority which is a waste collection authority for the purposes of this Part;
(b) any person who is the holder of a waste management licence under section 35 below or of a disposal licence under section 5 of the Control [1974 c. 40.] of Pollution Act 1974;
(c) any person to whom section 33(1) above does not apply by virtue of regulations under subsection (3) of that section;
(d) any person registered as a carrier of controlled waste under section 2 of[1989 c. 14.] the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989;
(e) any person who is not required to be so registered by virtue of regulations under section 1(3) of that Act; and
(f) a waste disposal authority in Scotland.

(4) The following are authorised transport purposes for the purposes of subsection (1)(c) above—
(a) the transport of controlled waste within the same premises between different places in those premises;
(b) the transport to a place in Great Britain of controlled waste which has been brought from a country or territory outside Great Britain not having been landed in Great Britain until it arrives at that place; and
(c) the transport by air or sea of controlled waste from a place in Great Britain to a place outside Great Britain;
and “transport” has the same meaning in this subsection as in the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989."

Wednesday 31 October 2007

More about Italy

On 16th August, I contacted Italian customs to ask about whether a tourist in Italy can legally use vegetable oil to fuel their car. Two and a half months later, they have replied. They don't say there is any specific rule against the fuel, but it does appear that there is no way for a private individual to use it legally. This is because it is illegal to use it without paying a tax and "current provisions do not provide" for private individuals to pay the tax. There may be a way round this if a company buys the fuel, pays the tax and sells it to the individual - does anyone know of any companies doing this in Italy?

Dear Sir,

in reply to your question, we would like to state beforehand that the Community provisions concerning excise duties on energy products establish the principle according to which “any product intended for use, offered for sale or used as motor fuel, or as an additive or extender in motor fuels, shall be taxed as motor fuel” (Article 2, paragraph 3, of Directive 92/81/EEC, as also stated in Article 2, paragraph 3, second sentence of Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003). On the subject, we specify that the excise duty falls due on entry for home use, and the obligation has to be met, among the others, by the taxpayer to whom the conditions for the payment of the duty apply.
That being stated, seed oil, whenever used as motor fuel, must be taxed at the same rate as the equivalent fuel (gas oil); current provisions do not provide for the specific case of a private consumer paying the tax; it is nonetheless true that an individual who purchases seed oil on the free market and uses it in his car tank becomes a taxable person, for the purposes of excise duties, since the utilization of the fuel is taxable even though the product is tax free.
In other words, the use itself gives rise to the application of the duty.

Distinti saluti
Ufficio del Direttore dell'Agenzia
Comunicazione e relazioni esterne

Friday 24 August 2007


Vegetable oil as a fuel seems to be legal and free of tax in Slovakia. This applies to both pure vegetable oil and waste vegetable oil, although collecting waste oil may be subject to controls.

The law on taxing motor fuels is Act 98/2004 on the Excise Duty on Mineral Oil, as amended by act 667/2004. The law specifically taxes mineral oils, which don't include vegetable oil.

There are provisions in the law about mixing "biogenic" material into fossil fuels. This specifically allows things from chapter 15 of the Customs Nomenclature "Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes.". While these sections of the act aren't directly relevant to someone using straight vegetable oil, they do implicitly acknowledge that vegetable oil can be used as an ingredient of fuel, and that it isn't taxed.

Here are links to the two acts, in English:

Wednesday 22 August 2007


Croatian customs officials told us that it is legal and we are welcome to bring our "machine" to their country and run it on any kind of vegetable oil we choose. The officials were concerned that the oil available in Croatia might not be the correct type for the engine, but we can work this out when we get there - the car will run on a wide variety of different oils.


Information about the law in Luxembourg has been hard to find.

Customs officials in Luxembourg have told us that there doesn't seem to be a law against it.

This suggests that you can use SVO and WVO, although collecting waste is presumably restricted to registered waste carriers, in the same way that it is in other EU countries.

If anyone has any more definitive information about using vegetable oil as a road fuel in Luxembourg, please let us know.

Illegal in Italy

According to italian customs officials, it is illegal to use vegetable oil as a road fuel in Italy.
This applies to all kinds of vegetable oil.
If you are caught doing it, you can be fined thousands of Euros.

Biodiesel is allowed.

Tuesday 14 August 2007


In Slovenia, it is legal and untaxable to use Straight Vegetable Oil as a motor fuel, provided it is compatible with the engine and meets their emissions standards.
I think waste vegetable oil would be taxed as a diesel substitute, as it isn't classed as a biofuel.

This EU report talks about pure vegetable oil in Slovenia:

It says:"The Excise Duty Act (Slovenian Official Gazette No 84/98, last amended inNo 122/06), which exempts biofuels used as motor fuels from the excise inspection and payment system when used in their pure form."

It goes on to explain that the definition of biofuels for transport includes:"oil produced from plants through pressing, extraction or comparable procedures, crude or refined but chemically unmodified, when compatible with the type of engines involved and the corresponding emission requirements (hereinafter: pure vegetable oil)."

I haven't yet located a copy of the Slovenian Official Gazette No 122/06 to confirm what the EU report says, but I did find an unofficial translation of an earlier version of the law, which doesn't allow SVO: