There are 6,142 registered businesses in Serbia importing small and large household appliances, IT equipment and other electrical devices. The annual report on the amounts placed on the market in 2019 has been submitted for the first time by 5,778 businesses - hence the share of those that failed to file a report relevant for special waste flows in this category has been reduced from 30% to only 5%, which is a prerequisite for better collection of fees.
Better reporting and fee collection have been achieved as results of the project "Towards better management of electric and electronic waste in Serbia". The success is quite big, given that the submitted reports act as the basis for determining the amount of fees and establishing equal payment liabilities for all.
- During the year and a half we worked on this issue within our project, in cooperation with line institutions we managed to improve the existing procedures and create a more transparent and efficient system for calculating and collecting the fee for special waste flows. For this purpose, we worked on linking together the Customs Administration and Environment Protection Agency service with the software managed by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Business Registries Agency. The new system for exchanging information has enabled faster issuing of decisions on the amount of fees, and more than 1,500 new businesses have been introduced into the payment system – says Dragan Dilparić from Gorenje that initiated this project together with NALED and Coca-Cola HBC with the support of German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
Dilparić emphasizes that the establishment of an electronic registry stands as a basis for countering unfair competition. Those businesses that do not pay the fee are privileged compared to responsible companies, since the amount of fee represents more than 10% of the product price. Additionally, the national budget is left deprived of significant funds that could be used to improve the waste management system and other public services.
However, to establish a sustainable funding system, NALED highlights the need to establish extended producer responsibility by introducing "collective operators" which would significantly improve the system for managing special waste flows, reduce the amount of fee and establish better control of its payment, along with transparent funding of the overall process. This model is already successfully functioning in the European Union member countries. This would make businesses active participants in the environment protection processes and stimulate them to invest in this field.
Thanks to the success achieved through the project "Towards better management of electric and electronic waste management", in cooperation with businesses and with the financial support of German Development Cooperation (GIZ), NALED initiated a series of new projects aimed at improving the conditions for the collection and recycling of special waste flows. In late 2019, NALED also established its Environment Protection Alliance, striving to contribute in resolving the growingly important topic of pollution and clean air.
Together with company EsoTron, the Alliance works on resolving the food waste issue, and two additional major projects have been initiated this year - for increasing the share of recycling for batteries and light bulbs, in partnership with the companies Božić i sinovi and E-reciklaža, and for managing glass packaging waste togeher with companies Sekopak from Serbia, Ekopak from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Pakomak from North Macedonia.