Legal alerts / 16.03.2021

Key changes in industrial and environmental safety over 2020 and early 2021

The regulation of industrial and environmental safety is changing rapidly today. Major changes affected a number of key areas in this field in 2020 and early 2021.  We have prepared an alert covering the most significant legislative changes over the period.

We saw the most significant new developments in the following areas:

  • Management of hazard class I–IV waste
  • The procedure of issuing, re-issuing, reviewing, amending and revoking comprehensive environmental permits
  • Adverse environmental impact
  • Discharge of wastewater and pollutants into the sewer systems of population centres

1. Changes in the management of hazard class I–IV waste.[1]

 A new Procedure for certifying hazard class I–IV waste was introduced on 1 January 2021.[2]

  • The requirements for how waste is matched to a type of waste included in the Federal Classification Catalogue of Waste have been updated.[3] A match is determined by comparing and ascertaining whether the classification features (origin, composition, aggregate state and physical form) are identical using the waste database. Storage requirements have also been introduced for the duration[4] of the waste certificate, and the documents based on which a match with hazard class I–IV waste is determined. Previously, when determining a match, the data on the composition and properties of waste were taken as a basis, as well as data on the assessment of how hazardous it was, which was carried out depending on the degree of adverse environmental impact (hereinafter referred to as “AEI”).
  • Requirements have been introduced for making a certificate for waste that is not included in the FCCW, within 30 calendar days of receiving confirmation that the waste is classed as a particular type and hazard class by the regional offices of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor). There is an obligation to confirm that hazard classification of waste now only for waste not included in the FCCW.[5]
  • Grounds for re-issuing a waste certificate have been added.
  1. If a type of waste not previously included in the FCCW is classified, the waste certificate is issued within 30 calendar days of when the type of waste is included in the FCCW.
  2. For legal entities, if the company is reorganised, changes name or principal business address. For individual entrepreneurs, if the place of residence, full name or details of the identification document change.[6]
  • New forms for certificates for both waste included and not included in the FCCW have been approved.

The Procedure for confirming the classification of hazard class I–V waste in a particular hazard class was updated on 1 January 2021.[7]

  • As stated above, in the updated Procedure for certifying hazard class I–IV waste there is an obligation to confirm the hazard classification of waste only for waste not included in the FCCW. For waste included in the FCCW a match is determined by comparing and ascertaining whether the classification features are identical using the waste database. Due to this, the new Procedure for confirming the classification of hazard class I–V waste in a particular hazard class applies only to waste not included in the FCCW.[8]
  • To determine that waste is considered not included in the FCCW, the waste needs to be compared with waste included in the FCCW, also considering the determination of the origin of waste by belonging to a particular production or technological process; the origin of consumer waste is determined by its belonging to products that created the waste due to loss of consumer properties.[9] The hazard class of waste not included in the FCCW is determined by chemical composition and components.[10] Until the changes were made, the hazard class of all types of waste was determined based on information contained in the FCCW and the WD[11] by comparing the classification features of the waste with those of the types of waste included in the FCCW and the WD.[12]
  • The procedure for filing certification documents with the Rosprirodnadzor regional office to confirm that waste is classed in a particular hazard class is still regulated in detail but selective changes have been made.
  • A deadline has been set for justifying the classification of waste not in the FCCW in a particular hazard class. It is 90 business days from the date the type of waste is determined based on waste accounting, and also from the date of a change in the technological process or type of activity leading to a change in the type of waste generated. The deadline for confirming the classification of waste not included in the FCCW in a particular hazard class used to be 90 calendar days from the date the waste was generated.

The Waste management accounting procedure was updated on 1 January 2021.[13]

  • The new Procedure specifies how waste management accounting is done:
  1. Accounting is done separately for each facility having an adverse environmental impact, category I–IV and/or
  2. overall, for the legal entity or individual entrepreneur.

Previously waste management accounting was done only for each separate subdivision or branch (if any) and overall, for a legal entity (or individual entrepreneur).[14]

  • The list of waste to be accounted for has been updated. Namely, there is now a clear distinction between waste generated directly by an entity and waste received from other entities to pursue further objectives such as accumulation, processing, recycling, treatment and disposal. There didn’t used to be such a distinction, so all hazard class I–IV waste that is generated, used, treated and transferred to other entities or received from other entities and disposed of over the reporting period was to be accounted for.
  • The new Procedure establishes that accounting materials are used in:
  1. Justifying waste generation standards and waste disposal limits;
  2. Preparing the report on the organisation and results of conducting industrial environmental monitoring;
  3. Filling out the federal statistical survey form for waste management;
  4. Calculating the adverse environmental impact fee (for waste disposal).

Previously this list also included inventorying waste, preparing technical reports that the production process and raw materials used remained unchanged and about waste generated, reporting on the generation, use, treatment and disposal of waste.[15]

  •  It has been established that when organising accounting for generated waste:
  1. Substances and materials are identified that were generated during the manufacturing of products, performance or work or provision of services, including during gas treatment, waste and circulating water treatment, cleaning of equipment and grounds, and elimination of pollution;
  2. Products are identified that have lost their consumer properties when used to manufacture products, perform work or provide services;
  3. Waste is certified and classed in a particular hazard class in confirming the hazard class I–V classification in a particular hazard class set by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia.

In addition, according to item 7 of Procedure No. 1028, waste accounting results in determining the list of generated waste that needs to be accounted for. The recommended sample list of generated types of waste to be accounted for is contained in Appendix 1 to this Procedure; there was previously no such appendix.

The Procedure for developing and approving waste generation standards and waste disposal limits at category I and II facilities was updated on 1 January 2021.[16]

  • The new Procedure is intended for entities carrying out activities at category I facilities and at category II facilities in the case provided for by law[17],[18], for Rosprirodnadzor regional offices and executive government authorities of the Russian Federation constituent entity performing state environmental oversight.

The previous Procedure mentioned activities that result in generating waste and did not mention that the activities must be done at category I and II facilities.

The Procedure previously in effect also did not cover individual entrepreneurs and legal entities treated as small and medium enterprises.[19] The new Procedure does not make such an exception and covers those entities, among others. The new Procedure also covers executive government authorities of the Russian Federation constituent entity performing state environmental oversight.

  • A previously missing item was added. It mentions which weights (volumes) of waste should be accounted for when justifying waste disposal limits. The item about waste volumes that are not accounted for has been updated.

The following weights of waste are accounted for if they are planned:

  • for disposal at waste disposal sites that are owned, possessed or used by the legal entity or individual entrepreneur;
  • for transfer to other individual entrepreneurs or legal entities for disposal.

The following are not accounted for:

  1. The weight (volume) of waste accumulated for further processing, recycling or treatment;
  2. The weight (volume) of overburden and surrounding rock used in accordance with a duly approved technical plan for the development of mineral deposits for the liquidation of mine workings.

Previously it was waste intended for: collection (for not more than six months) in places (at sites) equipped in accordance with the requirements of Russian Federation laws; use and/or treatment.

  • According to the new Procedure, the waste generation standards and waste disposal limits are set not separately but by a comprehensive environmental permit (the “CEP”) which is issued by the Rosprirodnadzor regional offices.
  • Waste generation standards and waste disposal limits are set for the validity period of the CEP and may be extended for the same amount of time if the CEP is renewed. Previously waste generation standards and waste disposal limits were approved for five years subject to annual submission of a technical report on waste management.[20]

2. The procedure of issuing, re-issuing, reviewing, amending and revoking a CEP has changed.[21]

  • The maximum allowed validity period of a CEP has been set. The permit is issued by Rosprirodnadzor for a period of not more than four months from the date the permit application is recorded.
  • The possibility of electronic document exchange has been established. The state industry information system (GISP) is used to exchange documents and information when applications to issue/reissue a permit are considered.
  • The list of government authorities involved in considering applications has been extended and a procedure for them to issue permits has also been established. Now the application is sent, inter alia, to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Federal Water Resources Agency, the Federal Fisheries Agency and the executive government authorities of the Russian Federation constituent entities where the facility is located. A procedure for those authorities to point out issues has been created. The applicant is entitled to resolve those issues within the time specified. Failure to resolve the issues is a reason to deny a CEP. The timing and procedure for the competent authorities to consider the revised application have been prescribed.
  • The permit is still issued for seven years.

3. Changes in adverse environmental impact.

There are new administrative regulations in effect as of 5 April 2020 for providing the government service of state registration of facilities having an AEI and subject to federal state environmental oversight.[22]

  • The previously effective guidelines for filling out the application form for state registration of a facility that has an adverse environmental impact have been replaced with the more detailed administrative regulations for providing the government service of state registration of facilities having an adverse environmental impact and subject to federal state environmental oversight. The application form itself is still valid.[23]
  • The adopted regulations specify in detail how this government service is provided: it identifies the pool of applicants, the requirements for providing information about the government service, describes the result of providing the government service, sets the time for providing the government service, an exhaustive list of documents needed to provide the government service and an exhaustive list of grounds for refusing to provide the service and accept documents, and other requirements that were previously absent from the guidelines for filling out the form.
  • According to the adopted regulations, facilities having an AEI must undergo state registration by the entities engaging in activities at those facilities, on the basis of the prescribed application form which, as previously, is filed for each facility separately at its location within six months of when those facilities start to be operated.[24] A facility is registered within not more than 10 business days of when the application is received by the competent authority. A registration fee is still not charged.[25]

Some acts governing the calculation of fees for AEI have been updated:

How and when AEI fees are paid has been updated since early 2020. [26]

  • We remind you that entities required to pay the fee, other than small and medium enterprises, make quarterly advance payments (save for the fourth quarter) on or before the 20th day of the month following the last month of the quarter of the current reporting period.
  • According to the new rules, entities required to pay the AEI fee may choose one of the following three ways of determining the amount of the quarterly advance payment for each type of AEI for which a fee is charged:
  1. 1/4 the AEI fee payable for the previous year;
  2. 1/4 the AEI fee for the calculation of which the payment basis is determined based on the volume or mass of pollutants emitted or discharged within the permissible emissions, discharge, temporarily permitted emissions or discharges, and limits on the disposal of industrial and consumer waste;
  3. The amount determined by multiplying the payment basis which is determined on the basis of industrial environmental monitoring data or the volume or weight of pollutants emitted or discharged, or on the volume or weight of industrial and consumer waste disposed of in the previous quarter of the current reporting period, by the corresponding rates of the AEI fee using the established coefficients.
  • Please also note that in the 2020 reporting year before these changes were adopted payers could self-report their chosen methods of determining quarterly advance payments to the Rosprirodnadzor regional offices and there was no set form.[27]

Updated Rules for calculating and charging the AEI fee which have clarified how quarterly advance payments are made and the formula for calculating them entered into force on 28 August 2020.[28]

  • Each of the three methods of calculating quarterly advance payments has its own formula. The Rules needed to be changed due to amendments made by Federal Law No. 450-FZ of 27/12/2019. That law allows payers to choose the method of calculating the advance payment and requires them to notify Rosprirodnadzor of their choice. Therefore, an update has been made to the Rules from which it follows that, among other things, they set the procedure for calculating quarterly advance payments.

A procedure for applying AEI fee rates in 2021 has been established.[29]

  • It has been established that the following apply in 2021[30]:
  1. The AEI fee rates approved by RF Government Resolution No. 913 of 13/09/2016 set for 2018 using the coefficient of 1.8 in addition to other coefficients;
  2. the rate of the fee for air pollution emissions from stationary sources in relation to coal dust, amounting to 61 roubles per ton.

 An updated Procedure for submitting an AEI fee declaration went into effect on 15 January 2021.[31]

  • A new reporting form has been added and the rules for filing it have been updated. However, the deadline for sending it remains the same: on or before 10 March of the year following the reporting year.
  • The declaration form now has a table in which the fee amounts for each category of facility need to be indicated and a section for showing advance amounts has also been set aside;
  • It has also been determined that, among other things, together with the declaration, copies of waste disposal contracts and waste accounting ledgers for the reporting period need to be submitted.

Method for calculating the scale of harm caused by stationary sources to the atmospheric air as a component of the natural environment.[32]

  • The approved Method takes into account harm caused as a result of entities engaging in activities at category I, II and II facilities having an AEI and emissions of air pollution by stationary sources exceeding:
  1. For category I facilities: technological standards, standards for permissible emissions of highly toxic substances, substances with carcinogenic and/or mutagenic properties (hazard class I, II substances), set by the CEP;
  2. For category II facilities for which a comprehensive environmental permit may be obtained if the relevant industry information and technical references on best available technologies are in place: technological standards, standards for permissible emissions of highly toxic substances, substances with carcinogenic and/or mutagenic properties (hazard class I, II substances), set by the CEP;
  3. For category II facilities not mentioned above: the air pollution emissions standards stated in the environmental impact declaration;
  4. For category III facilities: standards for permissible emissions of highly toxic substances, substances with carcinogenic and/or mutagenic properties (hazard class I, II substances) exceeding the air pollution emissions standards stated in the report on the organisation and results of conducting industrial environmental monitoring.
  • The Method applies to the following cases of calculating the scale of harm caused to the atmospheric air as a component of the natural environment:
  1. When there are no unfavourable weather conditions (“unfavourable weather”);
  2. During unfavourable weather when legal entities and individual entrepreneurs that have emissions sources are required to take steps to reduce emissions agreed with the executive government authorities of the Russian Federation constituent entities competent to perform regional state environmental oversight.
  • The Method does not apply to cases of calculating the extent of harm caused to the atmospheric air by radioactive discharge.
  • Paying the AEI fee does not exempt payers from compensating for harm caused to the atmospheric air as a component of the natural environment.
  • The Method does not apply for calculating the scale of harm caused to the atmospheric air as a component of the natural environment before 16 February 2021.
  • The Method contains the following formulas:
  1. A formula for calculating the extent of harm caused to the atmospheric air as a result of exceeding the technological standards, standards for permissible emissions of highly toxic substances, substances with carcinogenic and/or mutagenic properties (hazard class I, II substances), set by the comprehensive environmental permit, and the air pollution emissions standards stated in the declaration or report when there is no unfavourable weather;
  2. A formula for calculating the extent of harm caused to the atmospheric air as a result of exceeding the technological standards, standards for permissible emissions of highly toxic substances, substances with carcinogenic and/or mutagenic properties (hazard class I, II substances), set by the CEP, and the air pollution emissions standards stated in the declaration or report when there is unfavourable weather;
  3. Rates calculating the extent of harm caused to the atmospheric air.

4. Changes in the discharge of wastewater and pollutants into the sewer systems of population centres.[33]

  • The new Rules establish that when controlling wastewater composition and properties, the organisation doing wastewater disposal must check that the actual concentrations of pollutants in wastewater and/or the actual indicators of properties of wastewater discharged by subscribers into the central wastewater disposal system (sewer system) correspond to the actual indicators of wastewater composition and properties stated by subscribers in the declaration, and/or that they comply with the standard composition of wastewater, requirements to wastewater composition and properties discharged into central wastewater disposal systems.

The previous Rules checked not that the actual indicators corresponded to the standards and the indicators stated by subscribers, but checked wastewater composition and properties discharged by subscribers for compliance with the standards and limits stated by those subscribers in the declaration.

  • A new method of controlling wastewater composition and properties has been added to the new Rules. Previously, control was done by taking and testing wastewater samples. Now the Rules have a new method of control of inspecting the subscriber’s facilities; the inspection is done to check compliance with the requirement prohibiting the discharge of prohibited substances into the central wastewater disposal system.
  • The general rule for the frequency of scheduled inspection has changed. A scheduled inspection cannot be done more than once in a calendar month (previously it was once a quarter) and less than once in a calendar year.
  • There are two categories of reasons for doing an unscheduled inspection: (a) when the inspection can be done, and (b) when the inspection must be done. There was no such division in the previous Rules, rather there were general grounds for conducting an unscheduled inspection.
  • The procedure for determining the results of inspecting wastewater composition and properties with parallel sampling has been detailed and placed in a separate section, and the conditions for sampling and examining the backup sample have been clarified. Samples taken are divided into parallel, backup and control samples.
  • There are special considerations for inspecting wastewater if the wastewater disposal involves a transit entity, and if the wastewater is discharged using facilities and devices that are not connected (hooked up) to the central wastewater disposal system, in other words, from a container (reservoir, tank).
  • Forms of the report of taking wastewater samples and the report documenting the discharge of substances, materials, waste and/or wastewater the discharge of which into central wastewater disposal systems is prohibited are provided.

5. Changes in extended producer responsibility (EPR).

You can read an alert about the changes on our site.[34]

[1] The documents presented in this section are valid until 1 January 2027.

[2] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1026 of 08/12/2020 “On approval of the procedure for the certification of and standard forms of certificates for hazard class I–IV waste” (the Procedure). The similar Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 712 of 16/08/2013 is no longer in effect.

[3] Federal Classification Catalogue of Waste.

[4] Pursuant to item 10 of Appendix 1 to Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1026 of 08/12/2020, the certificates for waste that is in the FCCW are valid indefinitely.

[5] The requirements on deadlines have been moved to Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1027 of 08/12/2020 “On approval of the procedure for confirming the classification of hazard class I–V waste in a particular hazard class”. See item 5 of the Order and the section addressing Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1027 of 08/12/2020.

For previous deadlines see item 10 of RF Government Resolution No. 712 of 16/08/2013 and item 3 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 541 of 05/12/2014.

[6] This applies to a certificate for waste included in the FCCW.

[7] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1027 of 08/12/2020 “On approval of the procedure for confirming the classification of hazard class I–V waste in a particular hazard class” (the Procedure). The similar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 541 of 05/12/2014 is no longer in effect.

[8] For such waste, the Rosprirodnadzor regional offices decide whether to confirm hazard classification of waste by degree of adverse environmental impact.

[9] Item 3 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1027 of 08/12/2020.

[10] Item 4 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1027 of 08/12/2020.

[11] Waste database.

[12] Item 5 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 541 of 05/12/2014.

[13] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1028 of 08/12/2020 “On approval of the Waste management accounting procedure” (the Procedure). The similar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 721 of 01/09/2011 is no longer in effect.

[14] Item 3 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 721 of 01/09/2011.

[15] Item 3 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 721 of 01/09/2011.

[16] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1029 of 08/12/2020 “On approval of the procedure for developing and approving waste generation standards and waste disposal limits” (the Procedure). The similar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 50 of 25/02/2010 is no longer in effect.

[17] Article 31.1(12) of Federal Law No. 7-FZ of 10/01/2002 “On environmental protection” states that “legal entities and individual entrepreneurs engaging in business and/or other activities at category II facilities may obtain a comprehensive environmental permit if the relevant industry information and technical references on best available technologies are in place”.

[18] Article 18(2) of Federal Law No. 89-FZ of 24 June 1998 “On Industrial and Consumer Waste” states that “Waste generation standards and waste disposal limits shall be developed by legal entities or individual entrepreneurs engaging in business and/or other activities at category I and II facilities as defined by the laws on environmental protection“.

[19] They fell under the effect of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 30 of 16/02/2010 (version dated 09/12/2010, as amended on 18/10/2018) “On approval of the Procedure for the submission and control of reporting on waste generation, use, treatment and disposal (other than statistical reporting)”, which lost its effect as a result of the approval of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 1029 of 08/12/2020.

[20] Item 12 of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 50 of 25/02/2010.

[21] Amendments to RF Government Resolution No. 143 of 13/02/2019 became effective on 25/11/2020. Amendments made by Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 1818 of 12/11/2020.

[22] Rosprirodnadzor Order No. 104 of 06/02/2020 “On approval of the Administrative Regulations for providing the government service of state registration of facilities having an adverse environmental impact and subject to federal state environmental oversight”. Rosprirodnadzor Order No. 756 of 24/11/2016 “On using Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 572 of 23/06/2016” is no longer in effect (together with the “Guidelines for filling out the application form for state registration of a facility that has an adverse environmental impact, approved by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 554 of 23/12/2015, using software and hardware for accounting for those facilities”).

[23] The form was approved by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 554 of 23/12/2015 (version dated 27/09/2016) “On approval of the application form for state registration of a facility that has an adverse environmental impact containing information to enter facilities having an adverse environmental impact in the state register, including in the form of electronic documents signed with an enhanced qualified electronic signature”.

[24] Article 69.2(2) of Law No. 7-FZ “On environmental protection”.

[25] We remind you that there are four categories of facilities having an adverse environmental impact:

category I facilities (have significant adverse environmental impact);

category II facilities (moderate negative impact);

category III facilities (minor negative impact);

category IV facilities (minimal negative impact).

See Article 4.2 and Article 69.2(1) of Federal Law No. 7-FZ of 10/01/2002 “On environmental protection” and item 9 of the Administrative Regulations approved by Rosprirodnadzor Order No. 104 of 06/02/2020.

A facility’s category is determined according to RF Government Resolution No. 2398 of 31/12/2020.

[26] Federal Law No. 450-FZ of 27/12/2019 “On amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation” amends Article 16.4 of Federal Law No. 7-FZ of 10/01/2002 “On environmental protection” (version dated 26/07/2019).

[27] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment <Letter> No. 19-50/5106-OG of 24/04/2020 “On making quarterly advance payments”.

[28] RF Government Resolution No. 1250 of 17/08/2020 “On amendments to the Rules for calculating and charging the adverse environmental impact fee” amends item 34 of RF Government Resolution No. 255 of 03/03/2017 “On calculating and charging the adverse environmental impact fee”. The changes apply to relations that arose since January 1, 2020.

[29] RF Government Resolution No. 1393 of 11/09/2020 “On the application in 2021 of rates of the adverse environmental impact fee”.

[30] The 2021 rates continue to be similar to those for 2020 approved by RF Government Resolution No. 39 of 24/01/2020 “On the application in 2020 of rates of the adverse environmental impact fee”.

[31] Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Order No. 1043 of 10/12/2020 “On approval of the Procedure for submitting the declaration of the adverse environmental impact fee and its forms and on repealing the orders of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation No. 3 of 9 January 2017 and No. 899 of 30 December 2019”.

[32] Method for calculating the scale of harm caused by stationary sources to the atmospheric air as a component of the natural environment approved by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Order No. 59 of 28/01/2021 (the Method). There was previously no such method. The following are the basis for approving and applying the Method: the rules of Federal Law No. 7-FZ of 10/01/2002 “On environmental protection” (Law 7-FZ) and the rules of Federal Law No. 96-FZ of 04/05/1999 “On protection of atmospheric air” (Law 96-FZ).

[33] RF Government Resolution No. 728 of 22/05/2020 “On approval of the Rules for controlling wastewater composition and properties and amendments and repeal of certain acts of the Russian Federation Government” (the Rules). RF Government Resolution No. 525 of 21/06/2013 (version dated 05/01/2015) “On approval of the Rules for controlling wastewater composition and properties” and a number of other documents have gone out of force.

[34] You can read more on our site:

A new policy on improving an extended producer responsibility concept in Russia

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