CHAPTER 5.
Environmental contributions, taxes and fees


Section 1.
Environmental contributions


Article 41.

The port authority shall ensure that the costs for using the port reception facilities associated with the disposing of ship-generated waste from maritime shipping, including the treatment and processing of the ship-generated waste, are paid with contributions from the ships via a cost cover system which must not encourage the discharge of waste at sea.

 

The Government of Flanders may define further requirements to be met by the cost cover system.


Article 42.

In accordance with the Convention on the Collection, Deposit and Reception of Waste Generated during Navigation on the Rhine and other Inland Waterways, signed in Strasbourg on 9 September 1996 and ratified by the Decree of Consent of 9 May 2008, an environmental contribution in proportion to the purchase of gas oil for inland shipping shall be owed with a view to the financing of the collection and treatment of oil and grease containing shipping waste that results from the operation and maintenance of inland navigation vessels. Said gas oil shall be understood to exclusively include fuel that is exempt from custom taxes and other taxes and that is intended for ships, with the exception of the ships that are authorised for maritime and coastal navigation and are mainly assigned for that purpose. The environmental contribution shall be owed by the person in charge of the ship that uses the gas oil for inland shipping purposes.

 

The Government of Flanders may lay down more specific rules for the operation of the financing system.


Article 43.

Port authorities who receive inland navigation vessels and waterway authorities shall outline a financing system for the reception and disposing of the remaining shipping waste in accordance with the Convention on the Collection, Deposit and Reception of Waste Generated during Navigation on the Rhine and other Inland Waterways, signed in Strasbourg on 9 September 1996 and ratified by the Decree of Consent of 9 May 2008. This contribution may be included in the port or dock charges, or charged separately.

 

The Government of Flanders may define further requirements to be met by the financing system.


Section 2.
Environmental taxes


Article 44.

The definitions mentioned in the Decree of 25 April 2014 on the environmental licence shall apply accordingly in this Section.

 


Article 45.

Operators of facilities with a licence obligation as mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, 1° through 18° and paragraph 2, subparagraph 1, as well as enterprises and facilities that are professionally engaged in the collection or transport of waste, waste traders and brokers with a view to its treatment outside the Flemish Region, as mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, 19°, shall be subject to an environmental tax.

 

Municipalities or associations of municipalities acting on their behalf may be directly liable for environmental taxes for the household and municipal waste picked up by them if they have received authorisation for this from OVAM. The authorisation shall mention the waste stream, the concrete destination and the applicable tax rate. A copy of this authorisation shall be provided to the operator of the facility to which the waste stream in question is being removed. The operator shall state the quantities concerned in an appendix to his declaration with reference to the respective authorisation. The operator shall report these quantities in good time to the municipalities or the associations of municipalities acting on their behalf that themselves act as the party responsible for paying the tax for the quantities concerned and shall submit a declaration in accordance with the provisions of this Decree.

 

Without prejudice to the exception specified in subparagraph 2 of Article 47, the tax mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, 1° through 18° and paragraph 2, subparagraph 1, shall apply for the quantities of waste as they are landfilled, incinerated or co-incinerated, including admixtures which were added for the purposes of landfilling, incineration or co-incineration.


Article 46. Translation not available

Article 47.

The environmental tax mentioned in Article 45 shall be owed:

at the moment the waste is processed in the facilities mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, 1° to 18° inclusive and paragraph 2, subparagraph 1, where the amounts mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, 1° to 18° inclusive and paragraph 2, subparagraph 1 are concerned;

at the moment the waste produced in the Flemish Region is shipped for the purposes of its processing outside the Flemish Region, where the amounts mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1, 19° are concerned.

 

When a waste undergoes different treatment methods, the tax shall only be payable for the first treatment method applied that is subject to the tax. The exemption from the tax shall also apply for the admixtures added in the first treatment method.


Article 48. When for the operation of a facility the licence granted in conformity with the provisions of this Decree has expired and a new licence has been issued for the same facility, with a view to the application of the environmental taxes mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 the new licence shall be deemed to have been issued either with effect from the time mentioned in the licence decision if the licensing authority has taken a decision within the legally determined period, or with effect from the time when this decision should have been taken in conformity with the legally set period.

Article 49.

The collection of the tax shall take place once per quarter, specifically:

in the course of the months of April and May for the first quarter;

in the course of the months of July and August for the second quarter;

in the course of the months of October and November for the third quarter;

in the course of the months of January and February of the next year for the fourth quarter.

  

The Government of Flanders shall lay down the more specific rules concerning the collection of the tax.

 

The Government of Flanders shall appoint the officials and contract staff of OVAM who will be charged with the collection and the recovery of the tax and the control of compliance with the obligations relating to the tax, and it shall determine the more specific rules with respect to their competences.


Article 50.

§ 1.

The party responsible for paying the tax shall submit a declaration in the course of the months of April, July, October and January concerning the tax owed for the prior quarter.

 

§ 2.

The party responsible for paying the tax shall pay the tax for the prior quarter before 10 May, 10 August, 10 November and 10 February. The party responsible for paying the tax shall also, before 10 December of each year, make an advance payment of the tax for the fourth quarter of that year. This advance payment shall be set at sixty-six per cent of the amount obtained by dividing the amount payable by the party responsible for paying the tax for the first three quarters by three. The resulting fixed sum shall be rounded down to the nearest ten. If based on the declaration relating to the fourth quarter it appears that the tax that is actually due is lower than the due advance payment, this advance payment is decreased by the tax that is actually due, but increased by legal late payment interest on the calculated difference, shall be repaid to the party responsible for paying the tax within ninety calendar days of receipt of the appropriately completed declaration relating to the fourth quarter. The advance payment shall not be payable if the party responsible for paying the tax provides proof before 10 December that they have ceased their taxed activity before the commencement of the fourth quarter.

 

 

§ 3.

If the party responsible for paying the tax does not proceed with payment of the indicated amount, or if after control by the official charged with the collection and recovery of the tax it appears that the indicated amounts are incorrect, the official charged with the collection and recovery of the tax may claim a further amount from the party responsible for paying the tax.

 

§ 4.

If the party responsible for paying the tax has to make payments for a number of quarters, the oldest debts shall be paid first and, in order, payment shall be made of administrative penalties, late payment interests and the principal sum.

 

§ 5.

The Government of Flanders shall lay down the more specific rules for the declaration and payment of the tax.


Article 51.

The party responsible for paying the tax may reclaim the part of the tax included by him in his declaration and which has been regularly paid in the manner described in Article 50, paragraph 2), under the following conditions:

the tax is indisputable and has been clearly described on an invoice issued by the party responsible for paying the tax to a contracting partner with reference to the register referred to in subparagraph 1 of Article 52;

the claim of the party responsible for paying the tax shall be deemed permanently non-collectable in case of absence of assets after recording as an indisputable claim in the liabilities of the bankruptcy of the contracting partner on the basis of a certificate issued by the acting liquidator;

the application for the repayment of the tax shall be submitted to OVAM by registered mail, accompanied by the invoice mentioned in point 1° and a copy of the certificate issued by the acting liquidator mentioned in point 2


Article 52.

The party responsible for paying the tax shall record the quantities of wastes, in tonnes, for each day and in the order of treatment, in a register.

 

The party responsible for paying the tax shall present all documents required to check the settlement of the tax or the correctness of the indicated amounts on each request from the officials responsible for the control of compliance with the obligations relating to the tax.

 

On each request from the officials responsible for the control of compliance with the obligations relating to the tax, the party responsible for paying the tax shall, orally or in writing, provide all information requested from him to check the settlement of the tax or the correctness of the indicated amounts.


Article 53. If the tax has not been paid after the expiry of the period referred to in Article 50 paragraph 2, the legal interest mentioned in the Royal Decree of 4 August 1996 amending the legal interest rate shall become payable by operation of law.

Article 54.

If a party responsible for paying the tax, for whatever reason, has not submitted the declaration referred to in Article 50 paragraph 1, or has submitted it late, or has not complied with the obligations referred to in Article 52, the official charged with the collection may impose an official notice to pay for the amount of tax that is estimated to be payable.

 

In the cases mentioned in subparagraph 1 the tax shall be determined based on the requested documents or, in the absence thereof, based on the information that can be demonstrated by documents, witnesses and presumption.

 

The official notice to pay shall be imposed without prejudice to the possibility of further claims within the period referred to in Article 59.


Article 55.

Within a period of thirty days of the date of sending the official notice to pay or a further claim by registered mail, the party responsible for paying the tax may submit an appeal by registered mail to the Flemish minister appointed by the Government of Flanders, who shall issue a ruling within six months of the date of sending the notice of appeal. A copy of this appeal must be delivered to OVAM by registered letter. Under penalty of nullity, the appeal shall make reference to the case number, assessment year and quarter mentioned in the official notice to pay or the further claim. The Flemish minister appointed by the Government of Flanders may extend the abovementioned period once only by a period of six months by means of a registered letter stating reasons sent to the party responsible for paying the tax.

 

Before taking a decision, the Flemish minister appointed by the Government of Flanders shall present the disputes referred to in the first paragraph before an advisory committee.

 

The Government of Flanders shall determine the more specific regulations with respect to the operation and composition of the disputescommittee.

 

In the absence of a ruling by

the Flemish minister appointed by the Government of Flanders within the period mentioned in the first paragraph, the appeal of the party responsible for paying the tax shall be deemed to have been granted.

 

The minister shall send his decision to the party responsible for paying the tax by registered mail. An appeal may be lodged against the decision of the minister in accordance with the provisions of Articles 1385decies and 1385undecies of the Judicial Code.


Article 56.

With regard to the party responsible for paying the tax referred to in Article 45, the repayment of excessively declared and paid environmental taxes can take place by setting it off against the due amount to be declared and paid in a next quarter of the current calendar year.

 

With the quarterly declaration the party responsible for paying the tax shall append the necessary documents to prove the validity of his calculation. If this calculation is incorrect or wrongly applied, further claims as mentioned in Article 50, paragraph 3 remain possible.


Article 57. The Government of Flanders may determine more specific rules with respect to the appointment of persons charged with the collection and recovery of the environmental taxes, the method of collection and recovery of the environmental taxes, the declaration and the payment of the environmental taxes and the treatment of the appeals lodged in accordance with subparagraph 1 of Article 55.

Article 58. Without prejudice to the application of the provisions of Chapter 7, an administrative penalty shall be imposed for each further claim, as mentioned in Article 50, paragraph 3), and for each official notice to pay, as mentioned in subparagraph 1 of Article 54. If taxes are not or insufficiently declared, the penalty shall be equal to the taxes that were not or insufficiently declared. In cases where payment of the declared taxes is late, the penalty shall be equivalent to 10% of the taxes that were not paid on time. In both cases, the penalty shall be no less than 70 euros. This administrative penalty shall be calculated based on the environmental tax without application of the coefficient of 0.70, as referred to in Article 46, paragraph 6.

Article 59. The claim for payment of the tax, the interest and the administrative penalty shall lapse after five years starting on the date of origination. This period of limitation shall be interrupted in the manner and under the conditions described in the Civil Code.

Article 60. The official appointed by the Government of Flanders to this end may reach settlements with the party responsible for paying the tax, to the extent that these do not lead to an exemption from or reduction of the tax.

Article 61. Translation not available

Article 62. The official mentioned in Article 60 shall also decide on the reasoned requests to delay payment submitted to him by registered letter by the party responsible for paying the tax.

Article 63.

In the absence of the settlement of the tax, the interest, the administrative penalty and related charges, the official charged with collection shall issue a final demand and notice.

 

This final demand and notice shall be signed and declared enforceable by the official designated for this purpose by the Government of Flanders. The final demand notice shall be served by writ or by registered letter.

 

 

 

The provisions of part V of the Judicial Code with regard to attachment and means of enforcement shall apply to the final demand and notice.


Article 64.

As security for the settlement of the tax, the interest, the administrative penalty and the costs, the Flemish Region shall have a general preferential right to all movable property of the party responsible for paying the tax. It may establish a legal mortgage on all goods liable for such that are located in the Flemish Region and belong to the person in whose name the further claim or tax demand is established.

 

The preferential right mentioned in subparagraph 1 shall rank immediately after the preferential rights mentioned in Articles 19 and 20 of the Mortgage Law.

 

The rank of the legal mortgage shall be determined by the date of registration.

 

The mortgage shall be registered on the request of the officials referred to in Article 60.

 

Article 19 of the Bankruptcy Law shall not apply to the legal mortgage relating to the tax due for which the registration was made and notice was served on the party responsible for paying the tax prior to the bankruptcy order.


Article 65.

Municipalities shall be entitled to call in the services of OVAM for the collection of the surcharges, insofar as these amount to a maximum surcharge of 20%, to be collected by the municipality in question on the environmental taxes collected by OVAM, mentioned in Article 46, paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, for facilities subject to the taxes located on their territory.

 

The Government of Flanders shall lay down the more specific rules relating to the costs and method for the collection of the surcharges.


Section 3.
Fees


Article 66.

§ 1.

The Government of Flanders may subject the evaluation of an application for recognition as a laboratory for the performance of waste and soil sample analyses, as mentioned in subparagraph 2 of Article 7, to the payment of a fee.

 

The Government of Flanders may subject the application for inclusion in a register, as mentioned in Article 13, paragraph 1, to the payment of a fee.

 

The Government of Flanders may subject the evaluation of an application for recognition or registration with a view to the management of animal by-products, as mentioned in Article 33, paragraph 3, to the payment of a fee.

 

The Government of Flanders may subject the evaluation of an application for the issuing of a declaration of raw material, as mentioned in Article 40, for the producer of the raw material in question or the natural or legal person acting on his behalf, to the payment of a fee.

 

§ 2.

If the Government of Flanders, in the cases mentioned in paragraph 1, lays down a fee, the proof of payment of this fee shall be included with the application, under penalty of inadmissibility.

 

§ 3.

The Government of Flanders shall determine the amount and the method of collection of the fees referred to in paragraph 1.

 

The Government of Flanders shall designate the OVAM officials who will be responsible for collecting and recovering the fees mentioned in paragraph 1, and it shall determine the specific rules regarding their competence.