A number of UK-based firms are under investigation from the Environment Agency, for “illegal” waste shipments to Poland.
The discovery was made by officers from the Tax Administration Chamber in Gdańsk – government officials in Poland responsible for taxation and custom – as part of a global operation.
Under the name DEMETER IV, the operation is aimed at controlling cross-border shipments of waste and was part of a World Customs Organization (WCO) initiative from 4 June – 8 July, according to the Polish authority.
In a statement published earlier in August, the organisation had recorded and detained over 1,000 tonnes of “illegally displaced waste” from Great Britain. Throughout this operation, 1,000 inspections were launched by officers of the Chamber of the Fiscal Administration in Gdańsk; including 800 vehicles.
Some of these investigations were also led in co-operation with Border Guard officers (SG) and Inspectors of the Road Transport Inspection (ITD.).
The statement said: “In the sea ports in Gdańsk and Gdynia, officers carried out about 200 activities, during which over 500 containers were inspected. As a result of the control activities carried out, the officers of the Pomeranian Customs and Tax Office detained 8 shipments of illegally moved waste.”
At the time of writing, three businesses are understood to have been under active criminal investigation by The EA. The regulator is currently liaising with polish authorities regarding the return of waste back to UK soil.