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Compulsory Rail Transport of Waste in Austria as of 1 January 2023

Compulsory Rail Transport of Waste in Austria as of 1 January 2023

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Waste transports with a total quantity of more than 10 tonnes must be carried out by rail or other means of transport with equivalent or lower pollutant or greenhouse gas potential (e.g. propulsion by means of fuel cell or electric motor). The decisive factor is the transport distance covered in Austria, which will gradually decrease. From 1 January 2023, this obligation applies to a transport distance of 300 km or more; from 1 January 2024, the distance will be only 200 km.

An exception applies if the lorry access and departure to the railway station in Austria amounts to more than 25% of the total distance travelled in Austria. The list of relevant reloading railway stations can be found on the webpage of the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria. Next exception is given in case that the transported waste is not listed on the waste list relevant for 2023. The list can also be found on that webpage.

The rail transport obligation applies also to the transit of waste through Austria. Taking into account that the transport distance between, for example, Germany or Italy and Slovakia is more than 300 km at some border crossings, this obligation definitely also affects German, Italian or Slovakian companies, such as waste producers, waste processors, recyclers, traders or transporters.

If a transport falls under this obligation, the waste can only be transported by road if a negative confirmation from an online platform “Aufschiene” was received. This confirms that there is no capacity for the requested waste. Only this confirmation leads to exemption from punishment.

By Annamaria Tothova, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland

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