‘Unfair’ Polish biodiesel exports damaging EU renewables market – EBB

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The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) has heavily criticised what it deems unfairly low priced biodiesel exports from Poland, claiming they are causing serious harm to the EU internal market for renewable fuels, and to fuel operators in many countries.

For more than a year Polish ‘fuel market players’ have been deliberately exploiting a loophole in the country’s biofuels legislation, causing significant financial damage to the biodiesel productions chains of countries such as Romania, the Netherlands, Italy and France among others, according to a statement from EBB.

“In Poland the accounting of a given biodiesel volume towards the national blending mandate is based on a simple invoice of purchase by the fuel distributor,” explains the EBB. “As Polish law does not explicitly require the biodiesel accounted towards the blending mandate to be consumed within its boundaries, some Polish operators have been capitalising on the export of underpriced biodiesel that has already been declared as blended. As a consequence, a large part of biodiesel volumes are counted towards EU national blending mandates twice, a first time – falsely - in Poland and then – at an unfair dumped price – in any other EU country.”

“As a result an increasing number of EU stakeholders - from farmers through oilseed producers and crushers, to biodiesel producers – are experiencing economic loss and very negative impacts on their businesses,” the EBB continues. “The Polish legislative loophole creates significant distortions by decreasing the overall profitability of local biodiesel producers, prompting job loss along the chain, curbing the progress in local energy and protein independence, and impacting the revenues of farmers and PMEs.”

EBB says that this is a process that has to be stopped. The association of European biodiesel producers claims that both the EU and national authorities have failed to challenge the situation, despite a number of alerts from the industry.

“We believe that EU authorities cannot accept anymore that European renewable legislation is infringed in a so open and wide scale dimension by an EU Member State and, worse, that an unfair implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive is taken as a basis for unfair traffics in the EU.”

EBB points out that it has expelled a member company involved in the “unfair” practice, confirming the industry association’s firm, ‘clear-cut’ position on the issue.

“In this context EBB also urges Polish national authorities to tackle the described problem, which casts a severe shadow on the concrete fulfilling of EU renewable mandates by Poland. The EBB has been collaborating on tackling this issue with a number of industry players, including sustainability certification systems, and is definitively determined to re-establish legality and fair trade on the EU biodiesel market.”