Function of the IRPC

The IRPC is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Cooperation Agreement of 4 November 2008 on the prevention and management of packaging waste. As a result of the sixth constitutional reform, the IRPC is also since 1 January 2015 the Belgian transit authority.

What are the tasks of the IRPC?

Prevention and management of packaging waste

It approves or rejects the (general) packaging prevention plans, evaluating them on the basis of objective criteria.

It grants or refuses to grant accreditation to packaging recovery organisations (PRO). Once the latter are formally accredited as a body for fulfilling the take-back obligation (aka the ‘waste recovery’ obligation), the IRPC audits their activities and may, where appropriate, suspend or revoke their accreditation if their performance is not satisfactory.

It monitors the way(s) in which the accredited PROs and the companies responsible for packaging meet statutory targets (expressed as a percentage) for the recycling and recovery of packaging waste.

  • All companies responsible for packaging that market at least 300 kg of packaging per year are subject to the take-back obligation (TBO). In other words, the obligation, enshrined in the Cooperation Agreement, to meet certain statutory targets (expressed as a percentage) for the recycling and recovery of the packaging that they have placed on the Belgian market;
  • A company responsible for packaging may either discharge the TBO itself or, alternatively, conclude an agreement with a non-profit organisation that has been accredited by the IRPC to fulfil the TBO.

It monitors compliance with the various reporting obligations.

It monitors compliance by the companies responsible for packaging, the accredited PROs, etc. with the provisions of the Cooperation Agreement.

  • It checks submissions for compliance and performs in-situ audits
  • It prepares official reports and imposes fines

It formulates proposals and expert advice for use by the regional governments, e.g. regarding legislative changes.

If requested to do so, it lends support to the regional governments for other TBOs

  • A consultative forum
  • Logistical support

 

Role as transit authority

As a result of the sixth constitutional reform, the IRPC is also since 1 January 2015 the Belgian transit authority. This means that it is involved in the notification procedures for cross-border movements of waste that include transit through Belgium. Transit through Belgium is defined as the shipment of waste that was not produced in Belgium and will not be processed there.

Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC)