On 19 September 2003 Decree 103/2003 (IX.11) of the Minister of Agriculture ("Decree") entered into force. The Decree deals with the management of packaging waste contaminated with insecticides.

Although insecticides constitute dangerous waste under Act XXXV of 2000, the Decree stipulates that the cleaned packaging waste is to be regarded as non-dangerous waste if handled in accordance with the Decree. The Decree regulates the storage, transportation and return insecticide packaging waste.

There are four parties who have contact with the waste. The package is emptied by the user of the insecticide so he is the party who "produces" the waste. If the package contained no more than one kilogramme or one litre of insecticides then it can be disposed of as normal household waste or if the packaging consists of non-contaminated paper or wood, then it can simply be burnt or used in any way.

If the packaging contained more than one litre or one kilogramme of material, then it cannot be used for another purpose even after being cleaned.

If the packaging contained more than this amount but less than 250 kilogrammes or 250 litres of insecticides, then it can be collected and stored by the user for a period not exceeding one year.

If the packaging contained more than 250 litres or kilogramme of insecticides, then the manufacturer or importer has to take care of its collection. In order to increase users' willingness to return the empty packaging a return fee could be stipulated but the Decree does not contain detailed regulations in this regard, so this is a mere possibility.

There are strict rules for the receipt and storage of the waste, for example the recipient of the waste cannot refuse its receipt if the waste complies with the regulations of the Decree and after receipt he has to issue a receipt certifying that the user has complied with his obligations.

The recipient may operate temporary or permanent storage facilities after setting out its operational rules and obtaining a licence from the environmental authority. If the recipient is a licensed wholesaler of insecticides, then it can set up a storage facility without any further licence or permission from the environmental authority. Packaging waste cannot be stored for longer than one year by the recipient who has to maintain a daily record of the stored waste and must keep such record for a period of five years.

After receipt by the operator the waste will be reused, recycled or "energetically utilized" according to its material.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.