The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) has alerted EU and national authorities on what it says are biodiesel products exported from Poland at unfair low prices, breaching EU and national laws and distorting the internal EU biodiesel market.
“An inquiry is to be opened on such unfair practice,” the EBB said in a press statement on 3 March, adding that it had also alerted the Anti-Fraud office of the European Commission (OLAF).
“It seems that some operators active in the Polish and EU market are taking advantage of unfair discounts granted by the Polish national biofuels law, allowing them to export physical quantities of biodiesel that have been declared as blended – under Renewable Energy Directive (RED) mandates – with gasoil sold in the Polish territory.
“Cheaper fossil diesel is reported substituting the Polish claimed volumes of biodiesel accounted towards the national blending mandate. This concerns biodiesel quantities which are then sold in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and – once blended at biodiesel hubs (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp [ARA] and Barcelona) – to also reach the French market.”
According to the EBB, the quantities involved are said to be increasing every day and have recently reached figures of 20,000-25,000 tonnes/month.
“The same material ends up fraudulently used twice (in Poland and in another EU country) to fulfil RED-based mandatory objectives, which gives the operators a corresponding unfair market advantage.”
The EBB said this breached a number of legal and economic concerns at European level, as well as sustainability rules, which would trigger retroactive verification and penalties at national and EU levels. Competition and EU internal market rules were also challenged.
“The EBB will actively strive to identify the source of the problem, as well as find effective solutions that will keep the EU internal market for biodiesel united and functioning at a level-playing field again,” said EBB president Alain Brinon.