Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker

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HIGHLIGHTS

Greetings and Happy New Year!  This month’s tracker reflects key initiatives from November 15, 2015 – December 15, 2015.

After a fall busy with climate change initiatives in advance of the Paris negotiations, recent proposals reflect a resurgence of waste and product take-back initiatives. Key among these are the repeal and revision of Peru’swaste law built around new concepts of producer responsibility and finalization of Brazil’sSectoral Packaging Agreement. Brazil has also begun to lay the groundwork for establishing corporate sustainability policies that reflect the region’s growing embracement of this vanguard approach to measuring corporate operations and impacts on the environment.

We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions.

¡Gracias!

Maddie Kadas , Latin American Environmental Practice Leader 

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ARGENTINA

Carbon-Neutral Policies Bill Proposed

A bill (No. 6067-D-2015) has been proposed in the Chamber of Deputies to progressively implement carbon neutral public policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions in Argentina by 15%. Provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires would be invited to adhere to the Bill’s provisions and designate authorities to oversee its implementation.

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BRAZIL

Bill Proposing Tax Incentives for Recycling and Green Production Practices Advances

The Economic Development, Industry, and Commerce Committee in the Chamber of Deputies has voted to approve a set of tax incentives that would reward companies for a range of environmentally beneficial practices, principally recycling and cleaner production processes.  Already passed by the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee,  Bill No. 2101/2011 now moves to the Finance and Taxation Committee and the Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship Committee for review. 

Bill to Adopt Additional Climate Change Commitments Proposed

A bill (No. 750/2015) has been proposed in the Senate to modify the National Policy on Climate Change (No. 12.187/2009) to adopt additional climate change commitments. Under the Bill, Brazil would pledge to reduce its emissions by 37% by 2025 and 43% by 2030, using 2005 as the base year.

Packaging Sectoral Agreement Signed

The Ministry of Environment (“MMA”) signed a “ sectoral agreement ” with 20 trade associations representing manufacturers and importers of packaging materials and packaged products.  The agreement establishes the legal framework for a nationwide take-back system for “packaging-in-general.”  Implementation of the system is set to begin during 2016 in 12 major cities, with eventual expansion to the rest of Brazil.  

Bill Requiring Exchange Value for Used Electronics Proposed

A bill (No. 3732/2015) has been proposed in the Chamber of Deputies that would require providers of electronic products and their components to offer consumers a discount of at least 5% on the price of new products in exchange for similar used products. The Bill is intended to provide an incentive for consumers to return end-of-life electronic products to facilitate compliance with the reverse logistics requirements of the National Solid Waste Policy Law (No. 12305/2010).

Report Recommends Approval of Take-Back Bills for Electronic Products

A report presented to the Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in the Chamber of Deputies recommended approval of five bills related to take-back of electronic products:

  1. Bill No. 2045/2011 : On the Collection and Environmentally Adequate Destination of Technological Wastes,
  2. Bill No. 3551/2012 : On the Discard and Final Disposal of Used Batteries,
  3. Bill No. 4272/2012 : Establishing the Obligation to Install Collection Points and Collect Used Batteries and Aerosol Containers in Commercial Establishments That Sell These Products,
  4. Bill No. 2426/2015 : To Institute a Selective Collection Program for Electronic and Technological Wastes, and
  5. Bill No. 2940/2015 : Establishing Standards for the Management and Final Disposition of Electronic Waste.

Take-Back Bill for Electronics & Batteries Advances

The Environment Committee in the Chamber of Deputies has approved a bill (No. 2045/11 ) , which would require manufacturers, importers and retailers of a wide range of electrical products to establish take-back systems, with associated collection quotas and marking requirements. The Bill now moves to the Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship Committee for review.

Bill Instituting the “Green Seal” Proposed

A bill (No. 3705/2015) has been proposed in the Chamber of Deputies that would establish a voluntary “Green Seal” ecolabel to certify companies that adopt measures to reduce water consumption, increase energy efficiency, and reduce, reuse and recycle materials and resources. Companies that earn the Green Seal would receive preferential treatment in federal procurement decisions.

Guidelines for Corporate Sustainability Reports Published

The Working Group on Corporate Sustainability Reports has published guidelines for the federal government to develop the National Strategy for the Promotion of Corporate Sustainability Reports. The guidelines are divided into three sections:

  1. The importance of reporting financial and non-financial information;
  2. Reporting platforms within a national and international context; and
  3. Recommendations made by the Working Group.  
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CHILE

Standard for Transboundary Movement of EEE Open for Public Comment

Chile's National Institute of Standardization ("INN") has published a draft technical standard (prNCh3383), which establishes provisions for the transboundary movement of used electrical and electronic equipment ("EEE") and creates EEE classification categories, according to size and use. The Draft Standard is open for public comment until February 15, 2016.

Chamber of Deputies Approves Climate Change Resolution

The Chamber of Deputies has approved Resolution 512 , calling for the President to adopt legally binding climate change legislation and public policies that: (1) strengthen the national institutional framework for formulation, implementation, and monitoring of climate change instruments; and (2) create a fund in 2017 to support climate change initiatives.

Sanctions for Transporting Waste to Illegal Dumping Sites Enter into Force

The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications has adopted sanctions for the transport of waste to illegal dumping sites (Law No. 20.879). With the Law's entry into force, any person caught transporting, disposing, or ordering the transport or disposal of waste on streets, vacant lots, or unregulated landfills by means of a motorized or non-motorized vehicle would be subject to new penalties. 

Microwave Oven Energy Efficiency Testing and Certification Protocol Goes Into Effect

Chile's electricity regulatory agency, the Superintendency of Electricity and Fuels ("SEC"), has published Resolution No. 10.753, approving Protocol PE No. 1/18/2-1, which establishes new requirements for energy efficiency testing and certification of microwave ovens in both active and standby mode. PE No. 1/18/2-1 becomes mandatory for all sales of covered products by manufacturers, importers, and retailers as of October 30, 2016.

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COLOMBIA

Reusable Plastic Bag Bill Proposed

A bill (No. 163/2015C) has been proposed in the Chamber of Deputies that would promote reusable plastic bags and phase out the production, use, and disposal of single-use plastic bags. The Bill would aim to reduce single-use plastic bags by 80% by 2020 and 100% by 2025.

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MEXICO

PROFEPA Detects 408 Tons of Hazardous Waste in 2015

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (“PROFEPA”) detected the irregular handling of 408 tons of hazardous waste, including 36 tons of electronic waste, over the course of eight National Highway Operations conducted in 2015.  The Operations were carried out to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations pertaining to the transport of hazardous materials, substances, and wastes.

Mexico Publishes Responses to Comments Received on Proposed Modifications to PCB Rules

The Secretariat of Environment ("SEMARNAT") has published its responses to comments received on NOM-133-SEMARNAT-2015, the proposed modifications to NOM-133-SEMARNAT-2000, Management Specifications for Polychlorinated Biphenyls ("PCBs"). The NOM applies to all entities that possess PCB-contaminated equipment and/or waste, as well as those entities that provide services to manage them.

Senate Steps Up Focus on Environmental Issues

CEC Receives Revised Submission on Mexico’s Management of Discarded Analog TVs

The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation ("CEC") has received a revised submission from several individuals and NGOs, asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce federal environmental laws as it implements the "National Program for the Integral Management of Televisions Discarded Due to the Transition to Digital Televisions." Originally submitted August 24, 2015, Submission SEM-15-002 was rejected by CEC on September 22, 2015 after the Secretariat determined that the document did not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Article 14(1) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation ("NAAEC"). The submitting parties were given 60 days to provide a revised submission. 

Chamber of Deputies Pushes for Integral Management of Discarded Analog TVs

Since the Commission for Environmental Cooperation ("CEC") received Submission SEM-15-002 on Mexico’s mismanagement of discarded analog TVs, several agreements have been published in the Chamber of Deputies that:

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PERU

Minamata Convention on Mercury Ratified

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. As a ratifying party member, Peru pledges to develop legally binding commitments to reduce mercury pollution within the country. 

Peru Proposes Overhaul of General Waste Law

A bill to overhaul Peru's General Waste Law (No. 27314/2000) has been proposed that would strengthen the national regulatory framework on waste management.  Among its key provisions, the Bill would expand responsibilities for waste generators—defined broadly to include producers and importers—and mandate new packaging and container requirements.

Madeleine Boyer Kadas

Principal

+1.512.391.8010
mkadas@bdlaw.com

Paul E. Hagen

Principal

+1.202.789-6022 phagen@bdlaw.com

Russell N. Fraker

Associate

+1.202.789.6048 rfraker@bdlaw.com

Daniel B. Schulson

Associate

+1.202.789.6007 dschulson@bdlaw.com

Hana V. Vizcarra

Associate

+1.410.230.1358 hvizcarra@bdlaw.com

Tiffany Carlson

Paralegal

+1.512.391.8011 tcarlson@bdlaw.com

Beveridge & Diamond's Latin American Practice

As part of our International Environmental practice, we help multinational clients navigate dynamic and unprecedented change in Latin American environmental law. Our Latin American group counsels clients from various industrial sectors on a wide range of issues arising under the domestic environmental regulations of most Latin American countries with emphasis in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.  Learn more at www.bdlaw.com/LatinAmerica

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