The European Commission has closed its investigation into the tax treatment of Renewi's activities at a landfill in the Belgian region of Wallonia, the Dutch-English waste management company announced earlier this month. The resolution of the in-depth probe, which was launched in February 2020, would allow Renewi to release a €15m provision it had taken in the 2020 financial year in connection with the case.
The Commission had been investigating a complaint that the use of some waste materials at the Mont-Saint-Guibert landfill to contour the site for closure and rehabilitation was being incorrectly classified as a recovery activity. Because recovered waste was subject to a more favourable tax rate than waste undergoing disposal, concerns were raised that any inappropriate waste classification might have given the waste management company, then operating as Shanks, a "selective advantage over its competitors".
In announcing the closure of the case, Renewi said that over the course of the past two years, both it and the Belgian Walloon Region had "provided extensive information to the European Commission demonstrating that all materials used in the landfill rehabilitation were appropriate and that there was no selectivity in the Walloon Region’s treatment of Renewi."