On 2 May 2018, the General Administrative Dispositions by means of which the guidelines for the comprehensive management of special handling wastes (RME for its acronym in Spanish), issued by the National Agency of Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbon Sector (ASEA for its acronym in Spanish), were published in the Federal Official Gazette, same that entered into force on 3 May 2018, (herein after the "Guidelines").

Consequently, all State productive companies, individuals and legal entities, within the public, social and private sectors, carrying out activities in the hydrocarbon sector and generating RME will have to observer and comply with the Guidelines. ASEA will be the authority responsible to police the compliance of the Guidelines and to interpret them in the administrative sphere.

The main obligations to be complied by the Regulated Parties are:

  1. Register before ASEA no later than 45 business days prior to the start of their activity ("Record").
  2. The Regulated Parties generating 10 or more tonne gross weight of RME annually, will additionally require registering before ASEA a handling plan ("Handling Plan"). When referring to new projects, the application must be filed within the term foreseen in numeral 1 above.

The validity of the Record and the Handling Plan will be indefinite, if there are no modifications to the productive process or corporate changes of the Regulated Party (i.e. change of corporate name).

  1. Regulated Parties may carry out the recycling or treatment of the RME within the facility where they were generated without the need of an authorisation from ASEA for such purposes. This provision will not apply for those processes that liberate pollutants into the environment, constituting health risks – such as coprocessing and final disposal – nor for those RME that were not generated within the facility of the Regulated Party.
  2. The Regulated Parties must inform ASEA of any pretended medication to its Record or Handling Plan due to inclusion of new processes or changes in raw materials; modifications due to change in corporate name; or transfer of a record or authorisation of the handling plan deriving from a transfer of ownership of shares or assets, etc.
  3. Keep and safeguard a RME generation logbook.
  4. Present an annual report before ASEA which must include information about generation, handling and movements executed in the immediate previous year, which will be filed between the months of April and May.

The Regulated Parties executing any activity within the hydrocarbon sector not holding a Record, must apply for it in a term that must not exceed 90 calendar days following the entering into force of the Guidelines, this is, no later than next 1 August 2018.

The Environmental Law Practise of the firm will be pleased to provide any additional information on the topic.

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.