At the recent IBA Annual Conference in Vienna, the IBA’s Environment Committee hosted a session on transboundary shipment of waste. The panel included Gordon Nardell QC whose presentation covered the approach of EU waste law to categorisation of off-spec oil cargoes.
This is a hot topic for oil traders and shippers following last year’s decision of the Court of Justice in joined cases C-241/12 and C-242/12 Shell Nederland and Belgian Shell. Declining to follow the Opinion of Advocate-General Jääskinen, the Court held that industry opinion about the status of off-spec fuel cargoes could legitimately be taken into account in determining whether a re-bunkered cargo of diesel, rejected by the buyer due to contamination with the fuel additive MTBE, was “waste” under the onerous EU trans-shipment regime. The session, co-moderated by IBA Environment Committee chair Glen McLeod and former Western Australia state minister Cheryl Edwardes, also heard presentations from leading practitioners on other topics including end-of-life vessels, the Trafigura litigation, and waste issues in international sales contracts.