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Luxembourg

Environmental rules

Updated 01/2010

Legal requirements

Environmental control

Land development

The Law on classified facilities requires you to obtain prior authorisation for any industrial, commercial or craft facility, whether public or private, whenever its activity may present danger or nuisance to:

  • security, health or convenience;             
  • health and safety of workers in the workplace as well as the human and natural environment.

Waste management

Under Luxembourg law, business owners must comply with laws on processing and recycling electrical and electronic waste.

The regulation on packaging waste covers household packaging, non-household packaging and packaging manager responsibilities.

The law also covers:

  • inert waste;   
  • contamination of soil and subsoil;   
  • obtaining authorisation for the collection, transport, elimination or processing of waste by a third party.   

Chemicals

Under the European REACH Regulation, business owners must register certain chemicals.

Water

The Law on protecting and managing water covers authorisations for specific cases of water discharge or extraction.           

Since the Law on protecting nature and natural resources came into effect, a permit for certain types of works (drainage, dredging, pumping, strengthening banks, etc.) is now obligatory.

The law on protecting and managing water has made it obligatory to get permission for watercourses.        

Climate and air

The Law on the trading of greenhouse gas emission quotas establishes a system for trading greenhouse gas emission quotas, to encourage a reduction in emissions.

Nuclear protection

Business owners using or transporting radioactive materials must have a permit to store, use or transport radioactive sources or X-ray equipment.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum environmental legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Declaratory procedures, permits and licences

Land development

A request for a construction permit should be addressed to the municipal authorities in the area where the business is located. The documents required to obtain the permit vary according to the municipality.

           Facilities are classified   into 4 classes and 2 subclasses according to their size and activity, corresponding to 6 different permit procedures. Once you determine the right class, you may request an operating permit.

The operating permit for a classified facility (commodo/incommodo) is issued by the Minister of the Environment and/or the Minister of Labour and Employment.

To construct or modify a facility, you need to obtain several permits. Permits are granted depending on the presence of a green zone within the municipal development plan or watercourse plan.

Waste management

The Ministry of the Environment issues:

Every business owner who transports waste must hold a permit issued by the Ministry of the Environment. The same applies for parties eliminating or processing waste for third parties.

You must submit a waste prevention and management plan (PPGD), notably containing data on collecting, storing and processing waste from the business.

You must make your own waste management plan or entrust the management to an organisation approved by the Ministry of the Environment. You must demonstrate that you guarantee the financing for collecting and processing your waste: 

  • by registering with the Environment Administration ;  
  • by becoming a member of an organisation approved by the Ministry of the Environment.

The obligations relating to electrical and electronic waste must be met by the business owner or by Ecotrel. You must register with the Ministry of the Environment.

Chemicals

Any business owner, whether a manufacturer, importer or user of chemicals, is obliged to register all chemicals manufactured or imported in the EU in volumes exceeding 1 tonne per year.

Water

A business wishing to discharge or extract water must apply by registered letter sent to the water management directorate, providing the following data: 

  • surname, first names, capacity and domicile of the applicant and operator;    
  • nature and location of the installations and procedures to be implemented, as well as the approximate quantities of water to be extracted and discharged;
  • future measures to prevent or minimise inconveniences that these extractions may result in.

The following documents must also be sent with the registered letter:

  • plan of the facility   on a scale of 1:200, including the layout of the premises and location of the installations;
  • recent extract from the land registry plan, including the plots located within a 200-metre perimeter of the facility;        
  • extract from a topographical map   on a scale of 1:10,000 or 1:20,000, for identifying the planned location of the establishment, if located outside an agglomeration.

Climate and air

A request for a permit to emit greenhouse gases should be addressed to the Minister of the Environment and sent to the Environment Administration.

Nuclear protection

Some activities involving the storage, use or transport of radioactive materials or X-ray equipment require a permit. The permits are issued by the Government in Council, the Minister of Health or the Director of Health.

Resources

Business owners can find relevant information on the environment portal, the Guichet entreprises business portal, the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Development website and the Water Management Authority website.

             Ecotrel is the only approved organisation likely to meet the requirements imposed on producers and importers of electrical and electronic devices. It manages and supports systems for collecting, recycling, processing, salvaging and eliminating this type of waste.

             Valorlux has a system for managing all household and similar packaging introduced into the market.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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