Ministry suggests tightening up liability for the release into the environment or placing on the market of GMOs2015-10-14
The Ministry of Environment suggests tightening up and differentiating the civil liability for offences that involve the release into the environment or placing on the market of genetically modified organisms. The draft document sent for harmonisation to the institutions concerned today proposes imposing sanctions on all offenders and laying down penalties proportionate to the breaches.
‘The established civil liability for the release into the environment or placing on the market of genetically modified organisms in breach of the requirements laid down in legislation has not changed since 2004. The fines provided for greatly differ from those imposed in other EU states, thus they may lack effectiveness and dissuasiveness. For example, in Estonia a legal entity that repeatedly breaches the Law on the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms into the environment would be punishable by a fine of up to EUR 32 000, while in Lithuania the fine would amount to EUR 1 450,’ said Minister of Environment, Kęstutis Trečiokas, speaking of the need to tighten up the liability.
Under the existing procedure, the release or placing on the market of genetically modified organisms in breach of the requirements laid down in legislation entails fines between EUR 300 and EUR 800 for natural and legal persons. In the event of any repeated breach the fine would amount to EUR 1 450. A draft law prepared by the Ministry of Environment suggests imposing fines of EUR 5 000 to EUR 10 000 on natural persons and those of EUR 10 000 to EUR 15 000 on company executives or other responsible persons, for the release into the environment or placing on the market of genetically modified organisms or products. Any repeated breach would entail a fine between EUR 10 000 and EUR 15 000 for natural person, or a fine of EUR 15 000 to EUR 20 000 for legal entity executives or other responsible persons.
It is proposed that the cultivation of genetically modified crops in breach of the duty to notify the responsible authorities should result in a fine between EUR 3 000 and EUR 7 000 for natural persons, and between EUR 7 000 and EUR 15 000 for legal entity executives or other responsible persons.
After the conclusions are obtained from various institutional bodies concerned, the draft law will be submitted to the Government.