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Veterinary approval of composting plants

Did you know that …?

Any composting plant in which catering (kitchen) waste from selective waste collection is processed is required to obtain approval in the form of an administrative decision from the District Veterinary Officer.

The obligation to approve composting and biogas plants stems from …

Catering waste is classified under Article 10(p) of Regulation EC No 1069/2009 as a category 3 animal by-product.

As defined in Annex I to Regulation 142/2011, catering waste – means all food waste, including used cooking oil from restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including collective and household kitchens.

During the separate collection of biodegradable waste (so-called brown bin/bag) from households and catering outlets, catering waste is/will also be collected.

If catering waste or other category 2 and/or category 3 animal by-products are planned for processing into compost or biogas, the obligation to have the composting or biogas plant approved by the Veterinary Inspection on the basis of Article 24(1)(g) of Regulation EC No 1069/2009 arises.

Operating without approval can result in severe fines of up to PLN 27,400, based on § 3(1)(b) of the Ordinance of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of 2 May 2014 on the amount of fines for breaches specified in the regulations on animal health protection and the eradication of infectious animal diseases concerning the handling of animal by-products and derived products.


Any entity that intends to use animal by-products (hereafter ABPs) in the composting process is obliged to submit an application for approval of supervised activity to the territorially competent District Veterinary Officer 30 days before commencing such activity.

The obligation to approve a composting plant using ABPs results from the provisions contained in Article 24 para. 1(g) of Regulation No. 1069 of 2009.

The commencing of activity is to be understood as the introduction into the processing at the composting plant of category 2 and/or 3 ABPs, e.g., catering waste from selective collection of biodegradable waste, manure, milk-based products, or other materials of animal origin.

In the first instance, an application must be made to the territorially competent District Veterinary Officer for approval of the ABPs composting activity.

Once an application has been submitted, an inspection of the establishment is carried out to determine whether the installation in question meets all the formal and technical requirements (as described in Regulations 1069/2009 and 142/2011) to enable the veterinary number to be assigned and the activity to be approved.

A properly designed composting facility generally has the appropriate technical equipment but does not have HACCP procedures and a pest control programme developed and implemented.

The requirement to develop and implement an HACCP system in a composting plant is derived from Article 29(1)(b) of Regulation 1069 of 2009 cited:

“Operators carrying out any of the following activities shall put in place, implement and maintain a permanent written procedure or procedures based on a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system for transformation of animal by-products into biogas and compost.”

Article 44 of Regulation 1069/2009 provides that the District Veterinary Officer may issue a conditional decision for a period of three months (up to a maximum of six months), during which the operator has time to fully adapt the installation and develop and implement appropriate procedures.

Why is it a prerequisite to have and implement HACCP procedures for a composting plant processing animal by-products?

Without a developed and implemented HACCP system, the composting plant will not receive full approval of the operation by the District Veterinary Officer, as the requirement of Article 29 of Regulation 1069 of 2009 will not be fulfilled.

What are the potential consequences of operating a kitchen waste composting business without Veterinary Inspection approval?

  • Once the maximum time limit (up to 6 months) for bringing the composting plant into compliance with the requirements of Regulations 1069/2009 and 142/2011 has been exceeded, the District Veterinary Officer is entitled to issue a decision ordering a ban on the composting of animal by-products with immediate enforceability.
  • For breaches of veterinary regulations (e.g., operating without approval, lack of implemented HACCP procedures, inappropriate activities on the ABPs), the District Veterinary Officer is entitled to impose administrative penalties amounting to tens of thousands of zlotys.

(Legal basis: Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of 2 May 2014 on the amount of fines for infringements specified in the regulations on animal health protection and the eradication of infectious animal diseases concerning the handling of animal by-products and derived products).

  • In addition, if it is found that this type of activity causes a risk to human and animal health, the District Veterinary Officer is obliged to report the suspected offence to the law enforcement authorities (Police/Prosecutor’s Office).
  • It is not possible to obtain approval from the Ministry of Agriculture to market compost as a product (soil improver) without first obtaining approval for the operation of the composting plant from the Veterinary Inspection. This applies if compost is declared to be produced using kitchen waste (waste code 20 01 08).

What should be done?

It is best to entrust the task of carrying out the approval procedure to a company specialised in providing such services.

BIO-INDUSTRY is the leader in Poland for the approval of composting plants processing animal by-products by the Veterinary Inspection Our company has aided in the implementation of the HACCP system for over a dozen installations using the composting process. We guarantee efficient and professional service and full customer support at every stage of gaining approval for the supervised activity.

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