This spring, an inspector from the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) is examining a transport tank with diesel oil en route from England via the Netherlands to Belgium. An analysis of the oil will follow after consultation with the National Police Unit. This shows that this diesel oil contains a large amount of chlorine. This diesel oil would be mixed into the fuel oil, which is then used to propel sea-going vessels. This releases substances that are harmful to people and the environment. The Belgian authorities have meanwhile classified this diesel oil as waste, which means that this diesel oil may no longer be mixed into the fuel oil. This year alone, 75 tanks full of diesel oil have been transferred from England to Belgium. This lucrative trade has been halted through the intervention of the ILT and the police.

Alarm bells

At the beginning of March, a transport tank caught the attention of an ILT inspector. A pull cord to close the bottom valve of the tank is missing. After consultation with the National Police Unit, alarm bells are going off: the sender is an English company that processes waste oil. Diesel oil is created as a by-product during this processing, but it is often also contaminated with all kinds of harmful substances such as chlorine. Research by the Netherlands Forensic Institute shows that the oil contained no less than 268 ppm chlorine. This exceeds the legally permitted standards in the Netherlands and Belgium: only 50 ppm chlorine is allowed in the Netherlands and 200 ppm in Belgium.

Black waste stream stopped

The high concentration of chlorine in this diesel oil makes it a waste material. As a result, the diesel oil may not be used as a product, but must be processed in a responsible manner. Because the diesel oil is transported through Europe, a so-called EVOA permit must be requested for the transport. Due to the intervention of the ILT and the police, the British company can no longer mix the contaminated diesel oil into the fuel oil.


The collaboration between ILT, police and Belgian authorities shows the effect of joint action against black waste flows, whereby companies earn money by mixing harmful substances at the expense of people and the environment. About 350 dollars is earned per ton. This quickly yields a profit of € 10.500 per tank, according to the inspection of living environment and transport.

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