ERP France → March 2014 – February 2015

ERP France, an exemplary player
"We can only congratulate ourselves on exceeding our performance targets"...
20 March 2014

...written, in a mail dated March 20, 2014, by the Ecology Ministry following the midterm audit by the DGPR envisaged in the technical specification for waste management organizations working in the WEEE subsidiary. This audit confirmed ERP France's performance in terms of collecting and treating waste.

Landbell invests in France
A joint investment
23 May 2014

ERP France presented the draft to the State moderator to change its statutes in anticipation of a shareholder that might not be a producer acquiring all or part of the capital in the mother company of ERP France. Oral confirmation that the envisaged modifications appear to comply with regulations and invitation to verify them at the Ecology Ministry.

Carried out entirely transparently
20 June 2014

ERP France presented the draft to the Ecology Ministry to change its statutes in contemplation of a shareholder that might not be a producer acquiring all or part of the capital in the mother company of ERP France. Oral confirmation that the envisaged modifications comply with regulations.

27 June 2014

Official notice of purchase of ERP SAS, mother company of ERP France, by topengi, subsidiary of German waste management organization Landbel, thereby becoming the majority shareholder alongside historic producers such as Sony, HP, Electrolux and P&G. In the eyes of French regulations, topengi is an electrical and electronic equipment producer.

Landbell and ERP, two players working together for a plural and innovative WEEE sector
14 July 2014
July 2014

By making their joint work project official, ERP France and Landbell committed to a plural and innovative French WEEE sector that is capable of meeting national and European environmentally-ambitious targets.

Interfering German investor...
10 September 2014

Mails from the President of AMF (Association of French Mayors) at the time, Jacques Pélissard, were sent to the Economy and Ecology Ministries opposing the re-authorization of ERP France in the name of all French Mayors. The German nationality of the new ERP shareholder was presented as a problem and threat not only for the entire French WEEE sector but also for local authorities and the French.

17 September 2014

ERP France handed in an application file to renew its authorization for the period 2015-2020. The waste management organization has been authorized since 2006, renewing in 2010 without any issue.

29 September 2014

Mail from Bernard Casnin, introducing himself as the assignment manager within the General Accommodation Confederation (CGL) at the Ecology Ministry, strongly opposing the re-authorization of ERP France and stigmatizing Landbell's German nationality.

07 October 2014

Through a written question to Parliament, the MP for Bouches-du-Rhône, François-Michel Lambert, asked the Ecology Minister about ERP France. He condemned a German player entering the French WEEE market. The same question was raised on October 30, 2014 in the Senate by the former senator Philippe Marini.

An impartial commission?
17 October 2014

The Authorization Advisory Commission (CCA) set to work. This commission is in charge of giving an advisory opinion on the applications presented by the waste management organizations. It is made up of representatives from local authorities, waste processing companies and federation organizations including the AMF and CGL. ERP France presented its application file. Many questions arose regarding the new shareholder of the mother company and on its governance. Deep-rooted positions were already expressed in the session against ERP France.

07 November 2014

The Authorization Advisory Commission refused to renew the authorization for ERP France for photovoltaic panels. No minutes from the official debates have ever been sent or published.

21 November 2014

The Authorization Advisory Commission rejected renewal of the ERP France authorization for "historic" categories in which ERP France has been operating since 2006. No official minutes from the debates have ever been sent or made public.

02 December 2014

ERP France contacted the Ministries of the Economy, Ecology and the Interior to complain about political pressure from CCA members against the ministries as well as the smear campaign against it.

CGL representative is discredited
03 December 2014

ERP France received a mail from the President of CGL, Michel Fréchet declaring that he had not been informed about B. Casnin's initiative, who is just a simple representative of the CGL. In January 2015, B.Casnin resigned from the CCA of the following sectors : packaging, graphic papers, batteries ans accumulators, furnishing, as well as the commission for the harmonisation and mediation of the sector. However, he mysteriously refuses to leave the WEEE CCA.

Would the French authorities support an anti-German campaign?
04 December 2014
4 December - 17 December

Rallying MPs, journalists and members of civil society and producers who questioned the Ecology Ministry on renewing ERP France's authorization. Explanations were demanded regarding how the case was dealt with.

07 December 2014
4 December - 17 December

ERP France contacted the Economy and Interior Ministry services who indicated that the decision was only in the hands of the Ecology Ministry who they supported.

So what does the Ecology Ministry have to say then?
19 December 2014

By mail, 11 days before the authorization expired, the Ecology Ministry informed ERP France for the first time that its application file (handed in on 17/09) did not meet technical specifications for waste management organizations working in the WEEE sector.

23 December 2014

New written question complaining about the arrival of a German investor in the French WEEE sector by the MP for Puy-de-Dôme, André Chassaigne.

29 December 2014

In answer to the mail from 19/12, and despite being the holiday period, ERP France sent the Ecology Ministry the extra items required in the form of a completed application file 560 pages long.

ERP turns to administrative justice and appeals to the President of the Republic
31 December 2014

once informed of the Ecology Ministry's decision and convinced that the application file handed in was excellent quality, ERP France urgently contracted the Paris Administrative Court at the end of the day with 2 appeals: the first to urgently suspend the decision made on 31/12 and the second to get it annulled.

The decision is made...
31 December 2014

The Ecology Ministry formally notified ERP France at the end of the afternoon that their authorization would not be renewed for the period 2015-2020, obliging the waste management organization to suspend its business, sine die, on 31/12 at midnight.

12 January 2015

The Landbell group informed the President of the Republic of its determination to exert its rights on French soil, whilst denouncing the campaign of disinformation and attacks that ERP France has suffered just because of its new shareholder's nationality.

The validity of ERP's application file is confirmed by an independent consultant
19 January 2015

An independent study was run by PricewaterhouseCoopers in January 2015 on all application files requesting authorization for the WEEE sector waste management organizations covering the categories for which ERP France has requested authorization, confirming that the technical file from ERP France was high quality compared to other files and should have led to authorization.

The Senate takes over the ERP affair
"The rejection for ERP's authorization is fragile"...
20 January 2015

Declared the PS Senator, Gérard Miquel, to justify the Senate's adoption of the amendment that he proposed within the framework of the Energy Transition draft bill. This refers to an anti-ERP measure as it became known around the Senate, concerning the governance of waste management organizations in order to make it illegal for Landbell to own capital of ERP France, via its subsidiary topengi.

Justice finds in favor of ERP...
06 February 2015

The summary trial judge from the Paris Administrative Court suspended the refusal decision taken on 31 December by the Ecology Ministry and ordered the departments of the 3 ministries involved (Ecology, Economy and Interior) to re-examine ERP France's request for authorization within 20 days considering that "the decision to refuse to renew the authorization is tarnished with appreciation errors and casts a serious doubt on the legality of the attacked decisions".

Nevertheless, the Ministry persists...
16 February 2015

The Senate adopted the "anti-ERP device" when examining the Energy Transition draft bill. However, when summoned to explain itself on the case file, the Ecology Ministry stated that adopting this measure "will give a legal basis for the appeal in the supreme court" that it wishes to hand in to the council of state following the summary order in favor of ERP France.

27 February 2015

Deadline given to the signing Ministries to make a new decision on ERP France's request for authorization. No answer has been sent to ERP France who has received no questions from the ministries since the summary order.

03 March 2015

Following the absence of a response from the ministries, ERP France filed a complaint with the administrative court requesting an immediate answer.

04 April 2015

Publication in the « Journal Officiel » of a decree mentioning the refusal of ERP France’s certification. Nonetheless, the fight continues with the appeal filed on 31 December 2014 requesting the annulment of the refusal, as well as with the appeal in cassation to the Council of State. ERP France remains confident that the outcome of these legal actions will be positive.