Sanctioned Riga Fertilizer Terminal misses deadline to remove hazardous cargo from Riga Port

  • 2022-07-01
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Riga Fertilizer Terminal (RFT) has missed the June 30 deadline to remove a potentially hazardous mineral fertilizer cargo from the Freeport of Riga, Aija Jalinska, a spokeswoman for the State Environmental Service, informed LETA. 

According to Jalinska, the removal of the fertilizers was not possible the documents and their versions, which are currently being scrutinized by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), could not be accepted and raised reasonable concerns that the approval of these documents might enable the company to circumvent international sanctions. 

The authorities concerned have organized meetings with RTF representatives and informed about the flaws and omissions in the submitted documents. 

Since the company is responsible for compliance with safe storage rules and the cargo belongs to a person subjected to international sanctions, the State Environmental Service has warned RTF and the owner of the cargo that if the mineral fertilizers are not taken away from the port in a reasonable period of time, the state might take over the cargo. 

The representative of the State Environmental Service said that for the time being RTF is ensuring a safe storage of the cargo and that it does not pose safety risks at the moment. The precondition for the cargo's removal is properly prepared documentation and their approval by relevant authorities. 

The State Environmental Service now expects RTF to remove the cargo from the port by August 30.

As reported, the State Environmental Service in May this year suspended the polluting activity permit that had been issued to Riga Fertilizer Terminal for short-term storage and reloading of mineral fertilizers in the Freeport of Riga territory.

Around 113,000 tons of mineral fertilizers, which are classed as a hazardous cargo, are stuck at the terminal due to sanctions applied to the company. Although the fertilizer cargo is not posing risks to the environment or people at the moment, it can become dangerous if not stored properly or remains at the terminal for too long.

JSC Riga Fertilizer Terminal had been ordered to remove the most hazardous chemicals from the terminal by June 30, 2022 and to remove all chemicals by August 30.

Since Belarusian-Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin, the owner of Riga Fertilizer Terminal, has been subject to Western sanctions which are directly applicable also to his companies, the assets of Riga Fertilizer Terminal have been frozen, the State Environmental Service informed.

Riga Fertilizer Terminal belongs to Uralchem Freight, whose owner is Maazepin, and Rigas Tirdzniecibas Osta (RTO), which is further owner by Latvian politician Ainars Slesers and ex-politician Andris Skele.