November 28, 2021

A Châteaubriant company in court for wanting to export its “waste” to Tunisia

A company from Châteaubriant (Loire-Atlantique) which exports auto parts to Africa has been tried by the Nantes criminal court. © Illustration

A company from Châteaubriant (Loire-Atlantique) specializing in the sale of automotive spare parts abroad was judged this Thursday, September 30, 2021 by the Nantes Criminal Court for “export without customs declaration applicable to goods dangerous to health public ”.

The company – which employs 30 people on a park of seven hectares and a store of 10,000 m2 – had indeed been pinned in March 2018 after the discovery of 93 engines intended for Tunisia “partially” cleansed, badly “stacked” and ” not correctly ”labeled on the port of Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône): customs had deduced that this was“ waste ”whose export was prohibited.

The company maintains for its part that these were “second-hand parts” intended to be “valued” in Africa within the framework of the “circular economy”. “Thanks to our working methods and our respect for the environment, in 1998 we obtained the Qualicert service certification”, the company emphasizes on its website.

“An engine can never be completely cleansed of its oil: the use of a solvent would have a counterproductive effect, and cleaning with water would be nonsense”, pleaded his lawyer, Me René Ledru, this Thursday, September 30, 2021, during the court hearing. “There is indeed a risk of corrosion of the engine, which is intended to be reused. “

Since “everything is nickel”

The latter therefore thinks that the Marseille company responsible for conveying the Castelbriantais container to Tunisia has “most certainly added parts that were not properly cleaned up”. But, questioned on this point before the hearing, officials of the Transit 13 company “fell out of the closet”, according to customs.

“The question is whether it is waste or second-hand auto parts,” said the customs representative. The “average” stacking of the engines in the container, the “strong smell of oil that emanates” and the presence of “sawdust” on the ground to absorb the oil that flows accredits, according to her, the first track.

Specialized officials attached to the Ministry of the Environment have moreover “very clearly” concluded in this direction, she underlined.

But, since this control of March 2018, “everything is nickel” had underlined to the gendarmes the manager, absent at the hearing.

The engines are much cleaner, properly stacked and labeled.

The customs representative.

“This means that this was not the case at the time of the audit… This is a company that we know a lot, and with which we have had a lot of litigation which resulted in transactions. “

Decision on December 2, 2021

The representative of the administration therefore asked the judges to order the Châteaubriant company and its boss to pay a customs fine of € 6,000. The public prosecutor, meanwhile, asked for a “solemn warning” of eight months suspended prison sentence towards the boss for his “recurring behavior”. The Nantes Criminal Court, which has reserved its judgment, will render its decision on December 2, 2021.

Has this article been useful to you? Note that you can follow L’Éclaireur de Châteaubriant in the Mon Actu area. In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.