Defra launched a consultation on the WEEE compliance fee methodology last week with two proposals to consider.
The UK WEEE Regulations (2013) established a system whereby producers of electronic equipment must finance the collection and recycling of waste electronics, the extent of which depends on their market share. An annual collection target is also set, imposed on producer compliance schemes (PCS) on behalf of their members.
The compliance fee is an alternative method for PCS and obligated producers to remain compliant with WEEE collection targets, if they have not attained the requisite amount of recycling evidence to meet the recycling target. It’s worth noting that the application of a compliance fee is at the annual discretion of the Secretary of State.
This year the WEEE compliance fee consultation is open for comment until 18 November, with two proposals to consider by the Joint Trade Association (JTA) and Valpak.
Open to consultation
Each year the compliance fee is open to consultation, and respondents are asked to rate two methodologies against a number of criteria which include the experience of the operator, the calculation methodology, and the timetable for implementation.
Valpak’s methodology for 2021 proposes to calculate individual compliance fee amounts for each PCS via four variables. These include an averaged base cost for the collection and sorting of WEEE from local authorities, a standard fee that reflects operational costs, and an escalator that ensures PCS are paying relative to their obligation shortfall.
The latter is a change from Valpak’s previous submissions, where the escalator was based on the national shortfall. There is also a proposed £2,000 participation fee for each PCS wishing to use the compliance fee.
The JTA’s methodology uses a similar calculation, and there are also three adjustments made from last year’s methodology: an uplift for those not participating in the Producer Balancing Scheme (PBS) has been removed; there will no adjustment for costs relating to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); and the collection shortfall factor has been removed. There would also be an administration charge for those wishing to use the fee.
An important element of the WEEE system
Head of operations at Ecosurety, Clement Gaubert, commented "The encouraging Q2 WEEE data released in September would suggest that most streams are on track to meet the annual target."
"The compliance fee remains an important element of the WEEE system which should be designed in a way that encourages compliance schemes to comply through collection."
If Defra approves the JTA’s methodology for 2021, it will be the fourth consecutive year the Association has administrated the compliance fee.
You can view and respond to the consultation on the WEEE compliance fee methodology for 2021 here.