Defra recently announced its annual appraisal of submissions to manage the UK WEEE Compliance Fee
The secretary of state is likely to approve the Compliance Fee after the consultation closes on the 1 December 2017.
The Compliance Fee is an alternative way for producer compliance schemes to ensure they fulfil their obligations under the WEEE regulations. It was introduced as a pragmatic fiscal mechanism to ensure schemes that narrowly missed targets could still comply with the law.
Before it was introduced, the cost of WEEE evidence was overly susceptible to inflation at the end of the compliance year due to supply and demand principles. The market correction has led to more stable WEEE evidence prices across the industry.
The fee also has an element of penalisation to ensure that the appetite of the market to collect and treat WEEE remains high. However, the quarterly figures are a little down compared to the government targets so it is likely that some schemes will need to use the fee in order to comply with the law.
Motivate schemes to fund local authority collections
The two proposals under consideration are from the Joint Trade Association (JTA) and Valpak. The key difference between the two options is that the JTA support the fee being proportionate, based on scheme size, while Valpak believe the fee should be the same regardless of scheme size. Valpak’s proposal was selected in 2016, while the JTA ran the methodology for the first two years of the fee’s existence in 2014 and 2015.
Robbie Staniforth, commercial manager, commented “At first glance it looks as if proposals are fairly similar to previous years but we’ll be analysing in more detail in the days to come. We can see the logic in trying to motivate schemes to fund local authority collections. Schemes that previously worked with local authorities appear less keen to do so and it’s an issue that needs to be addressed."
"However, we haven’t seen any trends to indicate small or large schemes in particular have stopped working with local authorities so we will be analysing this further before deciding which option Ecosurety supports.”
Find out more about the consultation here.
Innovation and policy director
Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.