DEFRA has picked the WEEE compliance fee proposal submitted by the Joint Trade Associations (JTA) for the 2017 compliance year which ended on 31st January.
A compliance fee applies when producer compliance schemes (PCSs) do not meet their governmental recycling targets. It is a method of incentivising businesses to meet these targets.
This year targets are higher than the year before and the most recent data on WEEE collected and EEE placed on the market indicates that fewer products have been placed on the market and therefore, less WEEE is being generated than expected. This means that fewer businesses have been able to meet their targets.
Seeking to correct these market conditions, JTA’s proposal sets out an escalating compliance fee system: the further away a scheme is from its target, the higher the fee it has to pay. The fee will also reflect:
- The extent to which a scheme has been collecting directly from local authorities
- If it is a member of the PCS Balancing Scheme (PBS)
- Whether a particular stream of WEEE is in surplus or in deficit against the national target.
The intent is to create a compliance fee system that encourages schemes to become members of PBS and collect directly from local authorities.
Susanne Baker, head of environment and compliance at techUK and chair of the JTA, said: “We have worked hard to make sure that the proposal is robust and economically sound. The compliance fee needs to strike a delicate balance: it has an important role as a ’safety valve’ for the compliance market, but also has to avoid acting as a disincentive to collect.
“This year we have structured the methodology to further encourage local authority collections and membership of the PBS [producer compliance scheme balancing system], which we see as a now vital feature of the UK WEEE system.”
The fee will be administered by Mazars, which has a proven track record in administering the fee for 2014 and 2015 compliance when JTA methodology was also used.