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BIS selects WEEE compliance fee mechanism

Central government has chosen the Joint Trade Association Group’s (JTA) compliance fee mechanism for the 2014 waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) compliance period.

BIS selects WEEE compliance fee mechanism

Nine trade associations from the electro-technical sector wrote to the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) in October 2014, urging it to adopt a new way of operating waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) compliance fee mechanisms. The JTA had been formed ‘to achieve the common goal of introducing a fairer WEEE system’, and its suggested fee, which has now been adopted, was designed in part by three producer-owned producer compliance schemes (PCSs), ERP UK, Recolight and REPIC.

The fee, which forms part of government’s work on the revised Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) Regulations, enables producer compliance schemes (PCSs) that fail to achieve collection targets to pay a compliance fee to meet the cost of their financing obligations. BIS had received three proposals for how the fee should be calculated, and under the successful mechanism, PCSs will pay higher fees the farther away they are from reaching their targets.

The compliance fee is intended to discourage PCSs from collecting WEEE ‘significantly above their targets and then seeking to sell that surplus at excessive prices to PCSs that are short of their target amount’.

Compliance fee formula

As such, the JTA recommended that the government introduce:

  • different compliance fees for each WEEE stream;
  • fees based on the average direct cost of transport and treatment for each stream;
  • weighted averages, so that PCSs with small tonnage collections do not distort the fee calculation;
  • a requirement for only those PCSs needing to use the fee to supply cost data (instead of mandating all PCSs to provide data);
  • a fee escalator, so that PCSs that narrowly miss targets pay a fee close to the weighted average cost, while those that collect nothing would need to pay double the weighted average; and
  • no fee for all large household appliances due to their inherent ‘positive value’.

It outlined that a methodology developed by economics consultancy group FTI should be used to calculate compliance fees and that accountancy firm Mazars LLP (Mazars) should administer the fee.

‘Pleased that our proposal has been approved for use by BIS’

BIS has now reportedly selected the JTA formula as the official compliance fee mechanism for 2014, and relevant PCSs will have until 31 March 2015 to pay their dues.

Commenting on the news, JTA Chairman Richard Hughes, who is also Technical Manager at JTA member AMDEA (the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances), said: “The JTA worked hard to ensure that the compliance fee mechanism we proposed was fair, robust, and straightforward to calculate. We selected Mazars as administrators, for their demonstrable expertise and independence. We are therefore pleased that our proposal has been approved for use by BIS.”

He added: “Any PCSs wishing to use the compliance fee for 2014 can register their interest with Mazars by emailing [email protected]. Requests should be sent as soon as possible, as schemes need to complete their own declarations of compliance to the Environment Agencies by end March 2015.”

Simon Eves, Deputy Chairman of the JTA, Chairman of the Environment Strategy Council at techUK, and Head of Environmental Affairs at Panasonic UK, added: “The compliance fee is an important element in the UK’s new fairer WEEE system. It provides a legitimate way for producer compliance schemes who have fallen short of their target to comply.”

Find out more about the JTA’s compliance fee mechanism.

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