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Environment Agency Launches Consultation on WEEE Charges

11th December 2017

Faye Perry

A consultation on charges across a number of Environment Agency regulations has been launched. WEEE Compliance producer, compliance scheme and AATF charges are under review.  

Why the Change?

The Environment Agency has established a ‘Strategic Review of Charges’ to reform its charging structures for 2018-2023. The overall aim of the review is to set charges in such a way that they ‘work better for businesses and the environment… and are financially stable’. Recent figures show that the Environment Agency has a deficit of £1.4 million to recoup in relation to WEEE compliance regulatory activities, which include monitoring producers, compliance schemes and treatment operators and ensuring that UK recycling targets are met. The proposed changes aim to increase transparency and facilitate a full cost recovery system.

Who is Affected?

The WEEE system is funded by the businesses which operate within it. The consultation proposals will only affect businesses with a registered office in England. Businesses based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland will not be affected.

Producers

This group is the most affected by the proposals, the rationale being that producers are the main beneficiaries of Environment Agency regulatory activities and should, therefore, pay the bulk of recouping the monetary deficit. 

  • The large producer (over 5 tonnes of EEE placed on the market) fee is proposed to increase to £800 from its current £445, or £210 for companies with a turnover of £1 million or below or £30 for non-VAT registered companies.
  • Small producer (less than 5 tonnes of EEE placed on the market) fees will remain at £30.

This proposal aims to level the playing field for all producers required to register under the regulations. It is acknowledged that these proposals increase the risk of large producers moving to compliance schemes regulated by another agency with lower registration fees. DEFRA will consult on the introduction of a regulatory amendment which would require all large producers to pay the registration charge determined by their main place of business rather than the agency through which they are registering.   

Compliance Schemes

An annual subsistence charge of £12,500 is proposed alongside the current one-off approval fee of £12,150. This aims to cover the costs of the work involved in compliance scheme regulatory activity. 

Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) and Approved Exporters (AEs)

  • Large AATFs and AEs (issue more than 400 tonnes of evidence annually) will see fees increase to £3,500 from £2,570.
  • Small AATFs and AEs (issues 400 tonnes or below of evidence annually) will see fees increase by £100 to £600.
  • Exporters will see the charge for adding additional overseas export sites to their approval rise by £40 to £150.

The lower increases for this group are to ensure that sufficient treatment operators remain within the system to treat, recover and recycle WEEE and issue the corresponding evidence required by producers to meet their obligations.

Why Respond?

The changes put forward in the consultation will have a direct impact upon the cost of compliance for producers of electrical and electronic equipment. We strongly encourage you to have your say.

How to Respond

The consultation closes on 26 January 2018. You can respond directly to DEFRA here or send your responses to us at Comply Direct by completing our short survey here by 19 January 2018. We will then collate our member comments and include these in our formal response. We recommend that you review the consultation documents, available here, prior to responding. 

If you have any questions about the consultation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager or the WEEE team at weee@complydirect.com or 01756 794 951.