Update: 5 May 2020
The Environment Agency has recently updated its COVID 19 regulatory position statement for producers.
The expectation is for producers to take all reasonable steps to comply with regulatory requirements, using contingency plans available to help. If it is not possible to comply due to these exceptional circumstances, Producers must:
- notify their usual regulatory contact
- minimise any unavoidable non-compliance
- minimise the effects of any unavoidable non-compliance
- prioritise complying with regulatory requirements that directly protect the environment and human health
- keep records showing why a non-compliance occurred, for example records of staff absences, contractors being unavailable or supply chain failures
It is worth making clear that the position statement only applies to producers impacted by COVID 19. If they can not provide sufficient evidence meeting the requirements set, the Environment Agency's usual position will stand and resubmission/late fees will apply.
Environment Agency's COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statement for Producers
As of 20 April 2020, the Environment Agency published their COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statement For Producers. This statement is in regard to the original deadline of 07 April where obligated producers are required to register with the Environment Agency, either directly or through a compliance scheme such as ourselves. Due to concerns raised from producers not being able to provide accurate information by 07 April, the Environment Agency has therefore extended the deadline to 07 July.
Usually, if obligated packaging producers do not comply with the 07 April deadline, the Environment Agency enforces an additional late registration fee of £110. Another scenario in which producers can incur additional charges is if they provide false/misleading information; in this situation, the Environment Agency would issue a re-submission fee of £220.
The new guidance states that the extension only applies in cases where it was not practicable to register as an obligated packaging producer or provide accurate and complete information (or both) by 7 April 2020 due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Environment Agency requires producers to fully document the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it has affected their ability to register by 7 April 2020, including any measures they have taken in response. Producers must keep these documents for 12 months and make them available to the Environment Agency on request.
Please note, this COVID-19 regulatory position statement will be withdrawn on 8 July 2020. After this date, the Environment Agency will apply the existing regulatory provision and charge late registration and re-submission fees, as mentioned above.
To read the Environment Agency’s full response, please click HERE.
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