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BIS changes policy on compliance fees

BIS has changed the date for announcing the level of fees for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) producer compliance schemes (PCSs) in an attempt “to prevent the speculative collection of excess WEEE”.

Under the scheme, as part of the 2013 Regulations, PCSs must either reach their WEEE collection target for the year or pay to make up for the shortfall.

Phil Conran, director at consultancy 360 Environmental, told MRW: “It was generally understood that the compliance fee would be known before the end of the year.”

This would enable PCSs to assess whether it would be more economical to try to reach the collection target or pay a fee.

New guidance (file right) from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) said compliance fees would in future be approved by the secretary of state by mid-February, with PCSs providing collection evidence by the end of January.

A BIS spokesperson said: “The decision to announce compliance fees after the end of this year is deliberate. Announcement of compliance fees after [January] is designed to prevent the speculative collection of excess WEEE and its trading at a price based on the known fee.”

Conran said PCSs would therefore not know whether it would be more economical to try and reach the collection target or to pay the fee.

However, he added that collecting sufficient material to reach targets should not be too burdensome as the targets have not gone up a huge amount. The 2014 household WEEE collection target is 490,000 tonnes (a 3% increase from last year’s target).

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