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ESA pleased at draft landfill tax amendments

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has welcomed draft legislation on a testing regime for trommel fines from HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC).

The ESA praised the collaborative effort that led to the new rules, which will help to clarify when the waste resulting from recycling processes, grit and screenings can be eligible for the lower rate of landfill tax.

Sam Corp, head of regulations, said: “ESA and its members have been working closely with HMRC and Treasury officials during the past two years to develop a practical and objective testing regime for trommel fines, and I am pleased that this work is finally paying off.

“It is vital that, once implemented, HMRC enforces the regime robustly to ensure the scheme’s success, and to prevent the misclassification of waste fines which has been so costly to responsible operators and to the UK economy.

“I hope the draft legislation and guidance provides some clarity to operators about how the scheme will work. We will of course be going through the documents in detail to ensure that the proposals match our expectations.”

As confirmed in the latest Budget, trommel fines will from April be eligible for the £2.60/tonne rate if their loss on ignition testing is below 15%. From April 2016, the threshold will be lowered to 10%.

Landfill operators must inspect and test the materials they receive at their sites. The frequency of the tests depends on a risk assessment. The details are included in HMRC’s guidance published alongside the draft legislation.

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