The Government has indicated that companies sending trommel fines to landfill will be able to appeal test results if the material is not found to qualify for the lower tax rate.
Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his Autumn Statement that from April 2015 a loss on ignition (LoI) test would be used to determine whether waste resulting from recycling processes, grit and screenings can be eligible for the £2.5/tonne rate.
For the first 12 months a LoI threshold of 15% will be in place but that this will then be reduced to 10%.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has now said a second LoI procedure could be carried out if requested, and that the lowest result achieved in the two tests would be taken into account.
A number of waste companies had complained that LoI results could vary depending on which laboratory the fines were sent to.
HMRC set out further details on how the testing regime will work in response to these concerns as part of a consultation launched in July. It is also in ongoing discussions with an industry working group that includes skip hire trade body Uroc and the Environmental Services Association.
HMRC said it would ensure LoI tests are consistent.
“These [details] have been discussed and agreed with the government - industry working group and include information about the preparation and testing of samples,” it said.
“The working group has agreed that the LoI testing temperature under the LoI regime should be 440° Celsius. This is a published, recognised temperature for undertaking LoI tests on soils and other organic matter.”
It added that draft secondary legislation would be shared and agreed with the industry working group this month.
The consultation response also said HMRC will produce guidance on the minimum information that should be included in pre-acceptance questionnaires handed to landfill operators.