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Defra considers level of fee for missing WEEE targets

compliance fee weee is recycled

Valpak and the Joint Trade Association (JTA) have set out rival methodologies to calculate the fee producer compliance schemes (PCSs) will need to pay if they miss 2017 WEEE collection targets.

Defra ministers decide on a year-by-year basis how much manufacturers of electrical and electronic goods should pay, through PCSs, if they don’t collect the required amount of WEEE.

JTA, which represents UK companies obligated under WEEE regulations through trade associations such as AMDEA and EEF, and Valpak have submitted alternative calculation methods for the past few years. JTA won out in 2014 and 2015 while Valpak was chosen in 2016.

JTA consulted with ERP, Recolight and Repic in drafting its proposals. It wants the fee to be based on an escalator, meaning firms will pay according to how far they are away from their individual target.

Valpak proposes a £2,000 set payment to join a compliance fee, which is then calculated partly through from weighted average collection and treatment costs. These are then escalated depending on the shortfall from national targets for each WEEE category.

Nigel Harvey, Recolight chief executive, said collection rates of several WEEE streams were falling short of national targets.

“We believe that their [JTA] proposal matches current market conditions well. In particular, the calculation method they propose should encourage more PCSs to collect WEEE from local authorities.

“That is a vital response to concerns expressed by some local authorities this year that their WEEE was no longer attractive to schemes.”

Harvey said the Valpak proposal would mean a scheme’s fee the further it is away from the national target.

“That makes the Valpak system seem unfair – it means that a scheme with a relatively small target can collect nothing, and yet still see virtually no increase on the fee it pays. That does not seem to properly incentivise collection.”

A Repic spokesperson said: “Striking the right balance between compliance fee costs and the endeavour of those PCSs that actively serve to make the UK WEEE sector operate for producers and local authorities is key. We believe the JTA proposal does this and is an essential part of continuing the success of the UK WEEE regime.”

Valpak sales and marketing director Duncan Simpson said: ”What may seem fair from one point of view could also have undesirable consequences for other parties.

”For example, a small scheme that had been unable to achieve its targets through its own collections could be held to ransom by a larger scheme because the large scheme knows they would face a high compliance fee and so could demand a higher price for any surplus WEEE collections they have.

”We therefore decided that the fairest and simplest approach was to make the fee escalate with tonnage in a way which is the same for everybody, regardless of scheme size.”

Compliance fees will need to be paid by the end of March 2018.

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