On Monday this week, Defra released the consultation for the WEEE compliance fee methodology for 2020.
Two methodologies are up for consideration, submitted by Valpak and the Joint Trade Association (JTA), which both ensure that the impacts of COVID-19 are accounted for. This follows a decrease in the 2020 WEEE collection targets announced earlier in the year, to take into account the impact of the pandemic.
The WEEE compliance fee allows compliance schemes to remain compliant in the case of a shortfall of evidence available to meet their obligations. As WEEE collection targets have been missed for the last three years, and are very likely to be missed this year, the fee is regrettably an essential mechanism.
That said, the millions subsequently raised by the compliance fee, managed by Material Focus, are used for important campaigns such as Recycle your electricals and for supporting recyclers.
For example, £2.5m of grants and interest-free loans were distributed by Material Focus to support the electrical waste and re-use sector hit by the COVID-19 crisis and in September they also launched a request for research proposals requiring up to £50,000 that can address the significant losses of electrical waste each year.
Every year Defra encourages industry to submit a compliance fee methodology that accounts for current market conditions, and were clear in guidance released earlier this year that COVID-19 should be prioritised. This guidance adds further complexities to the fee mechanism.
The two methodologies proposed contain several differences, but essentially try to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on national WEEE collections and calculate compliance thresholds accordingly. They both include a contribution toward administrative costs and the fund managed by Material Focus – in the JTA’s submission they propose a ‘Variable Administrative Cost’ and in Valpak’s a flat £2000 contribution.
Have your say
The consultation can be found here, alongside other consultation documents released by Defra. The consultation will close on 9 November 2020.
If you have any questions or comments to make about the WEEE compliance fee, please contact our team.
You can also arrange a WEEE collection using our simple online form by clicking here.
As Policy advisor Louisa provides key support to our team, including preparing reports on environmental policy issues and maintaining awareness of new developments. As such she will often be found coordinating responses to policy consultations, advocating policy positions and providing internal guidance to current legislation.