This week Defra published a regulatory position statement (RPS) confirming that whilst the first two reporting deadlines for large producers remain unchanged, no enforcement action will be taken if they are submitted by 31 May 2024.
The RPS has been put in place as Defra has decided to defer the coming into force of the Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility main Statutory Instrument by 12 months. The RPS states that the first and second reports must be submitted as separate submissions on or before 31 May 2024.
Defra has made clear that the RPS does not change the legal requirement for large producers to report their 2023 H1 and H2 data to the Environment Agency on or before 1 October 2023 and 1 April 2024, respectively. However, the Environment Agency will “not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with these legal requirements if you meet the requirements in the RPS”.
“Use all reasonable endeavours”
In the Business Readiness Forum on 5 September, Defra communicated that they “(…)encourage obligated producers to use all reasonable endeavours to report packaging data by the current reporting deadlines of 1 October 2023 and 1 April 2024 wherever possible.”
“The packaging data is vital to our work and will be used to improve the modelling of illustrative base fees, which we know obligated producers need in order to plan effectively for their businesses. Without this reporting data, we cannot provide producers with the indicative costs they urgently need. The more data we have to work with, the more accurate the illustrative base fees be. We will share these first estimates by the end of 2023/early 2024.”
It is worth noting that the Environment Agency can withdraw or amend the regulatory position at any time before it expires, if they consider it necessary.
Ecosurety deadlines remain unchanged
The deadlines for members to send their data to Ecosurety are earlier than the government deadlines of 1 October and 1 April, to enable us to process and collectively submit their data. All Ecosurety members have already been informed of the deadlines they are required to send us their data by, and these remain unchanged.
We strongly advise all members to submit their data to us in accordance with the original deadlines we have communicated to them for the following reasons:
- To avoid dealing with multiple submissions close together, or in a worst-case scenario at the same time.
- To benefit from key experience that will help you prepare for the next submission in Q1 2024.
- To enable us to identify gaps and areas of improvement in your data that can be actioned now.
- To provide better context for the fee modulation work that DEFRA are completing, which will influence the future fees paid by producers.
If you are an Ecosurety member and have concerns about meeting your data reporting deadlines, we strongly encourage you to contact your account manager as soon as possible so that we can help.
The data reporting deadline for small producers to submit their 2023 annual data in 2024 is unchanged, but Defra have confirmed it is “currently under review”.