The Environment Agency has confirmed a new fee structure that will take affect from 2019, with compliance schemes and large producers to experience significant increases.
Rather than apply a single fixed charge to all WEEE producers, the EA has decided to make no change to small producers, who will not see an increase to their existing £30 fee. A reduced fee increase will apply to all non-VAT registered large producers and also overseas large producers, due to the latter costing less to regulate than those in the UK.
Large producers registered for VAT however, will see the maximum increase to £750 in their annual EA fees. These fees are paid in addition to the cost of the WEEE recycling evidence required to offset their obligations.
Compliance schemes to experience biggest increase
Compliance Schemes are set to experience by far the biggest increase, from currently paying no fee to £12,500 from 2019. AATFs (Authorised Approved Treatment Facilities) on the other hand will not experience any fee increase, with the EA commenting that "Whilst we received responses that suggested we should increase waste treatment facility and exporter charges, we do not view this as a viable alternative charging system. The alternative option presented in responses would be a significant divergence from the current system and raise costs of entry significantly."
"We are not minded to adopt the model proposed in responses as the costs could provide a barrier to entry for many small waste treatment facilities, and we still see that the fairest means to recover the full costs for regulating the WEEE system is through the producer registration charge."
Adequately funded to enforce the law
Robbie Staniforth, policy manager at Ecosurety, commented “We passionately believe that compliance schemes should be high quality operations and expert in their role of enabling producers to maximise recycling. Good compliance schemes complement the efforts of the Environment Agency but it also makes sense for us to ensure that the enforcement of regulations is adequately funded.”
“We have always believed that compliance scheme need to be regulated, just like the rest of interest groups involved in producer compliance. The introduction of a subsistence fee for schemes will help to ensure that the Environment Agency is adequately funded to ensure they enforce the law.”
We would like to reassure our members that this new subsistence fee will be absorbed by Ecosurety and won't have any effect on the membership prices they pay.
Regarding the fee increase for large producers, he continued “However, we are disappointed in the increase in fees that will be charged to many large producers. Producers already pay fees based on the amount of EEE they produce, which is the most effective way to encourage quality recycling and investment in the UK’s recycling infrastructure.”
You can view the full consultation response from the EA here.
If you would like to discuss how these fee increases affect your compliance costs, pleased contact our team.
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This webinar is CPD accredited.