Updated plastic packaging tax guidance released

Further guidance on the plastic packaging tax has been published by HMRC, including new exemptions.

Whilst not being the full guidance promised ahead of the tax going live in April 2022, it does provide important clarifications and introduces three new categories of exemptions.

Under the tax, plastic packaging is defined as a product “suitable for use, whether alone or in combination with other products, in the containment, protection, handling, delivery or presentation of goods at any stage in the supply chain of the goods, from the producer of the goods to the consumer or user”. There was concern from industry that this definition, unless limited, would be too broad. For instance, suitcases technically would fall under the above definition.

As such there are now three categories exempted from the tax, as follows:

  • Category 1 – products designed to be suitable to contain goods at the time of sale to the consumer or user. These might include toolboxes, first aid boxes, or DVD cases.
  • Category 2 – products designed so that the packaging is an integral part of the goods and are necessary to enable the goods to be used by the consumer or user. Examples of these are toner cartridges, inhalers, or tea bags.
  • Category 3 – products which are primarily designed to be re-used for the presentation of goods to a consumer or user and have been permanently set aside for this purpose. For instance, a display shelf in shop.

Further information on evidence requirements, record keeping and liability to notify HMRC are also detailed in the updated guidance. 

The full updated plastic packaging tax guidance can be viewed here.

Prepare for the tax now

We strongly advise you to start preparing now to ensure that your business is ready for when the plastic packaging tax is implemented. You can do this by making sure you stay fully informed, are capturing the right data and modelling future costs.

We can assist organisations who will be affected by the plastic packaging tax now, through data preparation and analysis. We can help you to capture and audit data in the enhanced detail that the tax will require, enabling cost forecasting to model how your business will be impacted so that you can be fully prepared. To find out more please contact us.

Louisa Goodfellow

Policy Manager

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.

Written by Louisa Goodfellow Published 04/08/2021 Topics Packaging
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