It was confirmed this week that ministers have approved the Joint Trade Association (JTA) WEEE compliance fee methodology for 2020, to be administered by accountant firm Mazars.
This WEEE compliance fee is a mechanism used by schemes to remain compliant in the event of a shortfall of evidence available to meet their obligation target, and was introduced in 2013 as a way to stop unhindered WEEE evidence trading, effectively capping prices.
The finances raised are managed by Material Focus, who use it to fund consumer awareness campaigns on e-waste disposal and WEEE research. This will be the fourth consecutive year that the JTA’s methodology was chosen for the compliance fee.
The proposal from the JTA was accepted for 2021 in full, bar one amendment – that alongside the normal escalator the surplus escalator used in previous years, be reinstated. This escalator is applied where there is more evidence in a given WEEE stream than is needed for the national target.
There were two methodologies submitted last year for the 2021 fee - the other being presented by Valpak. Defra specifically asked in the consultation process that current market conditions relating to COVID-19 were considered, therefore the JTA proposal is based on its 2019 methodology but with two key modifications.
These modifications are that fees will only be paid if collection rates were below actual national collections and that renumeration would occur for tonnages collected above COVID-19 thresholds.
Head of policy Robbie Staniforth commented "2020 was unprecedented and exceptional in many ways. The chosen methodology balances the amount of actual WEEE collected between producers, rather than penalising them for not meeting their target. The Government have clearly tried to reduce the burden on producers."
"However, the methodology continues to penalise those compliance schemes with a smaller obligation, compared to the more dominant ones. It also does little to help increase the amount of WEEE recycled or reused in the UK. With a consultation due later this year, hopefully some of these aspects will be addressed."
If you have any questions or comments to make about the WEEE compliance fee, please contact our team.
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.