In January the department for business (BIS) confirmed to the many WEEE compliance schemes around the UK that it plans to go ahead with its decision to introduce a compliance fee for WEEE disposal. This came just as the departments deadline loomed for schemes to post their WEEE evidence for the 2014 compliance period.
Department For Business To Introduce WEEE Disposal Fee
The revised WEEE regulations aim to establish a system of household WEEE collection targets for producer compliance schemes. Under the new regulations there is an option which states that should a scheme fail to meet its collection targets, it can pay a ‘compliance fee’ in order to meet the cost of its members’ obligations.
Individual schemes will not know how much they will have to pay until all of the separate schemes have submitted their final evidence for the year. If BIS had not gone ahead with introducing the fee, any scheme which would be unable to secure enough evidence to meet their obligations could have been at risk of prosecution for being in breach of the regulations.
Workers in the sector claim that this change will alter the current ‘market dynamics’ between WEEE disposal companies, because any schemes which may not have secured enough WEEE evidence at the end of the year, have less incentive to purchase it at an inflated price from those schemes with more than the target.
In information to schemes issued in January before the change, a BIS official said: “Following the consultation held last autumn, I am writing to inform you that the Government has decided to approve a compliance fee methodology and administrator for the 2014 WEEEE compliance period as provided under the 2013 WEEE Regulations. Three proposals were received and we will announce details of the winning bid week commencing 2 February.”
The level at which the fee is set is seen to be crucial to how the new WEEE system will function, as it is intended to act as an incentive to schemes to meet their collection targets, without the need to purchase evidence from schemes who may have collected more than they require.
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