WEEE fee to include £3.50 per-tonne ‘flat-rate’

WEEE – waste electrical and electronic equipment – compliance fees for 2017 will be set using a methodology drawn up by the Joint Trade Associations, it has been revealed.

This will include a ‘flat rate’ of £3.50 per tonne to reflect the variable costs involved in collecting and processing WEEE, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

The WEEE compliance fee methodology has been announced

The fee is an alternative mechanism that compliance schemes and obligated business can use if they have insufficient recycling evidence to meet their WEEE collection targets for the year. Targets are usually met through acquiring evidence of recycling for material collected at civic amenity sites.

Past fee

Methodologies used to determine the fee are set on a yearly basis. The chosen methodology set for calculating the fee in 2016 had been put forward by the compliance scheme Valpak, which also submitted a proposal in 2017.

JTA proposals had been chosen for calculating the fee in two previous years, 2014 and 2015.

The compliance fee is intended to discourage PCSs (compliance schemes) from collecting volumes of WEEE significantly above their collection targets and then seeking to sell the surplus evidence to schemes seeking more evidence to meet their obligations.

Collection

According to Defra, the methodology for calculating is established in a way that encourages compliance through collection and treatment of WEEE via the network of CA sites across the UK.

The JTA represents around 90% of the companies obligated under the WEEE producer obligation in the UK and has a trio of compliance schemes involved in its work. Its trade association members are: AMDEA, BEAMA, BTHA, EEF, GAMBICA, LIA, PETMA, SEAMA and techUK.

For 2017, JTA has designed a fee methodology which it claims will encourage collections “directly from local authorities”.

The fee to be paid is based on an escalator so the further away a scheme is from its target, the higher the fee it has to pay, proposals published in October suggested.

This, it claims, would also reflect the extent to which a scheme has been collecting directly from local authorities and whether it is a member of the PBS (PCS Balancing System) and whether nationally a particular stream of WEEE is in surplus or in deficit against the national target, JTA has claimed.

JTA’s initial proposal has been amended to include a flat overhead fee of £3.50 per tonne to reflect variable costs associated with bid preparations for local authority collection contracts, on-going management of operational contracts and the costs of auditing, Defra has told stakeholders.

Administration

Administration of the process is to be overseen by the accountancy firm Mazars, which has carried out the work in previous years.

Commenting on the decision today, Susanne Baker, head of environment and compliance at techUK and Chair of the JTA said: “The JTA is pleased with the news. We have worked hard to make sure that the proposal is robust and economically sound.

“The compliance fee needs to strike a delicate balance: it has an important role as a “safety valve” for the compliance market, but also has to avoid acting as a disincentive to collect. This year we have structured the methodology to further encourage local authority collections and membership of the PBS, which we see as a now vital feature of the UK WEEE system.”

Robbie Staniforth, policy manager at compliance scheme Ecosurety said that the method used to determine the fee for 2017 would be significant, as latest figures suggest that a shortfall in tonnages collected could mean that the fee is used to achieve compliance by some schemes ‘to the greatest extent’ since the mechanism was brought in under changes to the WEEE regulations.