Producer responsibility regulations under review

WEEE Design

September 2012

The Producer Responsibility (PR) Regulations currently in place in the UK have been developed to deliver commitment to the four EU Directives that cover WEEE, batteries, packaging, and end of life vehicles. However, businesses criticise the major differences between the four PR regimes. Both the government and businesses believe that overall effectiveness of the regulations could be improved and the administrative burdens placed on businesses reduced.

Therefore, the PR regimes are currently being reviewed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). A list of measures has been published by the Department that will be presented for consideration during a consultation launched in early 2013 in an effort to make the regimes more aligned and reduce costs for businesses.

Changes to consider that impact upon all regimes include:

  • Use of common terminology and definitions to enable easier understanding and dialogue across the regimes;
  • Introducing de minimis positions across all three regimes which removes similar sized businesses from regulatory burden;
  • The introduction of group registrations across all regimes for businesses under common ownership;
  • Adoption of a single common process for recovering fees;
  • Permitting flexibility to allocate evidence to next compliance period could reduce risk of non-compliance with regulatory targets;
  • Single accreditation and approval process for reprocessors, exporters and AATFs operating across regimes.

Source: Perchards/Sagis