Support for BIS planned changes to the UK WEEE System

Packaging

August 2013

Outcomes of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ (BIS) consultation on the proposed changes to the system were published 28 August. The results indicate that the majority of stakeholders favoured plans for changes to the system.

BIS is considering a number of options to change the WEEE system following the adoption of the WEEE Recast by the European Union on 24 July 2012.

The options proposed by BIS are:

  • Option 1: No change and continue with the current system;
  • Option 2: Introduce a ‘National Producer Compliance Scheme’, instead of competition between current compliance schemes;
  • Option 3: Setting targets for compliance schemes along with a ‘compliance fee’ if these are not met, instead of the trading of WEEE evidence data between collection schemes, and;
  • Option 4: Matching collection sites to compliance schemes.

Option 4 was found to be the proposal voted as first choice by the most respondents. Producers and their trade associations, support this option as it would cut compliance costs considerably. Some compliance schemes also favour this option. However, local authorities were strong opponents to this option, as they would no longer be able to choose their own PCS.

Although Option 4 received the highest number of ‘first choice’ votes, Option 3 was selected as first or second choice by 97% of respondents. Option 2 had very little support, with 93% respondents choosing it as their 3rd or 4th ranked option. Lastly, Option 1 had the highest number of respondents choosing it as their least favoured option.

However, the stakeholder votes do not decide which option the government will employ. The BIS response will be published in September. The new regulations are scheduled to come into effect on 1 January 2014.

There was a large amount of support from all stakeholder groups for the de minimis proposals. The de minimis proposal seeks to reduce reporting and administrative burdens on producers placing a low volume of EEE on the market in the UK. A total of 87% of respondents supported the proposal of a de minimis, 6% of respondents did not support the proposal and 7% were not sure.

There were mixed views on the level of the de minimis, with 46% supporting the proposal of a 5 tonne de minimis, 9% supportingthe other suggested options of 1, 10 or 20 tonnes and 45% selecting “other” as their response.

thinkstep can provide robust compliance solutions to manage producer obligations with the WEEE recast and implenting WEEE Regulations in the UK and EU Member States, including:

  • Providing detailed consultancy advice and product assessments in accordance with the new EEE categories to determine whether your company products fall under one of the new product categories, will be temporarily or permanently exempt from the WEEE recast (for example, because your product falls under an application exemption);
  • Membership to thinkstep's approved Producer Compliance Scheme in the UK for professional-use products, B2BWEEE-Scheme;
  • Implementing web-based WEEE registration, collection, recycling and reporting arrangements to comply with the producer responsibility provisions of the WEEE Regulations in each country; and
  • Managing your company’s membership to local WEEE compliance schemes in countries where the WEEE regulations require all producers to join a scheme