Government publishes amendment to the WEEE regulations (SI 2018 No. 1214)
The Government has published an amendment to the WEEE regulations (SI 2018 No. 1214). The text includes a few minor editorial changes, together with three more substantial modifications, which the Government first announced in May 2018.
The three substantial changes are:
EEE and WEEE categories
The regulations have been amended to allow producers to continue to report their EEE put on market in the current 14 categories. There will be no requirement to change to the 6 categories in the recast WEEE directive. This is a logical approach:
- Most respondents to the Government’s consultation preferred this option.
- It avoids swings in obligation, and cost, which could have resulted in “winners” and “losers”.
- It eliminates unnecessary system and reporting changes
For some multi-national companies, it may mean that the same product may need to be reported in different categories in different countries.
WEEE registration charges
The new regulations make it clear that producer registration fees should be allocated to the regulator of the nation in which that producer is based. So the fees from Scottish producers are directed to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, English fees to the Environment Agency, and so on. This is widely seen as fair, and should help prevent surpluses in one agency, at the expense of another.
PCS Balancing System
In 2016, most leading Producer Compliance Schemes, including Recolight, came together to set up a voluntary system, termed the PCS Balancing System, or PBS. This is to manage and fund the collection of excess WEEE from Local Authority sites. However, a few PCSs did not join this system, and thus avoided these additional costs. As result, Defra decided to make the PBS mandatory, to make the WEEE system fairer. The new regulations lay out the conditions for setting up the PBS and make joining the PBS a condition of approval for a PCS.
At Recolight, we are supportive of the three changes. They help to minimise disruption in the system and help to keep it fair.