As of this week (May 28), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is seeking information and data from electronics producers and producer compliance schemes on the costs of compliance, to see if they are achieving best value.
The move follows concerns raised by businesses as part of the governments Red Tape Challenge that costs are currently “excessive and are expected to lead to changes in the WEEE system. One of the concerns is that, under the existing WEEE system, manufacturers are obligated to pay towards the costs of recycling all WEEE collected, which pushes costs up. This is in stark contrast to the producer responsibility system in place for packaging, where only enough has to be recycled to meet annual targets.
Manufacturers and compliance schemes have been asked to provide information about costs of compliance per year, as well as views on where the how the WEEE system is a burden to business and whether linking the treatment and recycling costs with the price of evidence would change the dynamics of system.
The call for evidence is open until July 23. The department has said that it will begin to develop proposals in line with the findings of the evidence and will issue a formal consultation on the proposals early next year. The consultation will enable the proposals to be introduced alongside changes required to transpose the requirements of the recast EU WEEE Directive agreed in December 2011.
Short term measures
In the meantime BIS has confirmed that it is likely to implement short term measures to reduce the cost of compliance, which will come into place this year, and will be replaced when new legislation is introduced.
In its document released to electronics producers and compliance schemes BIS said: BIS is also committed to examining potential short term actions. BIS wrote to stakeholders on 3rd April to seek initial input by 23 April on potential short term measures. BIS expect to inform stakeholders by end of this month or early next on next steps.