The concession is contained in Regulatory Position Statement C8 and was due to expire on 30 June 2021. It is called “Guidance – Social distancing when signing and handing over waste transfer and consignment notes in person: RPS C8”.
The announcement, on 29 June 2021, means that digital signatures on handsets or signatures on transfer or consignment notes are not needed nor do paper copies have to be handed over.
The RPS notes: “When you transfer waste, to comply with the regulations, you can use:
· paper waste transfer notes (including season tickets)
· consignment notes (including multiple collections)
· an electronic handset
“You normally sign and hand over paper copies or obtain a digital signature in person.
“If you follow the conditions in this COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS), you do not have to do either of these in person:
· sign and hand over paper copies of waste transfer and consignment notes
· obtain a digital signature on a handset
“If you use an electronic system for completing waste transfer and consignment notes, you can continue to use this as normal, as long as you do not have to hand over an electronic device to get a digital signature. If you do need to do this, you should follow the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS.”
The Agency says that RPS C8 applies when the following are used:
· paper copies of waste transfer notes
· paper consignment notes
· an electronic system that requires a digital signature on a handset
“It applies when you:
· hand over waste to others
· receive waste from others
“If you follow the conditions in this COVID-19 RPS, you do not have to do the following in person when you transfer the waste:
· sign or hand over paper copies of waste transfer notes
· sign or hand over paper copies of consignment notes
· get a digital signature on a handset
“These are the only 3 activities that this COVID-19 RPS applies to. You must meet all your other waste transfer requirements.
“This COVID-19 RPS does not apply to any other activity, even if it is under the same legislation. You may still need other permits, licences and registrations for other activities you carry out.”
Conditions remain that have to met and apply to every waste transfer, from the waste producer through to its final holder.
“You must make sure the appropriate person fills in the relevant sections of the waste transfer note or consignment note for each waste transfer. You do not need to sign, or get a signature in the signature box. Instead of a signature the responsible person must provide their full name and business contact details. This includes a telephone number, an email address or a postal address (or all 3).”
“If you are transferring or receiving waste, you do not need to physically hand over (or receive) the waste transfer or consignment note. But you must give (or receive) all the information and data normally provided in the note. This must be done before the waste transfer or at the time of the transfer – but not later.”
“For each waste transfer you must send or receive (as appropriate) the completed copy of the consignment note (without the signature).
You must do this as soon as possible and not later than 10 calendar days after the waste transfer has taken place.”
“You must keep a record of any waste you transfer or receive during the period of time you use this COVID-19 RPS. These records must include all the information and data required by the waste transfer note and consignment note.
You must keep records of:
· waste transfer notes for 2 years from the date of the transfer of the waste
· consignment notes for 3 years from the date of the transfer of the waste
You must make them available to the Environment Agency on request.”
“You must comply with all the other requirements for transferring or consigning waste. This includes complying with the waste duty of care.”
“You must make sure your activities do not endanger human health or the environment.
You must not:
· cause a risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals
· cause a nuisance through noise or odours
· adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest”
After this date you must, in person:
· sign and hand over waste transfer notes and consignment notes
· obtain digital signatures
Or you must stop transferring waste.”
The official document is available at: EA RPS C8.