The WEEE compliance fee methodology proposed by the Joint Trade Association (JTA) has been selected by ministers for 2021, to be administered by accountant firm Mazars.

The fee was introduced in 2013 as a way to stop unhindered WEEE evidence trading, effectively capping prices. As such it is a mechanism used by schemes to remain compliant in the event of a shortfall of evidence available to meet their obligation target.

This will be the fourth consecutive year that the JTA’s methodology was chosen for the compliance fee and as usual the finances raised will be managed by Material Focus, who use it to fund consumer awareness campaigns on e-waste disposal and WEEE research. 

The proposal from the JTA was accepted for 2021 in full, bar one amendment – that alongside the normal escalator the surplus escalator used in previous years, be reinstated. This escalator is applied where there is more evidence in a given WEEE stream than is needed for the national target.

COVID-19 considerations

There were two methodologies submitted last year for the 2021 fee – the other being presented by Valpak. Defra specifically asked in the consultation process that current market conditions relating to COVID-19 were considered, therefore the JTA proposal is based on its 2019 methodology but with two key modifications.

These modifications are that fees will only be paid if collection rates were below actual national collections and that renumeration would occur for tonnages collected above COVID-19 thresholds.

B2B Compliance scheme manager Lucy Drake-Lee commented “The 2021 Compliance Fee methodology contains substantial differences from previous years . The renumeration for tonnage collected above the COVID-19 threshold introduces a balancing approach by offering rewards where government targets have been met, whilst penalising where there has been a significant shortfall after COVID-19 has been considered.”

“We are pleased that COVID-19 has been considered. Past methodologies would not have been appropriate in a pandemic year and we look forward to reviewing how the impact of the selected methodology compares to previous years.”

If you have any questions or comments to make about the WEEE compliance fee, please contact our team.