Guidance

WEEE: apply for approval as a producer compliance scheme

Apply to be a waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme and operate legally under your approval.

A producer compliance scheme (PCS) is a membership organisation. The members are producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

A PCS is responsible for registering all its members every year and must:

  • ensure it meets its financial obligations under the WEEE regulations
  • fulfil its data reporting obligations

Apply to become a WEEE PCS

You must apply for approval from the appropriate environmental regulator. This depends on where your company has its registered office or principal place of business. They are the:

You must apply between 1 July and 31 August in the year before the first year you want to start work as a PCS.

You must complete an application form and send your fee with your application. Contact your environmental regulator to request a form.

Charges

The application charge is £12,150. This is a one off payment.

Annual charges for schemes approved by the Environment Agency

In England a PCS must pay:

  • a set annual producer charge of £12,500 for operating a compliance scheme
  • an additional annual charge based on the number and type of members

Charge set 1

The charges for scheme members whose registered office (or the scheme member’s principal place of business if they do not have a registered office) is in England or outside the UK are:

  • £750 – producers which are none of the below
  • £100 – producers who are not small and not VAT registered*
  • £100 – producers based outside the UK, who are not small and not VAT registered*
  • £375 – scheme members based outside the UK, who are not small and are VAT registered
  • £30 – scheme members who are small producers - put less than 5 tonnes of EEE on the market each year

*not VAT registered also implies not being required to register for VAT

An English compliance scheme pays the charges in charge set 2 for its members with a registered office (or principal place of business, if they do not have a registered office) in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Annual charges for schemes approved by SEPA, DAERA or NRW

Charge set 2

The charges are:

  • £445 – producers with more than £1 million turnover
  • £210 – producers with £1 million turnover or less and required to be VAT registered
  • £30 – for producers not VAT registered*
  • £30 – overseas company not VAT registered*
  • £30 – for small producers putting less than 5 tonnes of EEE on the market each year

*not VAT registered also implies not being required to register for VAT

Compliance schemes in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland pay the charges in charge set 1 if they have members with a registered office in England.

For the 2019 compliance year the annual producer charge is payable upon receipt of an invoice from your approving appropriate authority. Where a higher charge is payable because a member has a registered office in England, this will be invoiced by the Environment Agency. SEPA approved schemes will be invoiced by the Environment Agency for the difference between the fees. For example, a SEPA scheme with a member registered in England will be invoiced £445 by SEPA and £305 by the Environment Agency. This makes a total fee of £750.

Public register of approved PCSs

Once you’ve been approved your scheme will appear on a public register showing:

  • your business or trading name
  • your registered office or main place of business
  • whether your PCS is for household or non-household WEEE or both

WEEE PCS: your duties

Register your members

Every year you must register all your members with your approving environmental regulator.

You must do this before 30 November of the preceding year. If a producer joins your scheme part-way through the year, you must register that producer within 28 days. You cannot remove a member during a compliance year.

From the 2016 compliance year onwards:

  • complete the XML file that was emailed to you with your members’ details
  • use the WEEE online system to upload your XML file

Contact your environmental regulator if you have any questions about your XML file.

Finance your members’ household WEEE obligations

You are responsible for financing part of the overall household (also known as business to consumer – B2C) WEEE collection target based on the market share of your members. Your overall target is split between each of the categories of EEE your members placed on the UK market in the previous year.

You must obtain sufficient evidence notes to show you’ve met these targets. Only approved authorised treatment facilities (AATFs) and approved exporters (AEs) that you have arrangements with can issue you evidence notes. An online platform called the Settlement Centre is used by AATFs, AEs and PCSs to do this. See WEEE evidence and national protocols for detailed guidance and access to the system.

See the list of approved AATFs and AEs in:

Targets and target adjustments

The government sets the collection target for each compliance year. Your environmental regulator will calculate and give you your targets by 31 March each year.

Targets will be adjusted during the compliance year if scheme members:

  • stop trading (for example, if they go bankrupt)
  • register late so the PCS has to resubmit data

Where you do not have enough direct collection contracts to meet your target, you may contract collection to another PCS to collect on your behalf.

Compliance fee

You may be able to pay a compliance fee. The government may approve one compliance fee methodology and an administrator to run it but is under no obligation to set a fee in any given compliance year. Anyone, including a PCS can propose a methodology and an organisation to administer it by 30 September each year. Email your proposal to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at weee@defra.gov.uk.

If a compliance fee is set and you choose to use the fee as part or all of your compliance, you must provide evidence of payment. It’s part of your declaration of compliance that you submit to the environmental regulator.

Finance your members’ non-household WEEE obligations

There is no target for non-household (also known as business to business - B2B) WEEE. Schemes must finance the non-household WEEE their members are responsible for unless a member takes on that responsibility itself. This is waste from:

  • EEE put on the market by their members on or after 13 August 2005
  • any EEE put on the market before 13 August 2005 where the user is replacing with ‘like for like’ EEE from one of their members

The end user contacts the producer or PCS to ensure this WEEE is collected and sent either for recycling or reuse. You do not need to finance the cost of transport from the end user.

If you have an arrangement with your members that they finance their own non-household WEEE responsibilities, you will still need evidence notes to show the WEEE treatment has been financed.

You do not need to receive evidence where there is an agreement between the member and the end user that the end user will take responsibility for the WEEE. Where this is the case your member needs proof of the transfer of responsibility.

Prioritise recycling whole appliances for reuse

You may have your approval refused or withdrawn if you cannot show how you do this.

Collect WEEE

To obtain evidence notes you will need to make arrangements to collect WEEE or have WEEE collected on your behalf.

Household WEEE is generally collected at a designated collection facility (DCF) - most are run by local authorities or retailers. You can make an arrangement with a local authority DCF (or with a privately operated DCF) to collect their WEEE. You do not need to finance the cost of transport of this WEEE from the householder or business end user.

See the list of local authority DCFs and the name of the PCS they’re registered with.

If a local authority DCF site operator, who’s not managing its own WEEE and its PCS/DCF contract(s) has expired or terminated, asks you to clear any separately collected WEEE, you must arrange to collect and treat it even if you’ve reached your collection target. You can ask for proof of the expired or terminated contract to validate the request. You can also refer each request to the PCS balancing system (PBS) which will arrange to collect the WEEE and share the costs between all its members.

Household WEEE is also collected by retailers who’ve taken back WEEE from their customers or by other organisations with household WEEE (such as repairers). You must have systems in place to accept this WEEE unless your scheme only operates in the business to business sector. You do not need to pay for the cost of transport of this WEEE to your nominated collection point (typically an AATF).

PCSs can set up other collection systems that are consistent with the 2013 WEEE Regulations (as amended).

To get evidence issued you must arrange for the WEEE to be treated, recovered, recycled or reused at an AATF or send it to an AE for export of whole appliances for reuse.

Evidence issued on non-household WEEE cannot be used to meet your household WEEE collection target.

See the guidance on how to correctly identify business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) EEE and WEEE.

Join the PCS balancing system

You must join the PCS balancing system within 30 days of it being approved by the Secretary of State. The approved PBS will ensure that any regulation 34 requests by a PCS operator are dealt with quickly and that the costs and evidence are shared between all the PBS members on a market share basis.

Anyone can submit a proposal for the PBS. You must submit your proposals for the PBS to Defra by 1 March 2019 to be considered for approval.

Read the guidance on submitting proposals for the Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) Balancing System.

Standards you must meet

You must meet the requirements in the code of practice when you collect WEEE from DCFs.

Separately collected WEEE must be stored and treated using best available treatment, recovery and recycling techniques (BATRRT).

Send reports to your approving environmental regulator

You must report every 3 months the amount of:

  • WEEE in each of the categories you’ve collected from the DCF, retailers and other organisations
  • WEEE in each of the categories you’ve delivered to AATF and AE – specify household or non-household
  • household EEE put on the market by category for each of your members

The environmental regulator must receive the report for:

  • quarter 1 (January, February, March) by 30 April
  • quarter 2 (April, May, June) by 31 July
  • quarter 3 (July, August, September) by 31 October
  • quarter 4 (October, November, December) by 31 January

You must report annually (in quarter 4) the amount of non-household EEE put on the market by category for each of your members.

From the 2016 compliance year onwards:

  • populate the XML file that was emailed to you with your quarterly EEE/WEEE data return
  • use the WEEE online system to upload and submit your quarterly EEE/WEEE data return XML file

You must keep these records for at least 4 years.

You should also keep any supporting information like waste consignment and transfer notes, contract details, weighbridge tickets, photographs and invoices as added proof of your work.

You should also report to local authorities on DCF cleared WEEE. If you collect for another scheme or use another company to collect on your behalf your contract should state how you’ll report to local authorities.

Make an annual declaration of compliance

You must do this by 31 March of the following year. The declaration must give evidence on how you’ve met your duties for financing the collection and treatment of both household and non-household WEEE. This should include proof of any compliance fee paid as an alternative to obtaining evidence.

Non-compliance

Your approving environmental regulator may withdraw your PCS approval if you:

  • fail, or are likely to fail, to comply with any of the conditions of your approval
  • supply false information
  • have been convicted of an offence under the WEEE regulations

Other sanctions also include:

  • warning letters
  • formal cautions
  • prosecution under criminal law:
    • at a magistrates court a fine not exceeding £5,000
    • at Crown Court an unlimited fine

Environmental regulators

England

Email: weee@environment-agency.gov.uk Telephone 03708 506 506

Producer Responsibility Regulatory Services (PRRS)
Environment Agency
Quadrant 2
99 Parkway Avenue
Parkway Business Park
Sheffield
S9 4WF

Scotland

Email: producer.responsibility@sepa.org.uk Telephone: 01786 457700

Producer Compliance and Waste Shipment Unit
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
Strathallan House
Castle Business Park
Stirling
FK9 4TZ

Northern Ireland

Email: weee@daera-ni.gov.uk Telephone 028 9056 9338

Producer Responsibility Unit
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
Belfast
BT7 2JA

Wales

Email: weee@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk Telephone 0300 065 3000

Producer Responsibility Unit
Natural Resources Wales
Rivers House
St Mellons Business Park
St Mellons
Cardiff
CF3 0EY

Find out about call charges.

More information

For the legislation see:

See producer responsibility guidance for manufacturers, importers, re-branders, distributors of EEE and WEEE treatment facilities and exporters.

See WRAP: WEEE good practice collection and treatment for ideas and opportunities for going beyond compliance and improving practices.

Published 1 May 2014
Last updated 12 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added a link to the guidance on submitting proposals for the Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) Balancing System.

  2. Updated 'Charges', and 'Collect WEEE' about referring requests to PCS balancing system. Added new section 'Join the PCS balancing system'.

  3. Changed the email address for completed proposals to be sent to: weee@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

  4. Information on submitting quarterly returns added for the 2016 compliance year onwards.

  5. Changed the link to the Code of Practice to the new version published on 15 January 2016.

  6. Updated to provide link to the new WEEE online system for registering members.

  7. Text to provide clarification on financing the collection of WEEE.

  8. Updated to include Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) government guidance.

  9. Added a link to BIS guidance on submitting a proposal for a compliance fee methodology.

  10. First published.