Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

BHETA advises members on impending ‘plastic tax’

Published: 2 December 2021 - Neil Mead

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) held a webinar aimed at all UK housewares, DIY, garden and small electricals suppliers on the implications and preparations required ahead of the forthcoming plastic packaging tax legislation which comes into force in April 2022. The key speakers were Paul van Danzig and Alyce Morris from BHETA business service provider, Wastepack who outlined everything that supplier companies need to do to comply with the forthcoming legislation.

 

Under the new legislation, from April 2022 all plastic items used in the packaging of products must include a minimum of 30% recycled content, or face taxes of £200 per metric tonne of chargeable plastic packaging components.  All suppliers whose products include any plastic component – recycled or not - must submit details to HMRC from April 2022, if the volumes involved meet the ten tonne per tax year threshold.  An important learning from the webinar was that even suppliers who are below the volume threshold would be advised to keep records in case of audit – even if they do not have to pay the tax.

The webinar covered the tax obligations under the 2022 Plastic Packaging Tax, what records to keep, how the procedures will work and how to submit relevant tax returns.

The legislation may affect any home or garden business which manufactures or imports plastic packaging, including ready packaged goods. The webinar also covered off certain single-use products which might be categorised as packaging for the purposes of the tax and followed on from BHETA’s successful lobbying campaign to clarify the definition of plastic packaging. This lobbying led to the exclusion of multi-use plastic such as home storage containers, lunchboxes and garden planters and storage from the scope of the legislation.   

The Plastic Packaging Act (PPA) which becomes law on April 1st remains complicated even now it is purely focussed on packaging in the true sense, but BHETA was able to provide members with the essential detail that enables them to understand their responsibilities and liabilities, answering questions such as:

  • What are the exemptions – and the need to keep records even if you are exempt?
  • The difference from a taxation perspective between import, export, UK manufacture and UK sales
  • The definition of ‘recycled’ and the provability of the 30% threshold
  • The differences between primary, secondary and transportation packaging in different contexts
  • The liability checks needed between companies and their suppliers
  • The timeline for registration
  • The key criteria for liability and how to establish your company’s position
  • Reporting and audit advice

BHETA marketing manager, Steve Richardson who co-ordinated the lobbying initiative said: “The amended legislation follows the principle BHETA championed that ‘single use plastics’ are much more challenging for the environment than ‘multi-use’ products.  In accordance with this, members need to be aware that any plastic packaging or single use items for home and garden will be liable to the plastic packaging tax.  The draft legislation also sets out that single use plastic items for home use, such as carrier bags and plastic cups, are within the scope of the tax.”

Chief Operating Officer of BHETA Will Jones added: “When this draft legislation was originally made public for consultation, it was made clear that the tax framework that was conceived, and previously presented, as a measure ‘to encourage the use of recycled plastic … within packaging.’ This is entirely laudable but to comply it is vital that suppliers understand both the scope and the reporting processes in detail, as well of course as the financial implications.”

For more information about liabilities under the Plastic Packaging Act 2022, contact BHETA. BHETA regularly lobbies on subjects affecting housewares, small electricals, DIY and garden members. It also provides member training and retail networking events, up to the minute data on market opportunities compliance advice. To find out more, contact Zara Miah at the BHETA member services team on 0121 237 1130 or alternatively, email on zm@bheta.co.uk

 

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