DTI is working closely with business representative organisations, both within the producer and retail sectors, local authorities and the waste management sector to ensure that those affected by the WEEE regulations are aware of the requirements of these regulations. This activity is ongoing and includes a series of WEEE seminars across the UK, as well as via print and electronic media.
Since the introduction of the WEEE regulations we have seen a very positive response from producers, retailers, distributors, local authorities and the waste management sector. For example, 37 producer compliance schemes have registered with the Environment Agencies and new investments in treatment facilities have been announced. We will continue to work with all of these stakeholders to ensure an effective WEEE system in the UK.
A full regulatory impact assessment was published alongside the UK WEEE regulations. While there are no derogations for SMEs in the WEEE directive and hence the UK WEEE regulations, the Government have been keen to work with small businesses and their representative organisations to ensure they are not disproportionately affected. For example, we have introduced a tiered fee structure for producer registrations—a move widely welcomed and supported by the Federation of Small Businesses.
In preparing the UK implementing regulations for the WEEE directive, the DTI has undertaken four separate rounds of formal consultation since the text was adopted. These consultation documents were issued in March 2003, November 2003, July 2004 and July 2006. The final consultation exercise came to an end on 17 October 2006. These consultations played a vital role in ensuring that the WEEE regulations provide a framework to deliver an effective WEEE system in the UK. Cost calculations for each consultation are not available and would require a disproportionate cost to ascertain.