Select Committee on Trade and Industry Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Department of Trade and Industry



  Three Member States (Denmark, Sweden and Netherlands) already have systems in place. We understand the position to be as follows:

    —  in Sweden producers are required to meet the full costs of treatment and recycling for all vehicles first sold from 1998 onwards, although in practice these will only be scrapped in significant numbers from 2010 on. Producers will also be required to meet 50 per cent of these costs for all older vehicles from 2002 onwards; the remainder will be paid by last-owners, who can then recover the costs from a fund generated through a tax on new car sales;

    —  in Denmark last-owners are required to meet the full costs of treatment and recycling, but can then reclaim this from a central fund, generated through a tax on car insurance; and

    —  in the Netherlands last-owners can take their cars back free of charge. The treatment facilities can reclaim the costs from a central fund, generated through a tax on new car sales.


  2.  About 85 per cent of cars registered in Europe are located in the five main car-producing Member States (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). We understand that the position in the other four States is as follows:

    —  Germany proposes to make last-owners pay the treatment and recycling costs for all vehicles scrapped between 2002 and 2006, but to require producers to pay all of these costs from 2007 on.

    —  France proposes that owners should be able either to take their vehicles to dismantlers (who would be able to turn vehicles away if they have a negative value) or shredders (who would be required to take vehicles back, but could—until 2006 only—charge owners if the vehicles had a negative value). From 2007 onwards, owners would be entitled to take their vehicles back to shredders free of charge. If the shredders could then demonstrate, following an independent audit, that the process of treating cars was not profitable, then the producers would be required to meet the costs or deficit involved.

    —  Italy is considering the creation of a national consortium which all producers and treatment facilities would join. The Government would set the costs of treatment, which would be funded through a premium or tax on new car sales. They will gradually introduce producer responsibility from 2007; and

    —  Spain is considering the introduction of a scheme under which last owners would be required to meet the costs of treatment until 2007, but would then receive a refund against their road tax payments. From 2007 they will gradually introduce producer responsibility.


17 October 2001

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