Less waste, more resources
National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme
Upcoming Regulation Amendment
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has recently changed import product codes, which are referenced under the Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations 2011 (the Regulations). From 2013-14 these changes will further refine the way recycling targets under the Scheme are calculated. In order to incorporate these changes, an amendment to the Regulations will be made in early 2013.
Under the Regulations, importers of large volumes of televisions, computers and computer products are required to fund the recycling of waste televisions, computers and computer products. The Regulations also specify annual recycling targets for the Scheme. These targets are set as a percentage of television and computer waste arising in that year and will increase the recycling rate to 80 per cent by 2021-22. A share of annual Scheme recycling targets is allocated to approved industry organisations operating under the Scheme based on the import and manufacture share of its members.
As the recycling industry operates and reports in terms of the weight of products/materials recycled, Scheme recycling targets are also expressed in weight. However, Customs data on imports used to calculate recycling targets under the Scheme, is expressed in terms of the number of units imported. The Regulations provide for a conversion factor, a weighted average weight, for each product code listed under the Regulations to enable import data on products to be converted to a weight to calculate targets. The product codes and associated descriptions listed under the Regulations align directly with product codes under the Customs Working Tariff. Products imported under each product code may be slightly lighter or heavier than the conversion factor.
The department has collaborated with industry and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to change and improve product codes listed under the Customs Working Tariff. This will allow the department to develop conversion factors that more closely reflect the weight of products imported under the Working Tariff product codes. For example, there was previously only one product code for portable computers, regardless of whether the import was a hand held mobile computer or heavier laptop. The new Custom's Working Tariff, which came into effect on 1 July 2012, has three portable computer codes differentiated by product weight.
The department is now surveying importers to develop conversion factors for the new product codes. The Regulations will need to be updated to align with the new Customs product codes and insert corresponding conversion factors. It is expected that an exposure draft of the Amendment Regulations will be released for public consultation later this year and the Amendment Regulations will be in place in early 2013.