The Maltese Environment & Planning Authority (MEPA) are expected to publish two new legislative amendments in the next several days which would remove the Eco-Contribution for WEEE.
The publications are expected to enter into force from 1 September 2015 which will allow for the development of WEEE compliance schemes.
Producers of EEE and Batteries in Malta are currently obligated under two pieces of legislation, effectively requiring them to pay twice for the management of their waste products. The WEEE & Batteries regulations in Malta require producers to provide for take-back of products when they arise as waste, while the Eco-Contribution Act also requires producers to pay an Eco-Tax when products are placed on the market.
The Eco-Contribution Act provides no exemptions for producers who are also obligated under WEEE & Batteries regulations. Legal notice 74/2008 provided for exemptions for producers who had registered with an approved WEEE Compliance Scheme; however, this notice was never enforced. No WEEE compliance schemes have been operational in Malta since 2009.
In January 2014, a new Waste Management Plan 2014-2020 was published which proposed to remove the Eco-Contribution obligation for EEE & Batteries; however, Malta’s transposition of the WEEE Recast Directive was published in June 2014 with the Eco-Contribution still in place. Two pieces of draft legislation which would remove the Eco-Contribution for EEE were released for a public consultation in 2015 which ended on 8 May 2015.
One draft proposed amendments to WEEE Regulations, specifying that producers would be required to finance the management of their waste products without paying the Eco-Contribution; individual or collective compliance would be possible. The draft would see WEEE compliance schemes and local councils finance collection points while the members of the compliance scheme would finance the treatment of WEEE and the transportation of the WEEE to the treatment facilities. The draft on the 2004 Eco-Contribution Act would remove EEE from the list of products that are obligated to pay a contribution.
Feedback on the proposed drafts are mostly positive; however, issues are still present. Members of industry are still concerned about the need for a clear clarification of how EEE placed on the market between 2007-2015 should be managed as the Eco-Contribution has already been paid for these products. There are also currently no proposed changes to Battery regulations.