BIFAlink December 22


Policy & Compliance

Plastic Packaging Tax – what counts as transport packaging?

in order to prevent both physical handling damage and transport damage. Transport packaging includes the following when used to import goods into the UK: • Plastic crates, containers, pallets or other heavy duty plastic packaging that are reusable and designed to carry a range of products, • Single-use packaging components such as pallet wrap and retaining straps, • Reusable mail sacks, • Road, rail, ship or air containers.

The Plastic Packaging Tax will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste. Its key features are explained here

The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) provides a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled plastic in the manufacture of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material. In turn, this will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration. Key features of the tax include: • PPT applies to plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. • Businesses that manufacture or import 10 tonnes or more of plastic packaging over a 12-month period are liable for PPT at a rate of £200 per tonne. • Businesses exceeding the 10-tonne threshold need to register for PPT. This includes businesses whose packaging contains 30% or more recycled plastic.

These are packaging components designed to be suitable for: • Use in the supply chain from the manufacturer of the goods to the user or consumer to contain, protect, handle, deliver or present the goods, although it does not matter if it is used in the supply chain or by the end user; • Single-use by the consumer to contain, protect, handle, deliver or present a commodity or waste. Exempt packaging There are certain types of packaging that are not in scope or are exempt from PPT, despite falling within these broad categories. PPT is not charged on transport packaging (also known as tertiary packaging) when it is used in the delivery of goods into the UK. You do not need to account for this on your tax return. Transport packaging is packaging conceived to facilitate the handling and transport of a number of sales units or grouped packaging

Are reusable plastic crates transport packaging?

The PPT primary legislation contained in the Finance Act 2021 exempts transport packaging where it is imported into the UK filled with goods. After reviewing information received from industry regarding reusable plastic crates, HM Revenue & Customs has determined that reusable plastic crates fall within this definition of transport packaging. This means they are exempt from PPT when imported into the UK filled with goods. This exemption will also apply to pallet wrap and straps when used to import goods. However, these items are not exempt from PPT when they are manufactured in the UK or imported unfilled.

There are broadly two types of plastic packaging subject to the tax.


December 2022

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