Securing an enforcement undertaking

Civil sanctions were introduced in 2011 as an alternative to prosecution and mean that businesses based in England and Wales who have been non-compliant with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations since 06 April 2010 can avoid the courts by securing an enforcement undertaking.

The Environment Agency has three options for dealing with businesses that are non-compliant.

  • An enforcement undertaking, which enables non-compliant businesses to offer a sum of money to a suitable environmental project in compensation.
  • A fine of up to £250,000 based on the severity of the offence.
  • Prosecution for the most severe offences.

Enforcement undertakings

An enforcement undertaking is a legally-binding voluntary offer that is submitted to the Environment Agency. Accepting an enforcement undertaking is at the discretion of the Environment Agency who could still decide to prosecute if they are not satisfied with the information and evidence put forward.

When submitting an enforcement undertaking, businesses must provide evidence on how they are taking the process seriously, detailing what has been done to become compliant now and in the future. They must also put forward an offer of compensation to a nominated environmental project for the amount saved, by not registering and by avoiding prosecution. When offering an enforcement undertaking, the company or individual is required to focus upon accepting culpability, demonstrating restoration of harm and ensuring future compliance as well as making a suitable offer to pay an appropriate environmental charity.

Has your business been non-compliant with the packaging regulations?

If you think your company may have been obligated in previous years but has failed to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, you could be subject to enforcement action.

At Clarity, we have helped many businesses to avoid criminal prosecution by completing and submitting enforcement undertakings on their behalf. We can help you to prepare an enforcement undertaking, guiding you through the whole process from start to finish. We will assist you to prepare all relevant data and can offer advice on the appropriate value of compensation to award and relevant environmental projects to consider.

If you believe that you may be obligated under the Packaging Waste Regulations, contact our specialist team for a confidential discussion about the options available to you and to arrange your packaging compliance.

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