Plastic Packaging Tax: What Do You Need To Know?

24th March 2022

Did you know that on 1st April 2022 the Plastic packaging tax will be introduced?

What does this mean for you?

Further legislation impacting business is the tax that will be levied on plastic packaging.

From 1 April 2022, you must register for Plastic Packaging Tax if you’ve manufactured or imported 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within the last 12 months, or if you plan to do so in the next 30 days

This means that if you need to register for the plastic packaging tax you will be charged £200 per tonne. You can find guidance here:

You will need to complete a plastic Packaging tax return. More details here:

The importer of record will generally be the consignee on the importation documents, the tax becomes chargeable when the goods are imported, but is accounted for quarterly in arrears rather than at the time of import.

What sort of plastics will it apply to?

The list of what qualifies for tax and what does not is quite extensive and a little complicated to read.  Our Customs Consultant, Mark Rowbotham has attempted to simplify the lists as can be seen on our website, here.

As a rule of thumb, if it is single use plastic then the tax will not apply, however there are caveats. For example, you have purchased 1 MT of inert clear chemical liquid. It is packed in a 1mt IBC. The liquid is drained but the IBC can be cleaned out and re-used. This equals no tax

What if you buy 1mt of printing ink or pigment which is delivered in an IBC?

When the product is used up, the IBC may be stained by the colour and cannot be thoroughly cleaned, and may not be possible to reuse, which means it only serves a single use. Therefore, in essence, tax should be applied. IBC’s are heavy, it will not take too many to add up to 1 tonne.

What percentage of the plastic container is made up of recycled plastic? 

  •  If less than 30%, tax applied.
  • If more than 30%, no tax.

Will companies need to appoint somebody who takes responsibility for the plastic usage?

It is most likely that you will need to appoint someone.

Will HMR monitor your use?

Again, it is most likely this new legislation will be monitored

For more information, please go to

Written by Nick Patrick Head of the Sheffield International Trade centre with contribution from Mark Rowbotham. Customs Consultant to SITC.

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