Packaging inside and outside the scope of plastic packaging tax

Plastic packaging for use in the supply chain

This is packaging that is intended for use at every stage of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the user or consumer. It is used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery or display of goods.

If the packaging component meets this definition, it does not matter whether it is manufactured or imported for use in the supply chain of the goods or by a consumer or user.

Examples of taxable items of this type are:

  • Single use bottles (even if they can be refilled and reused)
  • Bottle closures or caps
  • Labels that present the goods and describe the contents of a product
  • Trays for holding and protecting food, such as B. Ready Meal Trays
  • Film to protect products, e.g. B. Foil around raw meat
  • Pots for the handling and delivery of products such as yogurt and soup pots (the lids of these products are separate packaging components)
  • Packaging for grouping products for easier handling, e.g. B. Shrink wrap around canned food
  • Reusable plastic boxes for the delivery of fresh fruit or baked goods
  • flexible grocery bags
  • Foil windows on items such as sandwich or quiche packages
  • Salad bag
  • crispy packets
  • Biscuit packaging
  • Pallet packaging
  • Cellophane around a box to protect the box and its contents (alcohol and cigarettes usually have these)
  • Picking bins used in warehouses
  • Tamper evident seals
  • Coat hangers for use in the supply chain
  • Flower pots for sale with plants inside
  • Silage film
  • Kimble tags for labeling or displaying the price of goods

Examples of items that do not meet this definition and are not subject to tax include:

  • Storage boxes for food and containers for re-use such as lunch boxes
  • Beverage bottles for reuse
  • plastic cutlery
  • reusable coffee cups
  • reusable containers for medical sharp objects
  • Pipe insulation
  • Cabel Canal
  • Plastic file sleeves
  • Lightbulb
  • Toy and storage boxes
  • Bags for life
  • Bag closure clips

Plastic packaging as one-way packaging

This is disposable packaging intended to be used by a consumer or household user to hold items or waste.

Examples of items in this category of products that are subject to tax are:

  • Plastic bags including:
    • Tote bags
    • Garbage bags and garbage bags
    • Grocery bags (such as sandwich bags)
    • Diaper bags
  • Disposable cups included:
    • Expanded polystyrene cup
    • Vending machine cups
    • Plastic wine and pint glasses
    • Party cups
  • Disposable plastic bowls and plates
  • Gift packaging such as ribbon and tape
  • Prepared meals and vegetable bags and parcels
  • Medical Sharp Container (Single Use)

Examples of items that do not fall under this product category and are not subject to tax are single-use items:

  • Diapers
  • Urine bags
  • cutlery

Plastic packaging, the main function of which is storage

Plastic packaging, in which the packaging function is subordinate to the storage function, is not subject to the plastic packaging tax.

Examples of items in this product category that are not subject to tax are:

  • Tool boxes
  • First aid kits
  • headphone or earphone cases
  • Manicure sets
  • Glasses cases
  • CD, DVD and video game cases
  • Board game boxes

Examples of items that do not fall under this product category and are subject to tax are:

  • Disposable bottles, for example for:
    • soft drinks
    • spices
    • cleaning supplies
    • Hair and beauty products
    • Bath and shower products
  • Disposable pots and tubs, such as:
    • Yogurt pots
    • Sundae
    • Butter and spreads
  • Plate (intended for sale with food)
  • Trays (sold with food, such as ready-made meals or take away)
  • Resealable food packaging (such as that sold with cheese or pasta)
  • Plastic packs in which pens and pencils are sold

Plastic packaging that is an integral part of the goods

Plastic packaging, in which the packaging is part of the goods, is not subject to plastic packaging tax.

Examples of items in this product category that are not subject to tax are:

  • Water filter cartridges
  • refillable room deodorants
  • Printer and toner cartridges
  • Inhalers
  • Lighters
  • Ink cartridges and ink refills
  • Dental floss cases
  • Teabag
  • perforated rice bags
  • Mascara brush, wand and cap (but not the bottle)
  • Lipstick mechanism and case (but not the cap)
  • Pump container for toothpaste (but no toothpaste tubes)
  • the rollerball of the rollerball
  • Roll-on deodorant
  • Coffee capsules
  • Aerosol actuators
  • Droppers and pipettes, e.g. B. for eye drops and flea treatments

Examples of items that do not fall under this product category and are subject to tax are:

  • Ready meal trays
  • Pots for ‘food on the go’
  • flexible bags and resealable packaging such as pet food bags and chocolate bags
  • Microwave food pouches, e.g. B. for vegetables
  • Coat hangers for use in the supply chain
  • Liquid soap pumps
  • Closures on spice bottles and jars
  • Bags grow
  • Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC)

Reuse of plastic packaging primarily for presentations

Plastic packaging, the packaging of which is mainly intended for reuse for the presentation of goods, is not subject to plastic packaging tax.

Examples of items in this product category that are not subject to tax are:

  • Shop fitting
  • Retail shelves
  • Sales display stand
  • reusable food trays such as those used on airplanes and in schools

Examples of items that do not fall under this product category and are subject to tax are:

  • Boxes for groceries, e.g. B. for fruit and vegetables
  • Disposable:
    • Display shelves
    • Presentation stand
    • Food trays such as those used on airplanes and in schools

Transport packaging

Shipping packaging used for the importation of goods into the UK is exempt from plastic packaging tax if it is used for both:

  • Transport several sales units or grouped packages
  • Avoid transport damage

When deciding whether to apply the exemption, you should consider how this packaging was used, not what type of packaging it is. Find out more about when transport packaging is excluded.

Examples of items covered by this exemption (when used to prevent damage to multiple sales units or grouped packaging imported into the UK) include:

  • Road, rail, ship or air containers used for importing goods into the UK
  • Pallet packaging
  • belt
  • Plastic pallets

Examples of items not covered by this exemption and subject to tax are:

  • Crates used as primary or secondary packaging to be used in the transport of goods in the UK for delivery to a consumer or supplier (this includes items such as fruits and vegetables)
  • Transport packaging:
    • used to transport goods within the UK
    • made in the UK
    • Imported to Great Britain as a stand-alone commodity
    • used to import a single good into the UK
  • large containers for importing alcohol for filling


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