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November 5, 2021

UK Plastic Packaging Tax | Legislation in UK Budget Finance Bill and consultation on new regulations

The United Kingdom (UK) Finance (No.2) Bill 2021-22, which was published on 4 November 2021, includes amendments to the primary legislation for the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) which is being introduced from 1 April 2022. Also on 4 November 2021, the UK tax authorities, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a consultation on the draft PPT (General) Regulations 2021. HMRC is inviting views on the technical application of the regulations by 1 December 2021.

Amendments to PPT legislation

The changes are being made to ensure that the tax works as intended, that HMRC has the appropriate framework to administer the tax and that the UK complies with international agreements. Changes relating to Clause 83 and Schedule 11 of the Finance (No.2) Bill may be found here, and the details of the related policy paper may be found here.

The amendments:

  • Allow HMRC to make provision to modify the timing of an import, and the meaning of import and customs formalities, using secondary legislation. This change ensures that the timing of imports can be amended to conform with changes to other policies, such as customs and Freeports.
  • Ensure businesses below the de minimis threshold, who currently do not have a liability to register, do not have to pay the tax. This change ensures that the policy intent is achieved and reduces the burden of the tax on those businesses who manufacture and/or import plastic packaging below the de minimis threshold.
  • Provide tax reliefs for persons enjoying certain immunities and privileges, such as visiting forces and diplomats, with provision to set administrative requirements in secondary legislation. This will ensure compliance with international tax agreements.
  • Transfer the obligations and entitlements of PPT group members, such as completing returns, to the representative member of that group.
  • Require HMRC to notify the representative member of a PPT group of the date that applications for and modification of group treatment will take effect. This change means that group registration can take effect from the date of the application, aligning with the timing of registration for the tax.
  • Change certain terms used to describe unincorporated bodies to ensure consistency throughout the legislation.

Plastic Packaging Tax (General) Regulations 2021 and consultation

The PPT (General) regulations 2021 aim to ensure that the tax operates as intended from an administrative perspective, as well set out the meaning of "substantial modification," which determines when a plastic packaging component is finished and becomes chargeable for the tax. The regulation includes:

  • Administrative requirements relating to registration of liability for the tax
  • Tax returns and required content
  • Record keeping
  • Methods for weighing plastic packaging components (including units of measurement)
  • Maintaining, producing evidence of and calculating recycled material in plastic

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 1 December 2021 and responses can be sent to

Many businesses that may fall within the new PPT regime are currently reviewing supply chains and the liability of the plastic packaging they manufacture or import to ensure readiness from 1 April 2022. Businesses will welcome the publication of technical details within the regulation and the opportunity to feed back on the tax ahead of its implementation.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), London