Provider of environmental solutions to UK organisations, Valpak, is helping businesses to comply with Producer Responsibility legislation overseas and has launched a series of free International Compliance Seminars to help businesses to determine whether or not they have obligations abroad.

A number of countries across the globe have implemented various pieces of environmental legislation, including producer responsibility laws for packaging waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and waste batteries. If a business exports or has an operation or a presence overseas it could be affected by these laws.

Many businesses are not aware, for example, that they could potentially have packaging compliance obligations in France, that they’re affected by plastic carrier bag levies in Hong Kong or that they are required to comply with the WEEE Regulations in The Netherlands. The list is huge.

If your business is affected, you will need to register with the relevant scheme and authority and submit data within set time frames. You may also be required to comply with other environmental legislation.

If your business fails to meet overseas legal obligations it could face penalties of varying severity. Non-compliance is costly and could damage your business’s reputation.

Duncan Simpson, Valpak director of sales & marketing, said, “Many UK-based manufacturers and retailers, both large and small, are looking to expand their business operations overseas, and are looking into export markets. At the same time, consumers are increasingly becoming global buyers as they are using the internet to purchase goods. Consequently, more businesses are finding that their products are arriving and ultimately ending their lives overseas.

“Most businesses are aware of the UK regulations that are in place which cover waste, the movement of waste and producer responsibility for packaging, waste electronics and batteries. However, some businesses may not know that similar legislation exists in many other countries. Therefore, it is important that businesses that export or have a presence in other countries should find out what regulations exist, if they are affected and if so what they need to do to ensure that they’re compliant overseas.”