For the purposes of this section of guidance ‘you’ means SEPA, a waste collection authority or any other body or person applying to us for an exemption certificate.
The Scottish Landfill Tax (Exemption Certificates) Order 2015 gives us the power to provide the following authorities, bodies or persons with an exemption certificate for any SLfT liability that may arise from the clear-up of a site following the illegal or improper depositing of material (for example in the cases of illegal dumping and fly-tipping):
- a waste collection authority, insofar as it exercises its waste removal powers under section 59(6)-(9) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
‘Waste collection authority’ means a waste collection authority as defined under section 30(3)(c) of that Act (in other words, a local government council);
- SEPA, insofar as it exercises its waste removal powers under regulation 57 of The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 or section 59(6)-(9) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990; or
- any other body or person, insofar as the body or person exercises waste removal powers under any other enactment.
Making an application to us for an exemption certificate
Before applying to us for an exemption certificate you must:
- exhaust all avenues to identify, and retrieve costs from, the responsible person who made the original unauthorised disposal; and
- be satisfied (and demonstrate to us in your application) that there are no practical alternatives to landfill for the unauthorised disposal, for example that it is not possible for some or all of the material to be recovered for energy or recycled.
If both of the above conditions are satisfied, you can apply to us for an exemption certificate by writing to us at the contact address on our website, clearly marking the letter ‘Exemption certificate application’, and providing:
- full details of the applying authority, body or person, including the registered name and postal address;
- full details of the site at which the unauthorised or illegal disposal was made, including:
- the location, nature and owner of the site (where this can be identified);
- the estimated tonnage and nature of the material;
- the general circumstances (including how and when) of you becoming aware about the unauthorised or illegal disposal; and
- how you were tasked with, agreed to or were legally obliged to perform, the clean-up operation;
- a full explanation of all activities undertaken in relation to your legislative duties (i.e. those outlined earlier – the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012;
- an explanation as to why it has not been possible for you to either identify or retrieve costs from the responsible person who made the original unauthorised disposal;
- an explanation as to why, in your view, there are no practical alternatives to landfill for some or all of the material which you are applying to us about; and
- (where applicable) details about any of the unauthorised or illegally dumped material which has been recovered for energy or recycled in line with the waste hierarchy.
We will acknowledge receipt of your application, but this will not imply our approval of it. Waste removed without (at the point of removal) an exemption certificate (including where you have applied for one and are awaiting our decision) and later disposed of to landfill will be treated as a taxable disposal for SLfT purposes.
We will deal with most applications within 20 working days, but this may be longer if we need to contact you for further information or arrange a visit.
We will be unable to consider your application if you fail to supply all of the information required above.
What to do if your application is successful
If we approve your application, we will issue an exemption certificate to you at the postal address you provided in your application.
You should present the exemption certificate to the landfill operator receiving the disposal (who must be registered with us for SLfT) at the same time as the disposal is made at the landfill site.
The landfill operator will give you a statement detailing the amount of SLfT which (but for the exemption) would be chargeable in respect of the disposal. You should also ensure that you receive a weighbridge receipt for the disposal from the landfill operator - no other method of weighing the waste is acceptable in these circumstances.
Once you have received the statement and weighbridge receipt from the landfill operator, you must send a copy of each to us at the contact address on our website, as well as a copy of your exemption certificate.
Guidance for landfill operators in relation to exemption certificates
As outlined above, a landfill operator (who must be registered with us for SLfT) presented with a valid exemption certificate by a waste collection authority, SEPA or other body exercising waste removal powers must give the customer a statement detailing the amount of tax which would (but for the exemption certificate) be chargeable in respect of the disposal. The operator must also give the certificate holder a weighbridge receipt for the disposal.
The statement will be available to download and print from our website shortly, but the weighbridge receipt must include:
- the date and location of the landfill disposal;
- the landfill operator’s SLfT registration number;
- the nature, weight and breakdown of the material deposited (EWC codes; amount of exempted tax; and the tax rate that would have applied to the material if it was not exempted).
The landfill operator must also remember to include the details of this exempt waste disposal in the relevant SLfT return.