The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has deferred extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging fees until October 2025.

In an update to the scheme, posted today, Defra said there has been a decision to defer fees for one year. However, producers will still need to record packaging data.

The update said that while fees were delayed, “other timescales have not changed – producers still have to report packaging data for 2023”.

Among other criteria, EPR applies to UK organisations that import or supply packaging and have a turnover of more than £1 million, and were responsible for more than 25 tonnes of packaging in 2022.

To find out if your business qualifies for the scheme, click here.

Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said the delay was welcome. “This will provide the necessary time to work across our industry and with government in order to get EPR right first time,” he said. “This decision is also an important step in minimising further pressure on food inflation and we will continue to focus on delivering the best value to customers in the coming months.”

Earlier this month, the British Beer and Pub Association urged the government to provide the drinks industry with more information on the EPR scheme as businesses lack “clear guidance”.