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    Scots bodies react cautiously to DRS change plans

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    The SWA (Scottish Wholesale Association) and SLTA (Scottish Licensed Trade Association) both welcomed the possibility of adapting and possibly delaying the imposition of DRS in Scotland, but with reservations and concerns remaining.In a statement, the SWA said it welcomed Circularity Scotland’s announcement on the removal of upfront charges and retrospective payment terms for small producers and importers, including wholesalers.“We’re pleased Circularity Scotland and the Scottish Government have listened to our concerns about the cash flow issues facing businesses. However, many concerns remain unanswered around price-marked packs, GS1 compliant barcodes, bonded warehouses and other issues,” said a spokesperson.“SWA will continue to push for an 18-month grace period to allow those small producers/importers to prepare for DRS as well as for a de minimis exemption for low volume products.“There are still too many unanswered questions for producers and importers to sign up to the DRS in a week’s time. The 28th February deadline must be shelved in writing by the Scottish Government so businesses across the supply chain still have the confidence to keep trading in Scotland.”

    Meanwhile, SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson said that while he also welcomed the changes, “we still have serious concerns that the scheme currently being proposed will increase costs for the consumer and reduce the amount of choice available. Many key questions remain unanswered and Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, has been unable to tell us how many producers – so far – have signed up for the scheme. The level of producer registration is crucial to the scheme’s success.“At a meeting this morning attended by [Circular Economy Minister] Ms Slater, she indicated that she was unaware of how many producers had registered with the scheme – nearly 4,500 producers need to register by the end of the month to allow their products into the Scottish marketplace.In addition, today’s announcement doesn’t mention a grace period to allow those producers/importers to physically prepare – our view is that this is crucial given there are still so many unanswered questions around the decisions they still need to make.”Wilkinson shared the concern over the imminent application of the new rules: “We continue to call on the minister to cancel the 28th February producer registration deadline – this will give drinks businesses across the supply chain the confidence to keep trading in Scotland.”

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