Plastic Packaging Tax Guidance Update

On 30 June, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published updated guidance on how to calculate the weight of packaging for use in a Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) return. Specific guidance has been added around the use of estimates when calculating packaging weights.

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Dale Cambridge-Sharpe and Hugh Doherty
Published: 03 Jul 2023 Updated: 03 Jul 2023
Business tax Tax

Typically, a taxpayer must use one of five HMRC approved methods to weigh packaging for PPT purposes unless approval has been granted to use a different method.

These five approved methods are:

  • Individual component method – weigh each finished packaging component individually.
  • Sample component method – weigh a sample packaging component from a product line and verify by weighing a random selection of packaging components.
  • Material input method – if manufacturing identical packaging components in a product line, the weight of each component can be calculated by dividing the net weight of each material used by the number of components manufactured.
  • Verified specification method – use weights given on the product specification and weigh a random selection of packaging components to verify they meet the product specification.
  • Bulk weighing method – if manufacturing identical packaging components in a product line, divide the total weight of all the components produced in a run by the number of components produced to determine the weight of a single component.

The use of estimates has never been a recognised method for weighing packaging, and HMRC guidance now specifically states that if a taxpayer has relied on estimated weights for the purposes of filing PPT returns, then they must contact HMRC about this by emailing:

If your business is using estimates to calculate the weight of packaging for PPT purposes and needs help informing HMRC, applying an approved weighing method correctly, or seeking approval for an alternative weighing method, please speak to Jayne Harrold, Dale Cambridge-Sharpe or Hugh Doherty at Evelyn Partners.

Our PPT specialists can review your operations and help you identify the most appropriate weighing methodology for your business.  We can also help with identifying any changes to your operations and procedures that need to be introduced to ensure continued compliance with PPT guidance.

Approval code: NTAJ14072342

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication.

Tax legislation

Tax legislation is that prevailing at the time, is subject to change without notice and depends on individual circumstances. You should always seek appropriate tax advice before making decisions. HMRC Tax Year 2023/24.