Voluntary product stewardship arrangements

Product stewardship logo

Product Stewardship involves shared responsibility for reducing the environmental, health and safety footprint of manufactured goods and materials across the life cycle of a product (National Waste Policy, key direction 1).

In Australia, and internationally, product stewardship has been adopted to manage the impacts of different products and materials. Voluntary product stewardship can take many forms and may have a whole of lifecycle focus, or focus on fixing a specific problem related to part of a product's lifecycle. More and more, organisations are participating in voluntary product stewardship as part of their environmental or corporate strategies. There are already a number of voluntary product stewardship activities being undertaken across Australia achieving real outcomes, such as the collection and recycling of mobile phones, fluorescent globes, newspapers and PVC products.

Accreditation of a voluntary arrangement provides an avenue for recognising and encouraging product stewardship without the need to regulate. Attaining accreditation communicates to others that the arrangement has been independently assessed as credible by the Australian Government. Accreditation also provides assurance to the community that voluntary product stewardship arrangements are achieving real and effective outcomes.

The information requested in the accreditation application enables the department to assess whether applicants are well positioned for future success as accredited arrangements. Information provided to support applications may include existing documents such as business plans and operational strategies. Additional documentation may be developed specifically for the application and could include feasibility assessments and lifecycle analysis.

Product Stewardship Online Portal

From 24 June to 15 November 2013 the department will be accepting applications for the accreditation of voluntary product stewardship arrangements. Applications can be undertaken through the application portal.

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Four Steps to Complete the Application

The 'Australian Government Accreditation of Voluntary Product Stewardship Arrangements Application' (the Application) can be completed in the four steps outlined below.

Step 1 - Register for access to PSOnline

To register for access to PSOnline, you will need to provide the details of someone in your organisation who is able to act as a contact for the department during the application process. You will also be asked to provide some basic information on the proposed arrangement. This information will help the department to gain an understanding of the proposed arrangement and to provide assistance if needed.

Step 2 - Access PSOnline and complete the Application

Once you have access to PSOnline and complete the Details section, you can work through the remaining sections of the application in any order. Different parts deal with matters including whether the applicant is a fit and proper person, the intended outcomes and the administration of the arrangement. The information you provide will enable the department to ensure that the arrangement's intended outcomes are consistent with the objects of the legislation and that the arrangement is well placed to deliver its intended outcomes. Much of the information sought may already be in your existing business plan or other documents; PSOnline enables you to upload these documents and simply refer to these in your application.

Step 3 - Have a financial advisor complete the 'Financial Viability Assessment' template

An important part of the application process involves having an independent financial assessor look over the financial aspects of the arrangement. The purpose of this is to provide confidence that accredited arrangements will have sufficient resourcing and capability to deliver their intended outcomes. A template and guide is provided on PSOnline, which this should be given to your financial assessor.

Step 4 - Pay the application fee

Once you have submitted your application, the department will contact you to arrange payment of the application fee, which will occur outside of PSOnline. Dependent upon the number of categories covered under the arrangement, the fee is between $20 600 and $26 600. For more information on the application fee, see Insert Link to PS Regulation 2012.

Contact for more information

For further assistance please contact the Product Stewardship Regulator 1800 332 783 or by email psonline@environment.gov.au.


Application guide cover

Application guide

Sample application form

Financial viability assessment guide

Financial viability assessment template

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