Electronic Products & Technology

WEEE recast directive update

April 25, 2014  EP&T Magazine

The 14 February 2014 deadline for EU Member States to transpose the new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recast Directive 2012/19/EU into national WEEE Regulations has now passed. So far Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and the UK have transposed the WEEE Recast Directive. Meanwhile, draft legislation to transpose the WEEE Recast has been released by 18 EEA Member States. (See Figure 1)

Products in Scope

The current product scope of 10 categories of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) will remain in place during the transitional period 13 August 2012 to 14 August 2018 (with the addition of photovoltaic panels (PV) in Category 4: consumer equipment).

Article 2 of the new WEEE Recast Directive states that an open scope of products within six EEE categories will then apply from 15 August 2018. These new categories are found in Annex III of the WEEE Recast Directive:

1. Temperature exchange equipment

2. Screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm 2

3. Lamps

4. Large equipment (any external dimension more than 50 cm) including, but not limited to:

Household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; consumer equipment; luminaires; equipment reproducing sound or images, musical equipment; electrical and electronic tools; toys, leisure and sports equipment; medical devices; monitoring and control instruments; automatic dispensers; equipment for the generation of electric currents. This category does not include equipment included in categories 1 to 3.

5. Small equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm) including, but not limited to:

Household appliances; consumer equipment; luminaires; equipment reproducing sound or images, musical equipment; electrical and electronic tools; toys, leisure and sports equipment; medical devices; monitoring and control instruments; automatic dispensers; equipment for the generation of electric currents. This category does not include equipment included in categories 1 to 3 and 6.

6. Small IT and telecommunication equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm)

Paragraph 4 of Article 2 provides a list of equipment, with definitions, that will be exempt from the new open scope from 15 August 2018.

New Definitions

Article 3 of the WEEE Recast Directive defines a distributor as any entity in the distribution chain, not only the entity that sells directly to end-users.

In Article 17 of the Directive, the definition of ‘producer’ has been revised to allow a producer which has a registered business address in one EU Member State to comply through an authorised representative in other Member States where it does not have a registered business address.

Collection Targets

Member States will have to meet tougher WEEE collection targets. From 2016, Article 7 of the WEEE Recast sets WEEE collection rates which will be considerably harder to meet than the current target of 4kg per person. From 2016, Member States must achieve a collection target of 45% of the average annual weight of EEE (both B2B and B2C) placed on the market in the three preceding years. These annual collection targets will then rise further in 2019 to a rate of 65% of the average annual weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years or alternatively 85% of WEEE generated in that Member State (these targets will apply to the new WEEE categories).

Derogations from the collection targets have been set for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in order to address difficulties faced by these Member States in meeting the collection targets. These countries must achieve at least a 40% collection rate no later than 2016 (rather than 45%) and achieve an increased rate (65% to 85%) by 2021.

Producer Registration and WEEE Reporting

To reduce administrative burdens and gain more alignments between WEEE producer registers across Europe, Article 16 of the WEEE Recast Directive requires Member States to ensure that:

producers or authorised representatives can register and report information at online websites

• a Member State’s registration website provides web links to the national registers in other Member States

Different Regulatory Requirements in each Member State

The WEEE Recast Directive is implemented through national regulations in each country. As a result, there are different requirements in each Member State.

Bulgaria

A new WEEE Ordinance was published on 7 November 2013 and came into force on 1 January 2014. The Ordinance sets annual WEEE collection targets of 41% in 2016, 48% in 2017, 55% in 2018, 60% in 2019 and 65% from 2020 onwards. The derogation from collection targets has not been used fully Bulgaria.

Denmark

Amendments to the WEEE Regulation was published on 6 February 2014 and entered into force on 14 February 2014. The Regulations do not contain WEEE collection targets, but do introduce photovoltaic panels in a sub-category of Category 4.

Reporting of B2C EEE in Denmark must be audited by an independent third party auditor; this requirement applies both to individually registered producers and producers who have joined a collective system. However, under the new Regulations, producers with an annual turnover of less than DKK 1 million (EUR 134,000) can apply for an exemption from the auditing requirements.

The Regulations also exempt compliance organisations from the requirement to provide a financial guarantee for B2C WEEE if they have a market share of more than 5%.

Ireland

The WEEE Regulations (SI no. 149 of 2014) were published on 28 March 2014 and came into force on 29 March 2014. The Regulations allow producers to show a visible WEEE recycling fee as part of the product price at the point of sale from 1 July 2014, introduce the option of appointing an authorised representative, require distance sellers to display their WEEE producer registration number on their website and require distributors to retain records for at least two years of the amount of WEEE taken back each year. The definition of Dual Use B2C Equipment has been clarified as “waste from EEE likely to be used by both private households and users other than private householders, shall in any event be considered to be WEEE from private households”.

Italy

The Legislative Decree 49/2014 was published on 28 March 2014. The Decree categorises ‘waste from photovoltaic panels’ as B2C WEEE if it originated from solar panel installations producing less than 10 kW. Collective systems and producers that comply individually must gain certification to ISO 9001 and ISO14001 or EMAS.

Luxembourg

A new Grand-Ducal Regulation on WEEE was published on 5 August 2013. The Regulation transposes the new take-back obligations on distributors and retailers in the distribution chain, as per the new definitions in the WEEE Recast Directive.

Netherlands

The new WEEE Management Regulation was published on 3 February 2014 and entered into force on 14 Feb 2014. The Regulation requires EEE producers and WEEE processors to register in the new national (W)EEE Registry. The Government will require producers to provide proof of suitable collection and recycling arrangements at the point of producer registration.

UK

The new WEEE Regulations were adopted on
7 December 2013 and came into force on 1 January 2014. They provide reduced obligations for small producers placing less than 5 tonnes of EEE on the market in the previous year, and introduce a “target and compliance fee” model to replace the trading of B2C WEEE evidence by compliance schemes.

What the WEEE Recast Directive means for Producers

As each of the 28 Member States and EEA Members introduce different new national WEEE Regulations, manufacturers, distributors and retailers should assess what the changes mean for them, identify any new legal obligations and manage compliance with these new requirements.

*This article was submitted by ENVIRON, providers of consulting advice to manage new producer obligations arising from the implementation of WEEE Recast Directive across Europe.


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