WEEE Recast Enters EU Law

WEEE Recast

July 2012

The WEEE Recast was formally adopted by the European Union on 24 July 2012. Member States have until January 2014 to update their existing WEEE Regulations (18 months after the publication of the Recast of the WEEE Directive in the Official Journal of the European Union).

Under the terms of the Recast, Member States will be subject to tougher Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) collection targets. The WEEE Recast sets WEEE collection rates above the current target of 4kg per person. As of 2016, Member States must collect 45% of WEEE (both B2B and B2C) put onto the market in the three previous years. That equates to approximately 11kg of WEEE per person in the UK. These targets will then rise further in 2019 to a rate of 65% of WEEE put onto the market (around 16 kg of WEEE per person in the UK).

The new law also includes:

  • The definition of ‘producer’ has been revised to allow an EU-based producer to comply through an authorised representative in a member state in which the producer has no legal seat;
  • The 1:0 take-back obligation for retailers, as demanded by Parliament, applies to EEE smaller than 25cm and only to retailers with an EEE sales area of less than 400m2;
  • The number of EEE categories, required for setting differentiated recovery targets, will be reduced from 10 to 6 on 15 August 2018 ;
  • An open scope with defined exemptions will be introduced after 6 years;
  • The burden of proof that exported equipment is used EEE now falls on the exporter

The formal adoption of the recast was welcomed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). A BIS spokesman said: "We welcome the publication of the Recast WEEE Directive. In doing so, government remains committed to considering the proposed improvements to the UK WEEE system outlined by the Red Tape Challenge. These proposals are designed to reduce costs for businesses and ensure that the UK can meet the new WEEE collection and recycling targets.”

The approval of the final text of the recast WEEE Directive by the European Council of Ministers was delayed due to the time taken to accurately translate the Directive into 27 languages.

thinkstep can provide robust compliance solutions to manage producer obligations with the WEEE recast across Europe, including:

  • Providing detailed consultancy advice and product assessments in accordance with the new EEE categories to determine whether your company products fall under one of the new product categories, will be temporarily or permanently exempt from the WEEE recast (for example, because your product falls under an application exemption);
  • Membership to thinkstep's approved Producer Compliance Scheme in the UK for professional-use products, B2BWEEE-Scheme;
  • Implementing web-based WEEE registration, collection, recycling and reporting arrangements to comply with the producer responsibility provisions of the WEEE Regulations in each country; and
  • Managing your company’s membership to local WEEE compliance schemes in countries where the WEEE regulations require all producers to join a scheme