WEEE Recast Implementation Progress

WEEE Design

May 2013

With a Recast transposition deadline of 14 February 2014, thinkstep provides a useful overview of EU Member State progress so far.

Croatia

Under Article 2 of the WEEE Recast, for a ‘transitional period’ until 15 August 2018, the current scope (i.e. as in the current WEEE Directive) will remain in place, but photovoltaic (PV) panels will be included (under Category 4 Consumer Equipment).

An amendment to the Waste Act in the Czech Republic includes requirements for

  • solar panel producers to register with an approved compliance system from March 2013
  • the provision of a financial guarantee by the producers for PV modules placed on the market after 1 January 2013
  • an agreement to be realised between PV plant operators and an approved solar panel compliance system scheme before 30 June 2013

There is controversy over the requirement for producers to provide a financial guarantee due to the long lifespan of the PV panels (10-30 years). Thus, it is likely that any financial guarantee collected now would remain unused for some time and potentially decrease in value due to inflation.

Germany

A first working draft is expected to be released around October/November 2013 this is a postponement from early 2013 when the draft was originally planned to be released.

Member states have until 14 February 2014 to transpose the changes into national WEEE regulations. However, as the legislative process is anticipated to take at least a year it is likely that Germany will miss the transposition deadline.

The Ministry explained that the delay is due to other issues taking priority during the last legislative period before the Federal election.

Italy

The Recast WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) allows member states to require a visible fee for the purpose of generating consumer awareness. Therefore the Recast does not restrict the visible fee to covering costs of historical WEEE only.

An amendment of Decree No. 1/2013 published on 14 January 2013 includes an amendment to Decree no. 151/2005 which removes the deadline by which the visible fees for all EEE categories may no longer be shown.

UK

In April 2013 the UK government held a consultation during which they produced the following document to address the implementation of the WEEE Recast Directive 2012/19/EU and changes to the UK WEEE System. The government has also produced draft regulations.

The UK Government plans to use the “copy out” principle for the transposition of the WEEE Recast. This means that the UK will not to go beyond implementing the minimum requirements of the Directive. Where the provisions of the original Directive are unchanged by the recast, the language in the draft regulations remains unchanged from the current regulations.

However, it is the government’s opinion that placing a financial obligation on PV panel producers based upon weight of Category 4 EEE placed on the market and related to the collection of Category 4 WEEE would be unreasonable. Therefore, the government intends to create a 14th category of EEE – “photovoltaic panels”.

The PV panel category 14 will require producers to finance the collection of PV panels on a market share basis. The Government has also taken the view that applying collection targets to Category 14 would be impractical as currently very few WEEE PV panels are being collected. In all other respects the requirements placed upon Category 14 producers will be that of other EEE producers.

Source: Perchards/Sagis