WEEE Recast Directive Update

documents

June 2014

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, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK have transposed the WEEE Recast Directive.

Meanwhile, draft legislation to transpose the WEEE Recast has been released by 15 EEA Member States.

Recast Map

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).

Collection Targets

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.

Croatia

Croatia published Regulation No. 42/14 on 2 April 2014 which came into force on the same day, completing the transposition of the WEEE Recast Directive.

Producers of Category 2 (Small Household Appliances), 3 (IT and Telecommunications equipment) and 4 (Consumer Equipment) products with a market share of at least 5% in their category group are eligible for a ‘self-fulfilment option’. Those who demonstrate a 50% collection rate may be exempt from management fee payments upon a decision from the Fund.

Distance sellers must register in the producer register. Authorised representatives may be appointed by producers with a legal base in another EU Member State and distance sellers.

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%.

Greece

A Decree on WEEE, which will transpose the WEEE Recast Directive, was published on 9 May 2014. The Decree repeals WEEE Decree 117/2004. The new Decree proposes no substantial changes beyond those required by the Recast Directive.

Producers with no legal base in Greece can – and ‘distance sellers’ must – appoint an ‘authorised representative’ to register and fulfil their obligations.

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.

Portugal

The Decree-Law (No. 67/2014) was published on 7 May 2014 and entered into force on the same day. Changes includes further clarification of some definitions e.g. ‘medical devices’ and ‘preparation for reuse’.

The formula for calculating fees charged by compliance organisations to producers remains part of the licence approval. However, the Portugese Environment Agency, Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA), can now consult other stakeholders on the formula proposed by an applicant.

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.

thinkstep can provide detailed consulting advice and robust compliance solutions to manage new producer obligations arising from the implementation of the new WEEE Recast Directive across Europe. We can:

  • Provide detailed consultancy advice and product assessments to determine whether your company’s products fall under one of the new EEE categories, or will be temporarily or permanently exempt from the WEEE Recast Directive (for example, because your product falls under an application exemption);
  • Implement web-based WEEE registration, collection, recycling and reporting arrangements to ensure your company complies with its legal obligations in the WEEE Regulations in each country;
  • Manage your company’s membership to local WEEE compliance schemes in countries where the WEEE regulations require producers to join a scheme;
  • Join your company to thinkstep's approved Producer Compliance Scheme in the UK for professional-use products, B2BWEEE-Scheme;

thinkstep is hosting complimentary webinars on 12 June at 9.00am Central European Time and 10.00am US Eastern Time to help companies navigate the new waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) compliance requirements.