Overview of Draft WEEE Recast Regulations

WEEE

June 2014

Here, we provide an overview of draft WEEE regulations released in France, Germany, Norway, Romania and Slovakia and what they will mean for WEEE producers in these countries.

For details on the new WEEE legislation in countries that have transposed the WEEE Recast (as at 9 June 2014) please refer to our news article WEEE Recast Directive Update.

France

A draft amendment of the main WEEE Decree was released on 6 December 2013 and five sub-Decrees were in public consultation from 17 April to 9 May 2014. All Decrees are expected to be published within the next two months.

The draft of a Decree amending the scope of WEEE Decree 2006-829 includes ‘dual-use’ under the definition of household EEE eliminating the existing method of using the sales channel to distinguish between B2C and B2B EEE.

The draft of the Decree on conditions for authorised representatives enables producers established in another Member State to appoint an authorised representative. In addition to the Recast requirements, the Decree requires:

  • that the contract between the producer and the authorised representative must cover all the products placed on the French market by the appointing producer
  • the contract is to be submitted to both ADEME and the Ministry. The authorised representative must be able to demonstrate his capacity to fulfil the obligation upon request
  • unless the producer has already done so, the authorised representative must inform all French entities with commercial relationships with the foreign producer about his existence and responsibilities and the length of the contract

Under the draft of the subsidiary Decree on distributor obligations, distributors of B2B EEE are required to establish a tracking system to ensure that B2B WEEE, for which the end-user has agreed to assume the end-of-life obligations, is treated by a recycler that is under contract to a collective organisation.

Germany

Following delays due to general elections, the German Ministry of Environment has released a Draft Act for the ‘restructuring‘ of the 2005 ElektroG (the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act) to transpose the Recast WEEE Directive.

At present, non-German entities can register in Germany if a German bank account is provided. The draft proposes to change this, by requiring a producer ‘to have a branch office’ or appoint an authorised representative. The appointment is to be in writing and in German. Producers who are currently registered without an entity in Germany will have to appoint an authorised representative within 6 months of the Act’s entry into force.

The collection targets are as specified in the WEEE Recast. However, the option to calculate the collection rate on the basis of WEEE generation from 2019 is not included in the proposal.

Currently, retailers have no take-back obligation in Germany. However, the draft introduces a distributors’ and retailers’ 1:1 take-back obligation and also a 1:0 take-back obligation for small EEE as suggested by the Recast Directive (obligating only distributers with a sales area for EEE above 400 m2). For distance sellers, ‘all warehouse and distribution spaces’ are considered to be the sales area.

Hungary

Hungary published a draft WEEE Decree that transposes the WEEE Recast Directive on 13 February 2014. If adopted, it would repeal the current WEEE Decree 443/2012.

The Draft proposes that from 1 January 2015, producers should be required to issue a gift voucher for use in store to customers returning used EEE and WEEE. Producers of all EEE categories except 5 (lamps) and 8 (mostly B2B, medical equipment) can fulfil their take-back obligations – including the voucher obligation – by paying the product fee.

Thus, the proposed voucher obligation would apply to:

  • retailers that import EEE directly
  • approved compliance (‘intermediary’) organisations
  • individually complying producers

The vouchers should be valid for at least one year. The minimum voucher values for 300 types of EEE are set out in the draft. For example:

  • HUF 50 (~EUR 0.16) per returned waste light source and lamp;
  • HUF 1000 (~EUR 3.25) per returned used or waste fan, vacuum cleaner, iron or clock, or items in group 'other IT equipment';
  • HUF 2,000 (~EUR 6.5) for the return of PV panels, drills, saws, lawn mowers and gardening tools;
  • HUF 3,000 (~EUR 9.7) for the return of a microwave, electric heater, printer, tablet or fax machine, camcorder, Hi-Fi, Amplifier and items classed as 'other’ consumer electronics;
  • HUF 5,000 (~EUR 16.2) for the return of a PC (incl. monitor), laptop, TV; and
  • HUF 5,000 (~EUR 22.7) for the return of a fridge, freezer, washing machine, oven, hob or air conditioner

The ‘producer’ is required to issue the voucher to natural persons only and the voucher is to be issued for:

  • used EEE or WEEE that the producer placed on the market himself;
  • used EEE of the same nature and function as that from other producers;
  • for historical B2C WEEE of any producer

The voucher obligation does not apply if the returned used EEE or WEEE has lost essential characteristics or comprises components only. If a returned device is reusable without pre-treatment, the producer must send it to an EEE reuse centre within 30 days.

Norway

Norway has released draft text to transpose the WEEE Recast Directive. The draft proposes a wider scope to that covered by the WEEE Recast Directive.

For instance, large industrial equipment and incandescent bulbs will remain in scope in Norway. The draft includes an exemption for EEE weighing less than 1 gram (expected to cover RFID tags). This brings into scope some components that would be exempt under the WEEE Recast Directive on account of being designed and installed in another product and only fulfilling its function as part of another product.

“EEE for professional use” has been defined in the text. There are new requirements for distance and online sellers, including accepting like-for-like returns free of charge and the requirement to appoint a representative in European Economic Area (EEA) countries in which products are placed on the market. A new annex to the text explains how to calculate producer collection obligations.

Romania

The Romanian Ministry of Environment released a draft ‘Decision on WEEE’ on 8 January 2014 to transpose the WEEE Recast Directive. The draft would repeal the WEEE Decision 1037/2010 and introduce the following changes:

  • The national collection target is 4 kg of B2C WEEE per capita until the end of 2015. The Ministry will determine how much producers must contribute to this target each year as a % of the amount Placed on the Market (POM). Producers must reach a 40% target in 2016 and the collection target will increase annually by 5% to 65% in 2021;
  • Distance sellers and producers with a registered office in another EU Member State may appoint authorised representatives. Distance sellers, selling directly to end-users, must register directly or through an authorised representative;
  • Producers of both B2C and B2B EEE must inform buyers of the WEEE management costs at the point of sale

Slovakia

The Ministry of Environment has published a draft Act revising the Waste Act. The draft is based on the legislative intent of the Waste Act approved by the Government in July 2013. The new Act transposes the provisions of the Recast WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU and is expected to come into force on 1 January 2015. Changes proposed by the Draft include:

  • the elimination of the Recycling Fund and hence the producers’ obligations to pay the relevant fees;
  • the obligation for individually complying producers to be authorised by the Ministry of Environment and the establishment of a coordination centre that the authorised entities must join;
  • a landfill ban on wastes subject to extended producer responsibility and sorted biodegradable waste

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.

Source: Perchards/Sagis