WEEE Recast 2012/19/EU

A number of substantial changes have been made to Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (the WEEE Directive). In the interests of clarity, Directive 2002/96/EC has now been recast.

The European Parliament adopted the WEEE Directive recast (WEEE Recast) in its second reading in plenary on 19 January and the text was formally adopted by the Council and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 24 July 2012.

Member states have 18 months (by 14 February 2014) to transpose the changes into national WEEE regulations.

Some of the notable changes for B2B producers which are included in the WEEE Recast are summarised below.

Product Scope

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) and
  • the exemption of ‘equipment [that is] part of another type of equipment’ [which itself is out of the scope]’ has been tightened by requiring that such equipment can only fulfil its function if it is part of the other equipment (Art. 2.3 b).

From 15 August 2018, an ‘open’ scope will apply, that

  • is divided into six new categories (Annex III of the WEEE Recast) - for the purpose of differentiated recovery and recycling targets.
  • provides for additional exemptions (Art. 2.4) that are backed up by clear definitions: in particular, definitions are introduced for 'large-scale fixed installation', 'large-scale stationary industrial tools', 'medical device' and 'in vitro diagnostic medical device' (Art. 3 b, c, d, m, n, o). Member States that currently include such equipment in their national WEEE scope will have to exclude it by 2018.

The six new categories which will apply from 15 August 2018 are:

  1. Temperature exchange equipment
  2. Screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm2
  3. Lamps
  4. Large equipment (any external dimension greater than 50cm) 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 50cm) including, but not limited to: Household appliances; consumer equipment; luminaires; equipment reproducing sound or images, musical equipment; electrical and electronic tool; 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.
  6. Small IT and telecommunication equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm)

Producer definition

Article 3 of the WEEE Recast newly defines producer, with reference to the legal base of a company, as an entity

  • established in the same Member State in which the product is placed on the market
  • established in another Member State – if selling directly to end-users [irrespective of whether B2C or B2B EEE is placed on the market].

Article 17 of the WEEE Recast requires that Member States must allow EU-based ‘foreign’ producers to comply through an authorised representative. Therefore, any company established in a Member State may be able to appoint an authorised representative to register in another Member State where the company is not established. The exact requirements and options for producers to appoint an authorised representative will depend on how the WEEE Recast is to be implemented in each EU Member State.

Shipments of WEEE

Article 10 of the WEEE Recast combines the provisions of Article 6 (Treatment) of Directive 2002/96/EC [for example that WEEE export must take place in compliance with the Waste Shipment Regulations] with the new requirement for the Commission to establish detailed rules for WEEE exporters to prove that treatment of WEEE outside the EU takes place in conditions equivalent to those required by the WEEE Recast.

Recovery targets

The achievement of the recovery/recycling and ‘prepared for reuse’ targets are calculated as the weight of the WEEE entering respective treatment facilities divided by the weight of all separately collected WEEE.

  • Until 2015, the targets of current WEEE Directive remain applicable.
  • From 2016 to end 2018, equipment ‘prepared for re-use’ will count towards the recycling target (except for gas discharge lamps) and all targets (except those for gas discharge lamps) will be increased by 5%.
  • From 2019, the targets are based on the new WEEE categories: While this will leave targets unchanged for many products, they will be higher for small cooling equipment (no dimension exceeding 50 cm) and EEE with monitors larger than 100 cm3 (laptops, tablets and larger smartphones), and lower for small IT equipment and consumer electronics without monitors.

ENVIRON 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 which will apply from August 2018 or will be temporarily or permanently exempt from the WEEE recast (for example, because your product falls under an application exemption);
  • How the new definitions of producer will apply to your company sales arrangements in EU Member States;
  • Membership to ENVIRON’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