Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recast Directive 2012/19/EU is a European legislation that each member state was required to transpose into national law by February 2014. So far, Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and the UK have transposed the WEEE Recast Directive. Meanwhile, draft legislation to transpose the WEEE Recast has been released by 18 EEA Member States.
The period between August 2012 and August 2018 serves a transitional period. During this period the scope of WEEE is identical to that of the old directive (10 categories of electrical and electronic equipment). From August 2018 onwards, the scope of WEEE widens to include all electrical and electronic equipment (in 6 categories instead of the existing 10 categories).
More information: FAQ document
Products in Scope
The current product scope of 10 categories of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) will remain in place during the transitional period of Aug. 13, 2012, to Aug. 14, 2018 (with the addition of photovoltaic panels (PV) in Category 4: consumer equipment).
From August 15, 2018, an open scope of products within six EEE categories will apply (Annex III of the WEEE Recast Directive), including:
- Temperature exchange equipment
- Screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 square centimeters
- Large equipment (any external dimension more than 50 centimeters) including, but not limited to: household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; consumer equipment; luminaries; 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.
- Small equipment (no external dimension more than 50 centimeters) including, but not limited to: household appliances; consumer equipment; luminaries; 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.
- Small IT and telecommunication equipment (no external dimension more than 50 centimeters)>
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 that has a registered business address in one EU Member State to comply through an authorized representative in other Member States where it does not have a registered business address.
Member States will have to meet tougher WEEE collection targets. From 2016, Article 7 of the WEEE Recast sets WEEE collection rates that will be considerably harder to meet than the current target of 4 kilograms per person. From 2016, Member States must achieve a collection target of 45 percent 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 percent of the average annual weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years or, alternatively, 85 percent of WEEE generated in that Member State. (These targets apply to the new WEEE categories.)
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 percent collection rate no later than 2016 (rather than 45 percent) and achieve an increased rate (65 percent to 85 percent) 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 authorized representatives can register and report information on websites
- a Member State's registration website provides web links to the national registers in other Member States
Because each of the 28 Member States and EEA Members introduces 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.