EU Legislation on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Directive 2012/19/EU on waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is aimed at improving the collection and recycling of the said waste. The objective of this Directive is to protect the environment and public health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of WEEE and by reducing overall impacts of resource use thus contributing to sustainable development.
“Cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner, if the cyclist stops pedalling” are explicitly included in the scope of this new Directive, which the member states must apply before 15 February 2014.
As a result of this Directive, private EEE users should have the possibility of returning WEEE free of charge to the distributor. When supplying a new product, distributors must accept to take back such waste at least free of charge on a one-to-one basis as long as the equipment is of equivalent type and has fulfilled the same functions as the supplied equipment.
The producers are responsible for taking back the WEEE from the distributors. For that purpose they should be able to choose to fulfil this obligation either individually or by joining a collective scheme.
Definition of producer
‘Producer’ means any natural or legal person who, irrespective of the selling technique used, including distance communication is:
- established in a Member State and manufactures EEE under his own name or trademark, or as EEE designed or manufactured and markets it under his name or trademark within the territory of that Member State;
- established in a Member State and resells within the territory of that Member State, under his own name or trademark, equipment produced by other suppliers, a reseller not being regarded as the ‘producer’ if the brand of the producer appears on the equipment, as provided for in point (i);
- established in a Member State and places on the market of that Member State, on a professional basis, EEE from a third country or from another Member State; or sells EEE by means of distance communication directly to private households or to users other than private households in a Member State, and is established in another Member State or in a third country.
Producers or their authorised representative, including those supplying EEE by means of distance selling, must be registered in every member state that they sell to. This registration is different form the registration relating to the Battery Directive.
For that registration, the producer has to provide, next to general administrative details, the following information:
- Type of EEE (household or other than household equipment).
- Brand name of EEE.
- Information on how the producer meets its responsibilities: individual or collective scheme, including information on financial guarantee.
- Selling technique used (e.g. distance selling).
- Declaration stating that the information provided is true.Quantity of EEE placed on the national market, by weight.
- Quantity, by weight, of waste of EEE separately collected, recycled (including prepared for re-use), recovered and disposed of within the Member State or shipped within or outside the Union.
Each Member State shall ensure the implementation of the ‘producer responsibility’ principle and, on that basis, that a minimum collection rate is achieved annually. From 2016, the minimum collection rate shall be 45 % calculated on the basis of the total weight of WEEE collected in a given year in the Member State concerned, expressed as a percentage of the average weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years in that Member State. Member States shall ensure that the volume of WEEE collected evolves gradually during the period from 2016 to 2019.
For each WEEE category, the Directive sets out minimum recovery targets. However, the Commission still needs to clarify under which product category pedelecs fall.