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WEEE Blog

30th June 2020

Cherry Whittaker

Providing you with the latest WEEE compliance developments and regulatory updates all in one place, to allow you to keep abreast of key industry changes in a quick and efficient manner.

Coronavirus updates from Environment Agency - WEEE collections

Posted: 30 June 2020

The Regulatory Position Statement implemented for ensuring social distancing when signing and handing over waste transfer and consignment notes in person (RPS C8 – read the full guidance HERE) which is to be adhered to by waste collection companies when facilitating a collection from a business’ site, has been extended to continue until 30 September 2020.

Environment Agency publishes updated guidance on management of WEEE

Posted: 10 June 2020

'Following a study to examine the presence of POPs in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), we have clarified the requirements for how you must manage WEEE’, the statement from the Environment Agency reads.

The guidance outlines that all WEEE waste should be treated as containing hazardous substances or POPs unless it can be proved that levels in the item are below the set concentration limits. 

Click here for full details

Q1 WEEE & battery collection data shows positive start towards meeting targets

Posted: 1 June 2020

Latest WEEE collected data released by the Environment Agency (1 June) illustrates that the UK is largely on track to meet DEFRA set targets (read our story HERE for more details on the 2020 collection targets). It seems that Q1 (January to March) WEEE collections were largely unaffected by Covid-19, apart from perhaps a lost couple of weeks towards the end of March due to the start of national lockdown.

Click here for our full analysis

Environment Agency confirm our full compliance with the WEEE Regulations for 2019

Posted: 11 May 2020

Comply Direct are delighted to announce that our WEEE Declaration of Compliance has been accepted for the 2019 compliance period - continuing our 100% record of compliance since our inception.

Click here to read more about what this means

Coronavirus updates - WEEE estimated data from producers permitted by Environment Agency

Posted: 7 May 2020

Obligated B2C WEEE producers usually submit their data on a quarterly basis and in light of the current situation, the Environment Agency issued a statement in early April announcing that whilst they expect all those with obligations under the WEEE Regulations to take all reasonable steps to comply, they are doing what they can to support producers during this difficult time. Therefore, this statement confirmed that where actual accurate data cannot be obtained due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, WEEE producers can provide reasonable estimates for their ‘placed on market’ data. If estimated data is submitted, the Environment Agency expect records to be kept of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the data submission and the basis for any estimations.

The Q1 submission deadline remained the same (30 April 2020) and the statement confirmed that this position regarding estimated data will be reviewed for subsequent quarterly submissions. In addition, the EA have advised that late registration/ resubmission fees will still apply if the late registration is not a direct result of COVID-19.

COVID-19 support for electrical waste recyclers: Loans available from the WEEE Fund

Posted: 1 May 2020

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Fund (WEEE Fund) has unveiled financial support in excess of £5 million for Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs), to assist them in remaining operational whilst in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for full details

DEFRA confirm household WEEE collection targets for 2020

Posted: 27 April 2020

The UK household WEEE collection target for 2020 has been confirmed and is 497,338 tonnes. This is 5,149 less than the total amount of household WEEE collected and reported by compliance schemes to the environment agencies in 2019. The target for 2020 is 53,189 tonnes less than the 2019 target.

Click here to see all the confirmed figures

DEFRA release the proposed 2020 household WEEE collections targets

Posted: 4 March 2020

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have released the proposed household WEEE collection targets for 2020 suggesting lowering them (12,601 tonnes) given the shortfall against achieving 2019 targets. The proposed UK household WEEE collection target for 2020 is 537,976 tonnes. This is still 35,439 tonnes more than the total amount of household WEEE collected and reported to the environment agencies in 2019.

Click here for full details

The Future of the WEEE & Batteries Regulations

Posted: 3 March 2020

Following on from the release of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy in December 2018, which you can read more about HERE, we are now in the year when we can expect to see consultations on amending the WEEE and Batteries producer responsibility regimes.

As stated in the Resources and Waste Strategy document, the aim of these reviews is to “incentivise more sustainable product design, increase recycling and ensure alignment with the wider Extended Producer Responsibility framework.” After these reviews, government will change the current regulations as required.

Click here to read more

Q4 WEEE data shows failure to meet collection targets for 3rd year

Posted: 2 March 2020

Latest WEEE collected data released by the Environment Agency (1 March 2020) shows that collection targets have been missed for every category, which marks the third consecutive year of this being the case.

To provide an overview, in 2019, WEEE compliance schemes collected 494,976 tonnes of WEEE in total which is equivalent to 90% of the target, being 550,577 tonnes.

Click here for our full analysis

Government Publish Post Implementation Review of the 2013 WEEE Regulations

Posted: 28 February 2020

February 2020 saw the publication of the delayed Post Implementation Review of the 2013 WEEE Regulations which had originally been expected in 2019. The review is of particular importance in light of the fact the WEEE Regulations are currently under review with a full consultation expected on a new version of the regulations toward the end of 2020.

Click here to read more

2019 WEEE Compliance Fee Method Confirmed

Posted: 3 February 2020

In October 2019, two proposals were put forward for the 2019 WEEE compliance fee, the mechanism which allows Producer Compliance Schemes to achieve compliance if collection targets are not met. Today (3 February 2020), DEFRA confirmed their chosen methodology for the 2019 compliance year, which is once again, the JTA proposal, subject to a couple of amends.

Click here for more details about the chosen method

New requirement for large retailers to physically take back WEEE from 2021

Posted: 6 January 2020

Following a decision from Rebecca Pow, the Recycling Minister, from 2021 large retailers will be required to take back waste electrical and electronic equipment in-store. Whilst no immediate action is required, large retailers* need to be aware a change is on the horizon and they will need to plan accordingly for this.

*In terms of in-store take back, Environment Agency guidance states that a 'large retailer' is a company with an electrical and electronic equipment sales area greater than 400 square metres including aisle, display and shelf space.

Click here for more details

The Environment Agency has released the 2019 Q3 WEEE collected data

Posted: 1 December 2019

Latest WEEE collected data released by the Environment Agency (1 December 2019) further supports that the UK is unlikely to achieve set recycling targets for the third year in a row. Generally, the continuing trend following on from the Q2 data is that we are still behind target for the majority of WEEE categories.

Click here to read our full analysis

EU instates new eco-design rules for electrical items to reduce carbon impact

Posted: 2 October 2019

As of 1 October 2019, the European Commission have put new eco-design measures in place for electrical appliances with the aim of increasing recyclability and reducing Europe’s carbon footprint. This development came as a result of a consultation process on the topic which has subsequently determined 10 eco-design implementing Regulations.

Click here for more details

Q2 WEEE collected data: Indicates a compliance fee may be required for 2019

Posted: 5 September 2019

Latest WEEE collected data released by the Environment Agency (2 September) demonstrates that less WEEE was collected in Q2, in comparison to the first 3 months of 2019. Overall, 626 tonnes less WEEE was collected in Q2 than Q1.

Click here to read our full analysis 

Government confirm mandatory Producer Balancing System (PBS) method

Posted: 23 July 2019

Following a consultation released earlier this year for determining the methodology to administer the Producer Compliance Scheme Balancing System (PBS), The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced on 19 July that they have selected the WEEE Scheme Forum’s (WSF) proposal. From 1 January 2019, an amendment to the WEEE Regulations set out a requirement for all Producer Compliance Schemes to join the Government-approved Producer Balancing System (PBS).

Click here for more details

Environmental Audit Committee announce enquiry into WEEE sector and the Circular Economy

Posted: 27 June 2019

Today (27 June 2019), the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), chaired by Labour MP Mary Creagh, have launched a new enquiry to investigate implementing a Circular Economy for WEEE, as well as the current state of the sector, including reviewing the suitability of the 2019 collection targets.

Click here to read more about the areas the EA are seeking views on and why

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Plastics: Impact on WEEE Recycling

Posted: 14 June 2019

POPs are a group of organic chemical substances which, due to their specific physical and chemical properties, are able to persist in the environment for long periods of time. Once released into the environment they have the ability to bio-magnify and bio-accumulate in ecosystems and have significant negative environmental and human health impacts. The flame retardants previously used in the manufacture of WEEE plastics are now identified as POPs, the most common being brominated flame retardants. 

Click here to read more about the impacts on WEEE

2019 Q1 WEEE collected data: Are the targets too challenging?

Posted: 12 June 2019

Latest figures released by the Environment Agency indicate an increase in WEEE collected compared to the same period in 2018.

The overall tonnage of WEEE collected has increased by 2117 tonnes compared to the same January-March period in 2018, with significant increases seen in category 14 (PV Panels) and category 12 (Cooling Appliances). 

Click here to see all the figures

Demanding 2019 WEEE Collection Targets Confirmed

Posted: 28 March 2019

Yesterday (27 March 2019) The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced the 2019 household WEEE collection targets. This follows an initial draft of the targets published late in February which requested feedback from the industry on a suggested 12% increase from 2018. In a nutshell, producer compliance schemes are now required to collect an additional 58,000 tonnes of WEEE to achieve the new demanding 2019 targets. 

Click here for more details

WEEE Consultation - Producer Compliance Balancing System (PBS)

Posted: 11 March 2019

From 1 January 2019, an amendment to the WEEE Regulations sets out a requirement for all Producer Compliance Schemes to join the Government-approved Producer Balancing System (PBS).

Such a mandatory system has been introduced to ensure that the cost of collecting WEEE at the request of local authorities is shared amongst all Compliance Schemes (a Regulation 34 request states that a Scheme has to collect WEEE from a local authority site within 5 working days for no cost).

Click here for more details

DEFRA propose 12% increase for 2019 household WEEE collection targets

Posted: 28 February 2019

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have released the first draft of the proposed household WEEE collection targets for 2019 suggesting a 12% increase from 2018. Every year in March, DEFRA invites views from the industry in regards to the household WEEE collection targets ahead of finalising them by 31 March 2018. These targets determine the quantity of WEEE a household WEEE producer must fund, based on their market share.

Click here for more details

2018 WEEE Compliance Fee Method Confirmed

Posted: 1 February 2019

Today DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) confirmed that the Joint Trade Association methodology has been selected to set the 2018 WEEE compliance fee, which was also utilised in 2017 (more details in our post dated 15 October 2018 below). In their official announcement of this decision, DEFRA said: “Defra accepts the JTA’s approach to handling net income generating WEEE streams (applicable to all WEEE streams) and its recommendation for zero fee for LDA (Large Domestic Appliances).”

Click here to read more about the 2 proposals originally put forward

Future changes within the WEEE compliance market

Posted: 28 January 2019

The future of the WEEE regulations is not yet firmly set in stone. The UK has vowed to follow the EU’s movements on eco-design. There is also the possibility that some form of modulation will begin to apply for WEEE; meaning that there may be a shift from “pay for what you replace” towards a system more in line with the “polluter pays” system, whereby WEEE fees are applied based on a products direct environmental credentials rather than its predecessors. Whilst changes to the WEEE regulations could have a high impact on the levels of data and method of funding provided by producers into the waste management system, the relationship between compliance schemes, their customers and their suppliers should remain largely unchanged.

WEEE Open Scope: An Update - August 2018

Posted: 30 August 2018

The Environment Agency intends to publish updated EEE Scope Guidance incorporating Open Scope in September. This will allow companies time to assess whether their products now fall under the scope of the WEEE Regulations ahead of the annual scheme re-registration period in November.

‘Open scope’ means a change to the legislation to make all electrical items in scope of the regulations from 2019 if they meet the below criteria and are not covered by a specific exemption. All producers will need to review the products they declare under the regulations to ensure they remain compliant in 2019.

There are still bits and pieces to be confirmed, but to avoid any further delay we have prepared a summary of what we know at this point in time.

What do we know?

The definition of EEE remains the same: ‘equipment which depends upon electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly’.

Some items will continue to be out of scope under an exemption or an exclusion, including but not limited to:

  • Products intended for military use or designed to be sent into space
  • Equipment designed and installed into another type of out of scope equipment e.g. a satnav wired into a boat
  • Filament bulbs
  • Large-scale stationary industrial tools or large-scale fixed installations (further detail on how to classify something as ‘large-scale’ will be provided by the Environment Agency which we will share on receipt)
  • Implantable medical devices or medical devices expected to be infective at end of life
  • Components and spare parts
  • Non-electrical accessories unless needed for the product to function as described in its product description

The current 14 categories of EEE are remaining the same. Newly in scope products will be assigned to one of these categories. B2C (household) category 5, lighting equipment, will not have an associated WEEE target in 2019 meaning producers will not be subject to having an obligation or recycling fees in this category until 2020. However, producers must declare their placed on the market tonnage in this category in 2019.

Which products will be coming into scope?

  • Household luminaires – decorative, novelty and solar-powered, to include the lamp shade when supplied with the luminaire
  • Lighting ceiling roses with flex and bulb holder
  • Plugs, sockets, switches and dimmers
  • Fuse boxes, circuit breakers, junction boxes – when supplied as finished products
  • Taps with additional safety features or sensors
  • Clothing where the electrical function is a fundamental feature e.g. t-shirt with heart rate monitor
  • Air conditioning units in a household or business system
  • Air filtering and extracting systems attached to or integrated into a building
  • Gas boilers

What is still to be confirmed?

There are still a few product types for which we are awaiting a final decision:

  • Furniture with additional features which require electricity to function
  • Mirrors with lights
  • CHIP and RFID cards
  • Stairlifts/ mobility scooters/ electric wheelchairs

Comply Direct is actively involved in Open Scope discussions with the Environment Agency and DEFRA and is on hand to support with any changes brought about through Open Scope. We will keep you updated as and when the Environment Agency releases further guidance.

The changes could be significant for you as a producer and so we would ask that you ensure you have factored in time for assessing whether your products will be impacted by the open scope change and that you keep up to date with our correspondence in regards to this. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are here to make sure this is a smooth transition for our producers.

PODCAST: WEEE Open Scope - What we know so far

Posted: 5 July 2018

We have received many queries from WEEE producers, both our members and non-members, about WEEE Open Scope, so during this podcast we're chatting about what we know so far (as of 5 July 2018), including an up-to-date overview of Open Scope and the effects it will have on the current WEEE Regulations once implemented.

WEEE Open Scope in Germany 

WEEE Open Scope in Germany will come into force on 15 August 2018 affecting companies selling electrical products into Germany. However, in the UK and other European countries it is not due to be implemented until January 2019. 

Businesses currently selling products with electrical functions into Germany may become obligated under the German WEEE Regulations who were not previously, due to expansion of the product scope. Businesses selling furniture and clothing with electrical components are two such examples.

To help you determine which category the electrical products you sell into Germany will fall into, view a category decision tree HERE.

Current WEEE producers who already comply with the German Regulations will need to register any additional products that are now in scope prior to 15 August. Companies who are becoming obligated for the first time will also need to register before this date.

Comply Direct have a dedicated international compliance team who can help with this, to ensure that obligated companies are compliant in Germany by handling the registration with the relevant authority and ensuring the correct data is submitted on time going forward. Read more about our international compliance service HERE.

New Environment Agency WEEE Charges Released for 2019

Posted: 21 March 2018

The outcome of the Environment Agency’s consultation on WEEE charges has been released (21 March 2018). WEEE producers, compliance schemes and AATFs will see changes from 2019.

Why the Change?

The overall aim of the consultation was to set charges in such a way that they ‘work better for businesses and the environment… and are financially stable’. A total of 813 responses to the consultation were received with a large number coming from businesses affected by the WEEE regulations.

The Impact

The stakeholders aforementioned will be affected by WEEE Open Scope as follows:

If you think you may be obligated by the current WEEE regulations or will be once Open Scope is implemented, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our expert WEEE team for further information. We will be able to advise if your company does have an obligation and outline the steps you need to take to ensure compliance. Call us on 01756 794 951 or email info@complydirect.com