The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (2013) became law in the UK on 1 January 2014 and replaced the WEEE Regulations 2006
These Regulations refer to the government’s interpretation of the EU Directive 2012/19/EU. The purpose of the Directive was to set targets for the collection, recovery and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment across Europe and divert volumes of waste electrical equipment from landfill. The legislation places the onus on producers to be responsible for their items when they become waste.
The UK regulations require businesses to:
- Minimise waste arising from their electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) products and promote their reuse
- Ensure the waste products are treated correctly and meet recovery and recycling targets for the waste materials
- Design products by reducing material use and enhancing reusability and recyclability
Businesses who place electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) on the UK market for the first time by importing, manufacturing, rebranding or distance selling are considered producers under the regulations and must register with the Environment Agency (EA) directly or via a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) such as Comply Direct.
WEEE Open Scope - A change to the regulations from 2019
‘Open Scope’ meant a change to the current WEEE legislation which made all electrical items in scope of the regulations from 2019 if they meet the published criteria and are not covered by a specific exemption. It is important that WEEE producers review the products they declare under the regulations to ensure they remain compliant in 2019 and going forward.
You can access the new Environment Agency scope guidance incorporating Open Scope HERE. This will help you to determine if your products are in scope, but please don't hesitate to contact our team of WEEE experts here and we can confirm for definite.
The UK is keeping the current 14 EEE categories and from 2019, although fitting into one of the 14 categories will no longer be used as a determiner for whether an electrical item is in scope or not, electrical products will still have to be placed in the category of closest relevance for reporting purposes. You can access a list of the products which came into scope for the first time from 2019 and which category they should be declared under HERE
For WEEE producers placing over 5 tonnes of B2C EEE products coming into scope from 2019, they will not have to begin financing the recycling of these items until 2020.
Watch our WEEE Open Scope webinar!
Click below to view our Open Scope webinar (recorded at the end of 2018) during which we provide all the information you need to know regarding the changes, enabling you to assess whether your products now fall under the scope of the WEEE Regulations, or indeed more of them do if you are already a registered producer.
Small and Large Producers
If a business places five or more tonnes of EEE on the market in a year they are considered a large producer and must register with a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS). If a business places under five tonnes of EEE on the market in a year, the business will be considered a small producer and have the option to register with a PCS or directly with the Environment Agency.
Comply Direct operates as a WEEE Producer Compliance Scheme and accommodates producers of all sizes with cost-effective membership fees and recycling fees.
If your business sells EEE items directly to household end users you will have an obligation as a WEEE distributor. A distributor must offer in-store take back or join the distributor take back scheme.
As of 1 January 2021, there were significant changes to retailer responsibilities for WEEE producer take-back. Our Policy Leader Martin Hyde provides a quick 5-minute video guide below to explain what your take-back obligations are, how you can meet them and how we can help you to do so.
The flowchart decision tree graphic shown in the video to help you determine your specific take-back obligation is also available for you to access as a document download HERE
Read more about WEEE compliance in our knowledge bank below or visit our frequently asked questions.
Which category are you in?
Under the UK WEEE Regulations, there are 14 categories of WEEE which are used for reporting purposes. Producers must therefore decide which category to list their equipment under from the following:
1. Large household appliances (e.g. white goods but not including cooling equipment)
2. Small household appliances (e.g. vacuums, irons, toasters)
3. IT and telecoms equipment (e.g. computers, printers, calculators, phones, answer machines but not display monitors)
4. Consumer equipment (e.g. radios, hi-fi equipment, electronic musical instruments but not televisions)
5. Lighting equipment
6. Electrical and electronic tools (e.g. drills, saws, sewing machines etc., but excluding large stationary industrial tools)
7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment (e.g. train sets, video games, coin slot machines and all sports equipment with electrical components)
8. Medical devices (e.g. dialysis machines, ventilators)
9. Monitoring and Control instruments (e.g. smoke detectors, thermostats)
10. Automatic dispensers (e.g. ATMs, vending machines)
11. Display equipment (e.g. TVs and monitors)
12. Cooling equipment (e.g. refrigeration equipment)
13. Gas discharge lamps (amended for 2013 to include all LED light sources as well as gas discharge lamps)
14. Photovoltaic (Solar) Panels
The above list of 14 categories is indicative and not intended to be exhaustive. Comply Direct should be consulted for more producer examples of obligated EEE per category.
Find out if you are obligated today
Free Compliance Identification Service
If your company has grown quickly or you have previously been unaware of the Packaging, WEEE or Batteries regulations then our FREE confidential Compliance Identification Service is for you. Click here for more details.