The Producer Responsibility Obligations (WEEE) Regulations came into force in 2007 and below is everything you need to know about WEEE compliance and the producer responsibility legislation. The questions below are designed to address who is obligated by the WEEE requirements and how this affects WEEE compliance.
What is EEE and WEEE?
WEEE stands for ‘waste electrical and electronic equipment’ and refers to electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) which comes to the end of its life. EEE in this context is defined as equipment which is dependent on electrical currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly.
Not all equipment with electrical parts is in scope of the WEEE regulations.
With the exception of category 7 (toys and leisure), only products which require electricity to fulfil their primary function are within scope.
There are also a number of other specific exemptions.
Who is a producer? Who is a distributor?
The WEEE Regulations (2013) effect two main types of business, WEEE producers and WEEE distributors.
WEEE producers are companies who:
- Manufacture EEE under their own name or trademark or has EEE designed or manufactured and markets it under its own name or trademark (manufacture)
- Resell EEE under its own name or trademark equipment produced by other suppliers (rebrand)
- Import on a professional basis EEE from a third country (imports)
- Sell by means of distance communication directly to end users from a third country (distance seller)
WEEE distributors are companies who sell EEE goods directly to household end users.
What does an EEE producer or distributor need to do?
There are several steps a producer needs to take to be compliant with the regulations. We have several documents which provide more detail on this but a non-exhaustive list is below:
- Register with an approved Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) or with the Environment Agency directly
- Declare the tonnages of EEE you place on the UK market
- Ensure products are correctly marked with the crossed out wheeled bin and date mark
- Ensure responsibilities in relation to funding WEEE recovery are met
A distributor also has several actions to take to be compliant under the regulations. This includes:
- Offering take back of WEEE
- Publicising the WEEE regulations and take back loop
- Or joining the Distributor Take Back Scheme
Please contact Comply Direct for more information on who to comply with the WEEE regulations.
What is the difference between household and non-household EEE?
EEE should be declared as household if it can be used in a household environment.
Items which are solely for use in a non-household environment should be declared as non-household. The product’s design, specification and function need to be taken into consideration when making the assessment as to whether an item can only be used in a non-household environment.
The attributes to take into consideration when making this decision are below and these should be considered only in relation to the products normal intended use:
- Durability, construction and material specification
- Size and weight
- Power supply and voltage
If you have any questions about this classification, please contact Comply Direct who can offer advice.
What products are specifically exempt under the WEEE regulations?
Certain equipment is exempt under the WEEE regulations including:
- Equipment which does not require electricity for its primary function
- Equipment which is part of another type of equipment which is outside of the scope of the WEEE regulations eg. Part of an aircraft
- Filament bulbs
- Household luminaires
- Equipment for military purposes
- Large scale industrial tools
- Implanted or infected medical equipment
Please contact Comply Direct for advice on whether your items are in scope of the WEEE regulations.
As a producer what EEE weights do I need to declare?
As a producer you need to declare to your compliance scheme the weight of EEE you have placed on the market. This requirement is quarterly for household producers and annually for non-household producers. The submission needs to be made by WEEE category (there are 14 categories) and by household or non-household weight.
The weight should be the weight of the full product without batteries or packaging but including any accessories sold with the product.
What should I do if my WEEE question has not been answered here?
Please contact our expert WEEE team at Comply Direct on 0844 873 1034 or by email to email@example.com and we will be only too happy to help with your query.
What WEEE category do I fall within?
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.