Producers have obligations both in terms of the EEE they sell and in terms of financing the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of WEEE.
Who is responsible for compliance?
Obligated producers include businesses that:
manufacture and sell EEE under their own brand in the UK
resell equipment made by someone else under their own brand (if the maker’s brand appears on the equipment, it is the producer)
import EEE on a commercial basis into the UK
are established outside of the UK and supply EEE directly to the UK market by distance selling (for example online, mail order, by phone)
Distributors (including retailers) which make EEE available on the UK market, extending to any means of distance selling.
In 2019, the scope of products under these regulations widened to include all EEE, unless specifically exempted or excluded, commonly referred to as ‘Open Scope’. To ensure compliance, producers should review their products to ensure all products within scope are captured within their reporting. The Environment Agency has published guidance on Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) covered by the WEEE Regulations.
What are the Obligations?
Each year, obligated companies must register or be registered via a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) with the environmental regulator. Companies must submit data returns on products placed on the market to calculate their obligation which translates into a fee that must be paid.
There are 2 types of producers:
Small Producers: Producers that place less than 5 tonnes of EEE on the UK market in any one compliance period. Small producers are not required to join a PCS, they are able to register directly with the relevant environment agency.
Producers placing over 5 tonnes of EEE on the UK Market: These producers are required to join a PCS.
Producers must pay PCSs according to their published fee structure and membership rules. The PCS undertakes to meet producer obligations to finance the collection, treatment, recovery, and environmentally sound disposal of:
Non-household WEEE (unless alternative arrangements have been made between the producer and business end-user)
Reporting & Other Requirements
Producers must provide information to PCS about its business and volumes of EEE placed on the UK market by product category and that placed on the market for household and non-household use.
For household, EEE producers must report the placed on the market data quarterly
For non-household EEE producers must report placed on the market data annually
Businesses supplying EEE to the household end user irrespective of sales method will have obligations as a WEEE distributor.
Distributors must provide Free take-back of Household WEEE this can be carried via:
Join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS). This scheme allows distributors to contribute to the funding of a network of collection facilities for household WEEE. DTS is currently undergoing changes and will no longer be an option for larger retailers (excess of £100,000 of turnover in sales of EEE) as of the 1st January 2021. Smaller stores and online retailers without physical retail premises will be able to continue DTS route until the scheme expires on 31 December 2021.
Offer in-store take back. Distributors must accept free of charge an item of household WEEE equivalent to the new item of household EEE sold to the consumer irrespective of when and where the original item brought for disposal was originally purchased.
Authorised Representatives (AR)
Producers in other EU Member States should appoint an AR in the UK or join a UK approved producer compliance scheme before placing EEE onto the UK market. This approach is particularly relevant to producers who place EEE on the market in a Member State via distance selling methods.
If required, Greenstreets can support setting up this process.
UK WEEE compliance can be complex and have large financial implications for businesses, therefore it is key to ensure the correct obligations are identified and that data reported is accurate.
Determining a business’s obligations and compiling data is different for every company and it can be cumbersome and overwhelming.
Contact Greenstreets to find how we can help.
Markings & Information
All producers must ensure a ‘crossed-out wheeled bin’ symbol of appropriate size as per the BSI EN50419 standard is displayed on the product.
All producers must provide information on reuse and environmentally sound treatment for any new types of EEE.