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Are you an Obligated Producer?
WEEE Producer Responsibility Explained
The WEEE Regulations implement the ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ requirements under the EU WEEE Directive 2003. This means that Producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are obligated in a number of ways; however the legislation is very complex, leaving many Producers unsure of their legal obligations.
B2B Compliance provides interpretation of the intricacies of the legislation, guidance to Producers and pragmatic ways forward. Some common questions asked are addressed below:
Am I an obligated Producer?
The first step in identifying whether a company may be obligated under the regulations is to consider the definition of a 'Producer';
A 'Producer' is defined as:
- A manufacturer who sells EEE under his own brand
- A UK business selling under his own brand EEE manufactured by someone else
- A professional importer of EEE to the UK market
- Manufacture, import or re-brand electrical or electronic equipment (EEE)
- Your products fall within the scope of the 13 product Categories detailed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations then you will be deemed an obligated Producer.
Please see FAQ "What is the Scope of the WEEE Regulations?'
Our dedicated consultants are always on hand to provide expert advice that is relevant to you! If you would like to discuss your obligations, please do not hesitate to contact our Membership Services Team.
What are my options?
If you determine that you are not a legally obligated Producer then you do not have to take any action - but you may be asked by the regulator to show evidence of your decision-making process. On that basis, attending one of our open days as part of your due diligence decision-making process will be time well invested.
If you ARE legally obligated you are required to join an approved WEEE Compliance Scheme, such as B2B Compliance.
Advantages of joining B2B Compliance
- Key legal obligations move from your company to the Scheme
- No requirement for you to be operationally involved
- Common costs are shared across the large scheme membership and thereby greatly reduced
- Each member can track the specific costs accrued to their account
- Our large membership forces competition amongst waste industry service providers
- Use of our expertise will enable you to release resources for your business
- We will seek to protect your interests at all times – not to profit from your membership
Find out more about B2B Compliance and how to join.
What is the scope of the Regulations?
The WEEE Regulations apply to all EEE, as defined within §2 of the Regulations, intended for household and non-household use.
These products are divided into 10 basic categories as detailed in schedule 1 of the Regulations:
- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Consumer equipment
- Lighting equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment
- Medical devices
- Monitoring and control instruments
- Automatic dispensers
Separated from these, are product categories that fall under the Hazardous Waste Regulations, creating the following three sub categories:
- Display equipment e.g. TVs and monitors
- Cooling appliances
- Gas discharge lamps
Schedule 2 of the regulations provides examples of products within each category but please note that this list is not exhaustive – if your sector does not appear to be covered you may still be obligated. Further guidance is available from both official and non-official sources.
Are my EEE products B2B or B2C?
Obligations under the WEEE Regulations depend upon the sector to which the end-user belongs, namely:
- If the end-user of EEE is a householder then the whole supply chain for the finished product is considered Business to Consumer (B2C)
- If the end-user of EEE is not a private household then the whole supply chain for the finished product is considered Business to Business (B2B)
Requirements for those supplying EEE to non-household end-users are significantly different from those supplying EEE to households. There are separate collection and funding arrangements for household and non-household equipment:
- Producers of B2B EEE are required to finance the treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of EEE once it reaches the end of its life.
- Producers of B2C EEE are required to finance the treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of EEE based upon their market share.
It is vital that Producers understand the different circumstances which apply to their sector. For a full explanation and clear guidance, to ensure both legal compliance and protection of your market position, attend a B2B Compliance open day.
What are my obligations?
All Producers have obligations in terms of the EEE they place on the market in the UK, from the initial stages of design and manufacture to financing the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of WEEE once a product reaches the end of its life.
Producers of EEE are obligated to:
- Join an approved Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS)
- Register annually with the Regulatory Authority via their chosen Compliance Scheme (e.g. B2B Compliance)
- Finance the treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of EEE that they produce
- Provide data to the authorities on a regular basis
- Meet recovery and recycling targets
- Carry out 'product marking' as defined within the regulations
- Provide information on product manufacture and components
- Improve product design
- Prove compliance
- Keep records of EEE exported for a minimum of 4 years
What actions should I take?
Join an Approved Compliance Scheme
Now! B2B Compliance continue to accept new Members as well as Producers that wish to transfer from other Schemes and can ensure their swift compliance to the WEEE Regulations.
Collect & Submit EEE data
Now! Producers must submit data via their compliance scheme relating to the weight of EEE they have placed onto the UK market. At B2B Compliance we have an easy-to-use online data registration site.
Product Mark EEE
Now! You should be marking any new EEE items that are being placed onto the market. Contact us for advice if you are not already marking your products.
Take on Financing Obligations
Now! You are legally obliged to finance the collection and recycling of WEEE for which you are obligated – this does not necessarily mean YOUR old products – for further explanation contact our Membership Services Team.
Recycling Target Attainment and Compliance
Now! Compliance Schemes are required to prove that their members have met all the requirements, targets and evidential submissions required by the legislation.
Can I change Schemes?
Producers are required to remain with their Compliance Scheme for the duration of the Compliance Period (a calendar year). Producers, however, can change schemes for the next compliance period during the current Compliance Period. Please contact B2B Compliance to discuss how to change schemes and the benefits gained from becoming a B2B Compliance Member.
What if a Producer has not yet registered, or joined a scheme?
A company that falls within scope of the UK WEEE Regulations and is not a Member of an approved Compliance Scheme or registered as a Producer with the Environment Agency, is in breach of the legislation. Contact B2B Compliance to find out how we can assist organisations in this position, how we can advise you on mitigation and ensure swift compliance to the Regulations.