Policies & Issues

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)


What is it?

The Directive on Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (‘WEEE1’) regulates the end of life management of a wide and disparate range of electrical and electronic consumer appliances as well as certain professional equipment; washing machines, TVs, radios, shavers, PCs, printers, medical equipment, such as X-ray equipment, monitoring equipment, vending machines, toys, etc. Producers are responsible for the end of life management of waste electrical and electronic equipment returned to them and consumers are able to return their waste equipment free of charge.

In December 2008, the Commission proposed to review the initial WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC to improve its overall functioning. Following three years of parliamentary debate, the recast WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU (‘WEEE2’) was finally adopted in January 2012 and published in the Official Journal of the EU on 24 July 2012. The recast WEEE entered into force on 13 August 2012, launching the transposition/implementation process of WEEE2. Member states will have to transpose the Recast WEEE Directive into national law by 14 February 2014 at the latest.

WEEE1 will be repealed with effect from 15 February 2014.


Why is it important?

Orgalime, which represents the European engineering industry as a whole – and therefore, those industries, which are by far the most affected by the Directive - has fought hard to obtain a reasonable solution for manufacturers during the complex adoption and recast procedure.

Since the final adoption by the European institutions, our industry is again working actively on the implementation of the Directives at national level, in particular for setting up and adjusting the systems dealing with waste appliances.

The main changes introduced by the recast to which manufacturers will have to find solutions affect the areas of scope, collection rate and registration, which will have a direct impact on the recently created take back schemes in member states..


Our viewpoint

We are committed to the environmental benefits of the Directive, but also believe that it is of utmost importance to ensure fair competition, as well as a level playing field for manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment. Orgalime aims at continuously improving the Directive and its workability. Orgalime takes the view that the Commission should play an active role in ensuring that member states transpose the Directive correctly and in a harmonised manner. This will become increasingly important for the implementation of the new collection rate to target all channels of WEEE and all actors involved in the collection of WEEE in order to contribute to the EU’s wider resource efficiency policy.


How we’ve been engaged

Orgalime has been actively involved in the recast process and contributed to the different stakeholder consultations or preparatory studies. We closely followed the developments on the legislative process and the whole adoption process of the recast Directive.

As a next step, our industry will concentrate on facilitating the upcoming transposition and implementation of WEEE2 in member states.


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