Implementation awaits after epic 3-year WEEE recast

Today, a European Parliament plenary vote has brought to an end an epic 3-year parliamentary debate on what was initially designed at ‘tweaking’ the original Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive. The European engineering industries represented by Orgalime has mixed feelings to this news. “What was meant to be a minor change to improve the functioning of
this directive and offering industry more certainty has turned into a revision “exercise” with areas such as the scope still as unclear as before.” said Adrian Harris, Director General of Orgalime.

Opposed to the recast from the outset, since companies are crying out for regulatory certainty and predictability rather than continuous regulatory change, Orgalime was also concerned about the issue of collection rate. It appears that Member States will remain the addressee of the collection
rate target, strengthened with a mandate to involve all actors in achieving the target. “This will be a particularly relevant issue for the forthcoming transposition and implementation stages if the EU wishes to realise its resource efficiency objectives. Only if all channels of WEEE are targeted, can the increased collection targets and the EU’s resource efficiency agenda be reached.” commented Mr Harris. In other key areas, opportunities to make a business friendly Directive have been missed: greater harmonisation could have been better realised had Regulators decided to
introduce an electronic portal for registration, or indeed made a stronger link between producer definition and registration. On a positive note though, the introduction of an ‘authorised representative’ avoids the need of a legal seat of a company in each member state – this evidently reduces the administrative burden.

18 January, 2012
Press release

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