After a considerable delay the Regulations implementing the European Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) were published in December 2006. They affect many Federation members in one form or another.
The biggest effect will be on members who are "Producers" under the definition in the Regulations. You are a producer for the purposes of the Regulations if you are:
- A manufacturer of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) selling under your own brand in the EEC, or
- A business based in the UK selling under your own brand EEE manufactured by another person, or
- A professional importer introducing EEE to the UK market, or
- A business based in the UK that places EEE in other European Member States by means of distance selling.
If you are a producer then you have a number of obligations under the Regulations. You must:
- Join a Producer Scheme
- Mark your products with the crossed out wheelie-bin symbol and a date mark,
- Make information available to the treatment facilities in respect of new EEE put onto the UK market
Members were sent information about the Producer Scheme available through BHHMA (WEEE Link) though there are a number of other schemes available. The registration date was 15th March 2007, so if you are a producer and you have not already joined a scheme you should do so immediately. The information you need to supply when registering with a scheme concerns the weight of EEE placed on the UK and EC markets during 2006. There is considerable confusion over what weighing equipment is or is not covered by the WEEE Directive and sadly, despite questions to the DTI at the recent seminars they held around the country, that confusion is far from being resolved. The only advice we can offer at this stage is to consult with the scheme provider and get their advice.
If you have any questions about what is or is not covered, or whether you fall within the definition of producer or not please pass them to the Technical Officer. What we want to do is compile a list of problems and queries which we can place before the DTI or the Environment Agencies to see if we can get some clear guidance. There are, incidentally, Guidance Notes published by DTI which are available through their web-site at:
What the Regulations are not very clear on are the obligations and responsibilities with regard to the "take-back" and disposal for producers and distributors of EEE used for business purposes. The Federation is still attempting to get this clarified but again, if you have any questions or concerns please pass them through to the Technical Officer.
We would like to put all our questions to the DTI at the end of April, so if you have any query you need an answer to please let us have it by the 15th April.