Recast WEEE and RoHS Directives

Recast WEEE and RoHS Directives


Author: Sophie Wilkinson

With the recast WEEE Directive currently awaiting formal adoption by the European Council, and the RoHS Directive having been recast in July 2011, it is all change for WEEE and RoHS

Recast WEEE Directive

Key changes under the revised directive include:

  • the scope will be extended to cover all Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) after a transitional period of six years
  • targets for WEEE collection are to increase, which will increase compliance costs. By 2016 member states will be required to collect 45% of EEE put on the market in the preceding three years. The target for 2019 will increase to 65% or 85% of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) generated on their territory
  • producers are to be responsible for the costs of collection, treatment, recovery and disposal of WEEE from private households
  • consumers will be able to return small waste items to retailers even where no equivalent product is being bought
  • exporters will have to prove that exported WEEE is being shipped for repair or reuse; currently the burden of proof is on customs officials
  • simplified registration and reporting requirements will apply to producers of EEE

Member states will have 18 months from the date of publication of the revised directive to adopt the necessary national implementation measures.

Recast RoHS Directive

Restricted substances and maximum concentrations remain the same. However:

  • the scope of RoHS is widened to include all EEE - although there are transitional provisions in place; previously only EEE falling into defined categories was caught
  • revised exemptions from the ban are set out, some with expiry dates
  • a more effective mechanism for reviewing and amending the list of restricted substances and granting, renewing and revoking exemptions is introduced, which is to be aligned with REACH and other chemicals legislation
  • compliance with RoHS will be part of the CE marking process; manufacturers of EEE are obliged to draw up technical documentation to demonstrate compliance, CE mark their products, and draw up an EU Declaration of Conformity
  • compliance obligations of manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors are set out. Importers have new duties to ensure that an appropriate conformity assessment has been carried out and technical documentation has been drawn up. Distributors must check that EEE carries a CE mark and is accompanied by the necessary documents

Member states have been given until January 2013 to implement the new requirements. UK regulations and updated guidance are expected in October or November 2012 for entry into force by 2 January 2013.