Government announces WEEE regulations decisions and signals move to tackle non-compliance of online marketplaces
The Government has published a summary of the responses they received to their recent WEEE regulations consultation – and indicated some of the actions they intend to take.
14 WEEE categories retained
The announcement confirms that the current 14 WEEE categories will be retained for reporting purposes. Nigel Harvey, Recolight Chief Executive said “This proposal was strongly supported by Recolight and its members. It means that luminaire producers will not need to report large and small luminaires separately. That avoids unnecessary red tape.”
He added “This is decision particularly important for the lighting industry, as household luminaire producers must comply with the WEEE regulations by the end of 2018. This decision will simplify compliance for all companies that are affected.”
Non-compliance by online sellers
The Government also published responses to questions that will feed into a wider review of the WEEE regulations. Most relevant for the lighting industry was a question regarding WEEE freeriding through online sellers and marketplaces. 74% of respondents said that the current WEEE regulations have no or low impact on ensuring online sellers are compliant. Recolight’s own research has indicated that over 75% of LED lamps sold on one major online retailer were non-compliant.
The Government has not yet said how they will tackle the online freeriders problem. However, they indicate that it may be addressed in the Resources and Waste strategy expected later this year. And recognising the importance of the problem, they have agreed to convene a round table of stakeholders in the meantime.
Nigel Harvey commented “Online freeriding is a major challenge to many in the lighting industry. Large quantities of non-compliant lighting equipment are sold through online channels. This puts compliant companies at a material competitive disadvantage. Although it is disappointing that the Government has not yet proposed regulatory changes to tackle this problem, it is good to see that change is at last being contemplated. It cannot happen too soon for our members.”
The Technical changes
Other consultation outcomes include two technical changes to the WEEE regulations to make their operation fairer. This includes a mandatory system to require all WEEE schemes to take responsibility for WEEE collected from Local Authorities.