Key changes to WEEE regulations
The new WEEE regulations were laid before parliament on 10 December 2013.
Here we provide a detailed summary of the key changes that will affect
- the lighting industry,
- and those with a responsibility for collection too.
Categories and scope
- LED light sources are moved from category 5 and into category 13, the same category as gas discharge lamps.
- A new category 14 for Photovoltaic panels.
- Household luminaires remain out of scope until 2018.
Filament lamps are exempted.
- Open scope from 2018, when the number of categories moves from 14 to 6.
This means that all EEE* products like switches, plugs, sockets and similar will come into scope.
- No change to the visible fee – it is still not allowed for sales to households.
However, the regulations are silent on using it for professional channels. This means it is allowed for sales to non-household end-users. Regulation 51
It is for each member to decide if, and to what extent to make the fee visible.
- Producers based outside the UK can either appoint an “Authorised Representative”, or can join a PCS. Regulation 14(2)
There is no difference in cost. International members of Recolight therefore do not need to change their registration.
- Small Producers (companies that placed less than 5 tonnes put on market in the previous year) do not have to join a PCS.Instead they will have an option to register direct with the EA at a cost of just £30. They must do this by 31 January in the compliance year. Regulation 15
Alternatively, they can become associate members of Recolight for a low all-inclusive fee. This option seems set to continue into 2015.
- Producers are no longer required to have a producer identification mark on products put on market. Regulation 23
- EA charges to producers remain unchanged. Regulation 59
- Not VAT registered – £30
- Small Producer (less than 5 tonnes) – £30
- Turnover >£1m – £445
- The new regulations change the way “alternative arrangements” work for sales to businesses. Regulation 12(2)
- Alternative arrangements were used by some Producers as a way of passing the responsibility for funding recycling onto their B2B customers.
- The change makes it clear that the agreement must now be between B2B end users and producers. So the previous approach can now only work where there is a direct contractual relationship between the Producer and the B2B End User. It therefore cannot apply to sales through intermediaries (eg Wholesalers or contractors).
Distributors and retailers
Distributors are principally retailers who sell direct to consumers.
- They have to offer to accept WEEE free of charge from a consumer, if that customer buys WEEE of a similar type. Regulation 42(1)
- Retailers with a floor space of more than 400m2 for EEE sales also have to provide for collection of “very small WEEE” (no external dimension more than 25cm) with no obligation for the consumer to buy. 25cm means that such retailers would need to collect CFLis. Regulation 42(2)
- Retailers can join and fund the Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS), and if they do so, they do not need to comply with 1 and 2 above. Regulation 46
- If retailers collect consumer WEEE they can offer it to a PCS. They do not have a mandatory right to a collection, and a PCS can ask the retailer to deliver the WEEE to a specific location (e.g. Recycler site). Regulation 43
- Local Authorities can collect and fund WEEE themselves if they want to. Regulation 53
- Any PCS must collect from any Local Authority DCF* (Household Waste Recycling Centre) if requested by that Local Authority, and if that Local Authority has no contract with a PCS. Regulation 34
Producer Compliance Schemes
- PCS accreditation fees do not change in 2014. (Zero for re-accreditation and £12,150 for a new scheme to register in 2014). Regulation 59
- By the end of March in each year, each PCS will receive a fixed target for the collection of household WEEE for that year. Regulation 11(7)
The total national target will be largely based upon the average of the three previous years’ WEEE collections. The PCS share of the national target will be based on the PCS members’ household EEE tonnage sales in the previous compliance year.
Arrangements with other PCSs
- The 100% market in which a PCS is required to purchase evidence from other PCSs has been removed.
- If a PCS does not obtain enough household evidence, they will no longer be forced to buy from other PCSs. Instead, they can choose to pay a compliance fee. Regulations 33 and 76
The compliance fee will not be set until late in the year.
*Please refer to the Recolight Glossary page for definitions.