Circular Lighting Report

‘Time to tackle online markets for luminaires’ say recyclers

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COMPLIANCE schemes for waste luminaires and lamps across Europe have called the European Commission to address the problem of vendors selling non-compliant luminaires and lamps over the internet.

EucoLight, the European association of lighting WEEE compliance schemes, commends the European Commission for its propose of the Digital Services Act, which puts new obligations on online companies to address concerns about illegal content, but points out there is ‘room for improvement’ to address the responsibility of online marketplaces.

LightingEurope secretary general Ourania GeorgoutsakouIts main recommendations are that the DSA should distinguish the liability of online platforms, which offer products to consumers in the EU (online marketplaces), from that of other type of providers of intermediary services.
Online platforms which offer products to consumers in the Union (online marketplaces), should perform compulsory ex-ante compliance checks, failing which they would bear the liability as producers of the products for which they facilitate the access to the consumer.

The organisation says that level of non-compliant product supplied through online marketplaces is exceptionally high. It says online marketplaces link producers, often based outside the Union and predominantly in Asia, with consumers inside the EU.

Given that the producers are beyond the jurisdiction of the member states, this means there is very little, if anything, that member states’ market surveillance authorities can do to prevent the import of non-compliant product.

As a consequence, online platforms facilitate the sales in EU of products from sellers that do not comply with Extended Producer Responsibility obligations and other Union legislation.

Often, such sellers do not have a physical presence or a legal site in the member state where the product is supplied and have not appointed an authorised representative.

Rania Georgoutsakou, secretary general of Lighting Europe, pictured, took to Twitter to show her support for EucoLight’s proposals.

‘We still need to tackle online freeriding!’ Georgoutsakou said in a tweet. ‘Why continue to allow companies to benefit from non-compliant products online?

‘It’s bad for people, the planet, business and the functioning of the EU single market.

‘Thank you Eucolight for continuing to speak up and state the obvious.’

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.