Household WEEE definition set to change

The UK's definition of 'household' and 'non household' WEEE is set to change after a disparity emerged between the UK’s interpretation and the European Commission definition of ‘WEEE from private households’.

The new Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations came into force on 1 January 2014, resulting in several changes to the way the household WEEE recycling system operates. These changes were introduced to bring the requirements of the recast WEEE Directive into UK law and address concerns from producers about the cost of compliance.

The current UK guidelines, issued in 2012, state that WEEE should be considered as being from a ‘household’ source, if it is similar in nature and of a similar quantity to that produced by households. This interpretation of business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) WEEE includes an assessment of both nature and quantity of the items being discarded.

However, in April, the European Commission published a frequently asked questions document which outlined the EU’s interpretation of the revised WEEE Directive and this revealed a disparity with the UK’s guidance.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has this month proposed to amend the UK’s WEEE statutory guidance to reflect the interpretation of ‘WEEE from private households’ that was set out in the European Commissions FAQ document.The proposal is to change the classification of products sold to businesses that can be used both by consumers and businesses. These so called ‘dual use’ products would be classified as consumer products. All Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) would be classified as business to consumer products unless the producer can provide evidence that the product, due to its nature and design, is not intended for use in private households and is unlikely to appear as household waste.

At Clarity Environmental we pride ourselves on the support and advice we give to our WEEE compliance members. We will keep all of our members informed of the changes and will support those producers that will be affected, providing assistance to help them implement the changes.

BIS is seeking evidence on the proposals by Friday 11 July 2014. The changes are likely to take effect from January next year. Read our June issue of clearview due out this week for the full story on the proposals. 

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