Revised WEEE regulations for 2010

10 November 2009

Ian Lucas MP, Minister for Business

The Department for Business has published updated regulations designed to improve the effectiveness of the UK’s system for collection and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and they are effective from 1 January 2010.

Ian Lucas MP, Minister for Business said: “These amending regulations will help streamline the WEEE system and ensure producer compliance schemes continue to take an active role in the environmentally sound disposal of unwanted equipment. The amending regulations also aim to reduce the administrative burdens placed on the treatment sector. I am confident these changes will bring benefits and encourage increased co-operation between stakeholders, to raise collection levels in the future. I am also pleased to announce the continuation of the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS) for a further three compliance periods.”

Under DTS Phase 2, distributors can still discharge their obligations by paying into the scheme which contributes finance towards WEEE collection facilities at civic amenity sites. The amended regulations, accompanying non-statutory guidance and the extension to the Distributor Take back Scheme, follow a consultation launched last December.

Key revisions in the amended regulations are:
• Producer Compliance Scheme approval process. From 1 January 2010 any scheme applying for approval will be subject to open ended approval based on a rolling three year operational plan which will be subject to an annual review and audit by the environment agencies.
• Criteria for Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) and exporters (AEs) approval has been revised to include a requirement that the facility is able to meet the reprocessing targets contained in the Regulations and Directive.
• Streamlining of the Evidence process. AATF or AE will now issue evidence on the tonnage of WEEE received. This will help to speed the flow of evidence through the system and ease cash flow issues for AATF and AEs.
• Data reporting. Changes have been made to the requirements for PCSs, AATF’s and AEs to ease administration burdens and provide the agencies with more focused and relevant data.

Key features of the DTS Phase 2 are:
• The scheme is to operate from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012.
• Membership fees charged to distributors proportionate to their total market share of all EEE retailing.
• Assuming current membership levels of around 75% of the UK EEE market, a fund of about £2m (which could rise to a maximum of £4.7m in the event of 100% uptake by electrical retailer sector) for dissemination to local authorities as a contribution towards maintenance of designated WEEE collection facilities at civic amenity sites and projects designed to drive up collection rates.
• A separate New Investment Fund of about £1.5m to support establishment of new/replacement designated collection facilities at civic amenity sites or to add additional WEEE waste streams to existing sites
• Valpak Retail Services Ltd has been appointed to continue to operate the Scheme.

The UK Regulations on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) came into force in January 2007 and places financial responsibility on producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) when it reaches its end of life. Distributors have obligations to provide facilities for households to return EEE into the system when it reaches its end of life. All producers of EEE must discharge their obligations via a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) and distributors have the option of offering take-back facilities to household end users or via membership of the DTS. Copies of the Amended Regulations and accompanying non-statutory guidance will appear on the BIS website.

Ian Lucas was appointed Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on 5 June 2009.

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