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March 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2024

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Amendment to the EU WEEE Directive

European_Commission

The European Union introduced an amendment to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, aiming to provide clarity to certain areas and update respective Articles. Directive (EU) 2024/884, published on March 13th, 2024, introduces several changes to Directive 2012/19/EU, which Member States are required to implement into their national laws by October 9th, 2025.

One significant addition is Article 24a, mandating a comprehensive review of the EU WEEE Directive by December 31st, 2026. This review will encompass critical provisions concerning:

  • legal certainty regarding retroactive requirements,
  • implementation of the waste hierarchy,
  • protection of consumers from WEEE treatment costs,
  • ensuring effective enforcement by Member States,
  • creation of a new category for photovoltaic panels, aligning collection targets with the expected product lifespan,
  • and a mechanism to finance future EEE treatment costs in the event of producer failure or liquidation.

This amendment follows a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union on January 25th, 2022, invalidating Article 13(1) of Directive 2012/19/EU concerning photovoltaic panels placed on the market between August 13th, 2005 and August 13th, 2012 due to unjustified retroactive effect. Consequently, Articles 12 and 13 on financing the treatment of WEEE and Articles 14 and 15 on the marking of EEE have been revised to clarify effective dates for each scope change, with different effective dates for the original EEE scope (2005), open scope EEE (2018), and photovoltaic panels (2012). However, Member States are still tasked with determining responsibility for certain historical WEEE. Furthermore, Article 14 and Article 15 of the Directive have been updated to reference the latest European standard EN 50419:2022 on the marking of EEE.

Accerio will be reviewing the upcoming legislative updates in each Member State as well as tracking the progress of the EU Commission’s WEEE Directive review in 2026.

New Jersey Propulsion Battery EPR Law

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New Jersey has taken the lead by becoming the first US state to enact an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law specifically targeting electric and hybrid vehicle propulsion batteries. This law, passed in January 2024, has come out of the national and global conversations on sustainable management of electric vehicle (EV) components.

Under the new law, producers of propulsion batteries are mandated to undertake several responsibilities to ensure proper management and disposal. One of the primary requirements is the labeling of batteries to enable better tracking and management throughout their lifecycle.

The definition of in-scope batteries covers batteries used to supply power to propel an electric or hybrid road vehicle, whether embedded within vehicles or provided separately from them. However, the law exempts starter batteries and those used for industrial purposes. The scope of obligated producers encompasses various entities involved in the production and distribution chain, including vehicle manufacturers, importers, battery manufacturers, remanufacturers, and importers. We encourage you to reach out to Accerio for assessment if your company sells electric vehicles or their batteries.

Next steps for Producers:

  • Register on the state’s registration portal by January 8, 2025 (the portal is not open yet).
  • Submit annual reporting of battery sales/distribution by January 8, 2026, and each subsequent year.
  • Develop and submit a battery management plan, with the deadline determined following a state-conducted needs assessment.

The state will conduct a needs assessment to identify specific requirements for battery management plans and labeling. In the meantime, producers are encouraged to assess their obligations and prepare for registration. Please contact Accerio for assistance assessing and monitoring obligations as the New Jersey program develops.

EU Advancement on Packaging Regulation

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In a significant development, the European Council presidency and representatives from the European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on the regulation concerning Packaging and Packaging Waste. This is the first major update since the proposal for the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation was announced in November of 2022. This provisional agreement also marks a step towards the goals outlined in the European Green Deal.

The proposal, prompted by concerns over packaging waste, aims to address its environmental impacts and to harmonize the internal market for packaging to drive the transition towards a circular economy. Key elements of the agreement include requirements for recyclability, minimizing harmful substances, and implementing standardized labelling to improve consumer information.

The proposal includes several measures for businesses:

  • Establishment of reuse targets, restrictions on certain single-use packaging, and mandates for economic operators to minimize packaging.
  • Reduction of unnecessary packaging through setting maximum empty space ratios and decreasing packaging weight and volume.
  • Obligation for take-away/to-go food businesses to offer customers the option of using their own containers, with a target of 10% of products in reusable packaging formats by 2030.

For Member States:

  • Implementation of deposit return systems for single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers by 2029, aiming for a 90% separate collection rate annually.
  • Restrictions on certain packaging formats, including single-use plastic packaging and lightweight plastic bags.

Despite challenges, such as balancing access to recycled plastics, the agreement aims to stimulate investment in green jobs. The next step involves formal approval by the Parliament and Council, with the expectation of implementation before the upcoming EU elections in June 2024. Accerio will monitor developments and provide guidance on the regulation’s impact on packaging design.

Peru Draft Packaging Law

Peru Flag

The Peruvian Federal Government introduced a draft decree at the close of 2023 aimed at addressing the management and handling of packaging waste. This draft, known as the Supreme Decree Approving the Special Regime of Management and Handling of Packaging and Container Waste (REE), recently closed for public comment and is now under discussion with Congress.

One of the core elements of the draft decree is the introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system tailored specifically for packaging waste. Under this system, producers, including packers, fillers, and importers, will bear the responsibility for managing and handling the packaging waste generated from their products. While the decree aims to cover a broad spectrum of packaging waste, covering primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging of most material types, certain exemptions have been outlined. These include flexible packaging, hazardous waste packaging, primary packaging for drugs and medications, wood packaging, and microenterprises with operations valued below USD 20,000.

Producers falling within the scope of the decree will be mandated to implement and administer individual or collective packaging management systems. This entails obtaining approval from the Ministry of Environment for their management plans and submitting annual declarations to track progress towards predefined collection and recovery targets to be set by the Ministry.

Accerio can assess if your company would be impacted and help your company prepare for registration if the draft is approved.

March 2024 Newsletter Read More »

January 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter: January 2024

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Canadian EPR Advancements

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Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is gaining traction across Canada as provinces make significant strides towards sustainable waste management practices. Recent developments in Alberta, Yukon, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia highlight their efforts to transition to full EPR models, which especially impacts the programs’ funding models.

Alberta is shifting from a shared funding model between producers and municipalities to a fully producer funded EPR approach. Alberta is set to implement full EPR for packaging with registration open since November 2023. Producers will be required to meet specific thresholds of revenue and packaging volumes, and they must join a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) to ensure compliance. Nova Scotia has also implemented a full EPR system with producer registration currently open for initial data submissions and on track for the program to begin in 2025.

Other noteworthy updates in Canada include:

  • Yukon amendments to the Environmental Act pave the way for the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility, starting with packaging. The draft regulation is expected to be unveiled early in 2024.
  • Quebec updated their definition of obligated producers to include online retailers and distance sellers, which took effect in 2023. Additionally, Quebec plans to amend its packaging regulations by 2030 to obligate professional packaging; they are the first province with concrete plans to scope in professional packaging.
  • In British Columbia, the first prohibition date of their upcoming plastic ban has been postponed to July 2024. This delay impacts single-use food service items, plastic shopping bags, and oxo-degradable plastics.

Due to the multiple recent and upcoming changes to legislation in the Canadian provinces, please reach out to us for an assessment. Accerio offers monitoring and full-service compliance management in Canada.

India Battery and Plastic Waste Rules Amended

The Indian Government recently introduced amendments to the Battery Waste Management Rules (BWM Rules), 2022, and the Plastic Waste Management Rules (PWM Rules), 2016.

Two notable amendments apply to both the Plastic Waste Management Rules and the Battery Waste Management Rules:

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is now empowered to extend the annual reporting deadline up to a maximum period of nine months beyond the yearly deadline of June 30th.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) registration will remain valid until it is canceled or withdrawn, eliminating the need for periodic renewals.

The PWM Rules were amended for the 8th time. The amendment updates the definition of ‘Producer’ to exclude scenarios involving imports, focusing on entities directly involved in the production of plastic packaging within the country. Additionally, all obligated entities and all categories of plastic packaging are now subject to specific marking and labeling requirements, such as including the name of the entity and producer registration number on packaging that contains plastic.

The 1st amendment to the BWM Rules introduces several noteworthy changes, starting with expanding the definitions of ‘Producer’ and of obligated batteries to address identified gaps in compliance requirements. Reporting requirements have also been expanded to include batteries for self-use and pre-consumer waste generated during manufacturing, assembling, or import. Labeling requirements are also included in the amendment. Now, Producers are mandated to mark all batteries or battery packs with their EPR registration number on or before March 31st, 2025.

If your company manufactures, assembles, or imports products in India and would like to further understand your obligations, please reach out to Accerio for an assessment and registration plan.

USA PFAs Compliance

RPU Products Containing PFAS

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAs, have gained notoriety as “forever chemicals” due to their persistent nature and potential threats to both human health and the environment. Found in a myriad of everyday products, PFAs have become a focal point of regulatory efforts and both the United States and the European Union have taken initial steps.

In the European Union, the Stokholm Convention has been a platform for discussions on restricting the use of PFAs. Furthermore, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) system actively manages PFAs levels. Several PFAs are listed on the REACH Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC), underlining the need for stringent controls.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated U.S. manufacturers and importers of products containing PFAs to report information on PFAs uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. This reporting obligation impacts products manufactured and imported from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2022, providing a comprehensive dataset for monitoring and assessing the prevalence of PFAs.

Maine has enacted a ban on intentionally added PFAs, effective from 2023 for certain products such as carpets and rugs. This ban extends to all products starting January 1, 2030. Maine requires a one-time report on PFAs, due by January 1, 2025. Similarly, Minnesota has implemented a ban on intentionally added PFAs, commencing on January 1, 2025, for specific products like carpets and cookware. The ban expands to cover all products from January 1, 2032, onwards. As part of its comprehensive strategy, Minnesota mandates a one-time report on PFAs, with a deadline set for January 1, 2026.

It is recommended that producers collect information on PFAs content in their products to prepare for reporting requirements.

January 2024 Newsletter Read More »

September 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Battery Regulation Comes Into Force

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On July 28th, 2023, the European Commission published the EU Battery Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation came into force on August 17th, 2023 and will apply directly in all EU member states after a period of 6 months. Implementation of new requirements is spread over the next several years, though it is recommended that producers begin work on the product design and testing topics as soon as possible.

Many key details have changed when compared to the EU Battery Directive. Most notably, there is now a concrete definition of ‘Portable Batteries’ as 5 kilograms or less. The definition of automotive batteries has been replaced by ‘Starting, Lighting, and Ignition’ batteries while adding separate definitions for ‘Light Means of Transport’ and ‘Electric Vehicle’ batteries.

Some requirements are specific to the type of battery, reflecting the use and life cycle of the battery types. However, all batteries will need to meet the first deadlines through complying with updated technical documentation and labeling requirements to continue selling products on the EU market.

The Commission will adopt delegated and implementing acts under the new Batteries Regulation beginning in 2024 to detail remaining requirements and provide guidance to member states. Please contact Accerio to assess the impact of the EU Battery Regulation on your products and EPR obligations.

Accerio Sponsorship of PSI EPR Forum

Accerio was a Sponsor of the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) 2023 US Product Stewardship Forum held in September. This event, which was attended by Accerio’s dedicated North American EPR legislative team, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the USA EPR landscape. We were able to share our own expertise and knowledge with fellow attendees while meeting US Producers, legislators and other key stakeholders to discuss upcoming legislation and impacts to our clients in the coming years.

A main topic of the Forum was the upcoming US state packaging programs, featuring a panel discussion with representatives from Oregon, Colorado, California, and Maine. They provided details on how each state will structure their upcoming packaging programs. A frequently raised issue at the Forum was the desire for harmonization between states, an issue that has affected EPR success across the US and Canada. As USA e-waste, battery, and packaging programs expand, Producers, states, and consumers would benefit greatly by aligning their definitions, labeling requirements, and targets. Accerio has seen this firsthand through our many years of experience in countries outside the US.

USA EPR has made significant strides over recent years and is growing rapidly. PSI actively tracks each state’s proposals and organizes events like the Forum and webinars to bring together stakeholders. PSI did an excellent job of organizing a successful event; Accerio is proud to have been a sponsor and to have had the opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

Australia Proposed Revision to WEEE Regulations

Repair

The Australian government recently published a discussion paper proposing to revise and extend the current regulatory framework for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in Australia. Currently, the scope of EEE is limited to TVs, computers, printers and computer peripherals. Additionally, under existing law producers/importers must meet certain thresholds before they are required to register with a product stewardship scheme.

The discussion paper recommends:

  • expanding the scope of EEE products to all small electronic and electrical equipment found in homes and small businesses, which would also cover solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
  • tasking the Australian government with developing a product stewardship scheme for obligated EEE products and their embedded batteries. They are proposing that a unit threshold model for obligated EEE products still apply.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) hopes to make a formal recommendation of proposed changes to the Government by the end of 2023. DCCEEW mentioned in a webinar earlier this year that legislation could be in place by the end of 2025 should the government decide to move forward with the legislative changes.

September 2023 Newsletter Read More »

June 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: June 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Washington State Signs Battery EPR Bill

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In May 2023, the governor of Washington State signed SB 5144, a new Extended Producer Responsibility (“EPR”) battery law providing for responsible environmental management of batteries. The law’s EPR obligations cover portable and medium format batteries (batteries up to 25lbs), as well as devices that contain such batteries. Products within this scope will be gradually phased into program management between 2027 and 2029. However, certain exemptions apply based on battery removability, battery or product function, and battery size and chemistry.

Obligated producers are the battery or battery containing product’s manufacturer, brand owner/licensee, importer of record, or first person to place on the market. Producers must join a stewardship organization (collective organization) starting 2027. Additionally, battery labeling requirements are phased in from 2028-2030. The labeling requirements apply to all covered batteries and battery-containing products, plus large format batteries (batteries greater than 25lbs and rating more than 2000 watt-hours).

Washington also has an active E-Waste EPR legislation covering certain products containing screens. Please reach out to Accerio for an assessment of obligations in Washington and for updates as the program develops.

Maryland's First Step towards Packaging EPR

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The State of Maryland passed legislation SB-222 with an effective date of July 1, 2023. The law aims to carry out a statewide ‘Needs Assessment’ of the current recycling systems. Unlike the other packaging extended producer responsibility laws in California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon, SB-222 does not detail rules for producers but rather informs future EPR laws in Maryland.

To achieve that, SB-222 calls for the creation of a producer responsibility organization (“PRO”) and a producer responsibility advisory council. The advisory council is responsible for providing recommendations for the establishment and implementation of a PRO in the state for packaging materials. Recommendations will include responsibilities of producers under the PRO. The Office of Recycling in the Department of the Environment will carry out the statewide recycling Needs Assessment through an independent consultant. On or before December 1, 2024, the advisory council will report its findings and recommendations to the governor.

Accerio will be tracking the result of the Needs Assessment and subsequent development of the packaging EPR program in Maryland. Please contact us for assessment of your company’s obligations under USA EPR laws.

Changes Ahead for Canadian Compliance

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Canada has several updates to provincial/territorial EPR programs on the horizon, both to existing and upcoming legislation. There are already 9 hazardous waste laws, 7 battery laws, 5 packaging laws, and 12 WEEE laws active that obligate a variety of selling models for EPR.
The following changes will impact producers:

  • Quebec updated their producer definition for multiple EPR waste streams, now obligating online retailers and distance sellers. In most cases, interest is charged for back-reporting.
  • Saskatchewan household packaging is transitioning to full EPR. Prior to the change, producers are responsible for 75% of program costs transitioning to 100% of costs under the new system.
  • The New Brunswick Packaging + Paper Program is shifting away from a municipal-funded collection system to an EPR program.
  • Northwest Territories published draft legislation to serve as the legal basis for future EPR programs. If approved, initial work will determine which waste streams will be covered.
  • Yukon commits to implement EPR by 2025 for household batteries, packaging, and hazardous waste, as well as automotive waste, though no further announcements have been made.

Accerio can assess your company’s current and future obligations, manage registrations, and provide legislative monitoring.

Uruguay Draft WEEE Regulation

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The Uruguayan government published a draft for the Regulation on Comprehensive Management of WEEE (Reglamento para la gestión integral de residuos de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos) on February 27, 2023. As of today, it is under discussion in congress and has not been approved.

The draft proposes to implement an EPR system for General WEEE producers and importers, including obligations to register and implement an individual or collective management plan for WEEE, and collection and recycling targets. The draft distinguishes between “General” and “Non-General” WEEE, the former being those devices that can be used indistinctly in household, businesses, or industry, and the latter are those devices that are specifically destined to be used in business or industrial environments. The regulation will not impose EPR obligations to producers and importers of Non-General WEEE but includes obligations to other stakeholders involved in waste management, such as waste processors and recyclers. The draft regulations will apply to an open scope of Electronic and Electric Equipment (“EEE”), including components, consumables, their accessories, and their integrated batteries. If approved, there will be requirements for EEE producers to promote durability and repairability and inform consumers of repair and take-back options.

Though the finalized timeline will not be clear until approval, the current draft indicates collection target deadlines beginning in 2024 and scaling up to an 85% collection target 5 years after the law’s publication. Accerio will update potentially impacted clients if the draft is approved.

June 2023 Newsletter Read More »

September 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

California Packaging and Battery EPR Laws

California

Several advances have been made to introduce EPR legislation in California over the course of 2022. This summer, Senate Bill 54 was passed to create an EPR packaging program. The law aims to reduce and eliminate single-use packaging, increase compostable packaging on the market, and move towards increasing recyclability of packaging. In-scope products include single-use packaging and plastic single-use food service ware imported or sold in California, which must be recyclable or compostable by 2032. To comply, producers can either form or join a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) by 2024.

Two California battery laws passed as well. The first law, the Responsible Battery Recycling Act of 2022 (AB 2440), introduces EPR on easily removable batteries and will replace the current Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act of 2006, repealing the old law starting January 1, 2027. Obligated producers must join a stewardship program for the collection and recycling of covered batteries. The second law, SB 1215, expands the definition of covered devices in the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 to include battery-embedded products. Starting January 1, 2026, retailers are responsible for charging the California consumer a visible fee for each product purchased with batteries that cannot be easily removed.

Please contact Accerio for more information if your company is currently selling or plans to sell products in California.

New India EPR Rules and Draft Rules

The India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has made recent changes to extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations. The Ministry issued new rules for battery and packaging, and is working on the draft for WEEE management. 

Most recently issued are the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 that replace the Batteries Management and Handling rules from 2001. Local producers and importers of batteries will be responsible for collection and recycling or refurbishment of waste batteries. The updates also include an improved system for producers to report on their obligations via an online EPR portal.  Obligated producers can comply through a collective organization or through an individual system. 

In February of 2022, the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 were amended to include details on plastic packaging EPR. The rules obligate producers, importers, brand owners and plastic waste processors to follow EPR requirements for four categories of plastic packaging.

There are also proposed changes to the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016. Most impactful would be the expansion of product scope to include additional categories of IT and household electronics. Please reach out to Accerio if your company imports product into India and would like an assessment of obligations.

Implementation of the EU Packaging Levy

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The EU Packaging Levy was published in 2020 to support the goals of the EU Green Deal and the Recovery plan for Europe (also known as Europe’s Covid-19 recovery package). EU Member States must contribute €0.80 for each kg of plastic packaging waste that is not recycled at end of life (based on average Eurostat data in respective base years).

Each Member State can either cover these costs via their national budget or pass them through to the respective industry streams by:

  • Introducing a new Plastic Packaging Taxation on non-recycled plastics
  • Integrating them into existing packaging-related taxes or fees, such as EPR fees
  • Introducing other fiscal measures such as reduced subsidies or tax and fee exemptions

Some Member States have already introduced a new plastic tax (such as Spain and Italy) and more are expected to follow suit. As this taxation is focusing on non-recycled content so far, the demand for recycled plastic is expected to rise significantly.

Spain Packaging and Packaging Waste Law

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The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has proposed a new Packaging and Packaging Waste Law to replace Law 11/1997 of 24 April 1997. The draft law would incorporate the EU Packaging Directive and the EU SUP Directive into the Spanish legal framework.

Key proposed changes are:

  • Expanded scope of EPR regulations to include household, commercial and industrial packaging
  • An obligation for producers to register in a new Packaging National Register and be responsible for the environmentally sound management of the packaging they place in the Spanish market. All foreign producers are obligated to appoint an AR
  • Obligations for online marketplaces to bear responsibility as a subsidiary producer, for products placed on the Spanish market via their platform in the case that the foreign producer has not registered
  • Options for producers to comply collectively or individually, with additional obligations for large producers to set up and apply a prevention and eco-design business plan

This law is currently in a revision phase. The EU Commission has issued their Expert Opinion urging the Spanish Government to reconsider some of the dispositions in the draft that have been considered by the Commission as creating obstacles to the free movement of goods, or the provision of services, as well as possible cases of non-conformity with Union Law. Consequently, the publication of the Law is suspended until November 7, 2022 and is subject to informing the Commission of the measures it intends to take in response to the opinion. Accerio will update our clients once the law is published with next steps.

September 2022 Newsletter Read More »

September 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Market Surveillance Regulation

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The EU Market Surveillance Regulation came into force on the 16th of July 2021, in the EU and Northern Ireland. As it is a regulation, it became binding in all EU Member States without the need for transposition into their national legislation. The new framework aims to ensure that all WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging products placed in the EU market meet the criteria set by the EU sectoral legislation. It tightens both the surveillance and enforcement of EPR legislation on the EU and national level.

Relevant Changes:

  • The definition of ‘Placing into the Market’ is broadened to include all distance sales to end users, such as via websites and e-commerce.
  • Economic Operators, such as EU manufacturers, importers, fulfillment service providers, and Authorized Representatives, are obligated to provide relevant authorities with information on product compliance and should ensure that the sellers they work with are fully compliant.
  • All Non-EU entities selling directly to end users must appoint a European Authorized Representative and comply with the legislation prior to supplying obligated products to the EU Market.

Please contact Accerio for more information about the Market Surveillance Regulation’s impact on your requirements.

Austria Battery Law Update

The definition of ‘Producer’ will be expanded in an updated Austria battery law. Under the current law, only local Austrian entities are obligated, while the new definition of ‘Producer’ will also include foreign entities selling into Austria. Obligated foreign producers will be required to appoint an Authorized Representative starting on the 1st of January 2022.

This change makes the Austrian battery law more in line with obligations in most other EU countries, following the general trend toward harmonization of legislation. Additionally, the update allows for non-Austrian entities selling from the EU to take over Austrian reseller obligations by appointing an Authorized Representative.

Account Managers will be contacting Accerio clients who are impacted by this change. With the upcoming requirements beginning 1st of January 2022, it is recommended that obligated producers begin the registration process in Fall 2021.

Expansion of Producer Obligations in Canada

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EPR obligations exist across Canada for WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging. Currently, 12 of Canada’s provinces and territories have active WEEE regulations, 6 have Small Battery laws, 4 have Lead Acid Battery requirements, and 5 have Packaging laws.

In recent years, several new provincial programs have begun while existing programs have expanded their product scope. The WEEE product scope is regularly updated and there is discussion of electric vehicle batteries coming into scope in multiple provinces. One of the most impactful changes has been the implementation of Ontario’s EPR laws. The Ontario laws require obligated producers to register with the newly established Ontario Authority for WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging. Small producers are only required to register and report, while large producers have registration, management, and public education requirements.

It is increasingly important for companies to understand their obligations across Canada. Accerio provides assessment, monitoring, and registration services for companies selling into Canada.

The UAE Waste Management Law

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The United Arab Emirates passed the Law on Integrated Waste Management in December 2018 that provides a framework for EPR, though the implementation of WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging obligations were not included in the legislation. On the 21st of June 2021, the UAE cabinet passed Resolution No. (39) of 2021: Implementing Regulations to the law 12/2018 on Integrated Waste Management. The resolution outlines several compliance requirements for importers and local UAE entities supplying all types of EEE or Batteries to end users.

Obligated entities must:

  • Pay into a national recycling fund.
  • Contract an approved PRO.
  • Submit regular reports of product take back.
  • Finance the take back and treatment of end-of-life products.
  • Implement collection boxes at retail locations.

This is the most comprehensive EPR law yet in the region, something that we can expect to see more of as circular economy programs take a central place in countries’ economic and environmental plans.

September 2021 Newsletter Read More »

July 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: July 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Upcoming Changes to Germany’s WEEE and Packaging Requirements

Changes to both the WEEE and Packaging legislation in Germany have recently been approved, expanding producer obligations.

The updated packaging law will come into force on the 3rd of July 2021 and the WEEE law on the 1st of January 2022. Both laws put more responsibility on fulfilment service providers and online retailers to confirm that their sellers are correctly registered.

German Packaging Act – Amendment 2021
Beginning the 3rd of July 2021, registration requirements with the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister will apply to more producers and distributors, starting with final distributors of service packaging. Additionally, starting July 2022, the scope of obligated packaging requiring registration will be expanded to include all packaging types as well as packaging sold to professional/industrial environments.

Other changes include:

  • Optional appointment of authorized representatives for distance sellers
  • The extension of the deposit system to single-use PET beverage bottles and cans
  • Requirements for final distributors to offer reusable alternatives for single-use plastic

German WEEE Legislation Elektrogesetz 3
The changes under Elektrogesetz 3 primarily impact producers of professional products, coming into force over 2022 and 2023.

The requirements include:

  • Inform the authority about available take-back beginning in 2022
  • Expanded product marking of B2B EEE products in 2023

Sales/distribution of unregistered products is not allowed and carries risk of significant fines for noncompliance. With the earlier update of BattG2-2020 the German Battery legislation (BattG2) all three disciplines have now been resolved. Please contact Accerio for assessment of your company’s obligations under these changes.

UK Packaging Legislation and Plastic Tax

The UK has several big changes to their packaging legislation on the horizon. The first change is a new tax on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled materials. This was outlined in our previous newsletter, but the start date of April 2022 is drawing closer, so please contact your packaging suppliers to obtain the evidence you require.

In addition to the plastic tax, the UK is replacing the packaging law under the EU Packaging Directive with more comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility legislation. This will move the system to a single point of compliance along the packaging supply chain, instead of spreading it out through several links of the supply chain. This change obligates a single responsible party to cover the complete net cost of the recovery and recycling of their packaging. Additionally, the new legislation would shift the financial responsibility of curbside recycling and litter collection from local taxes to the obligated parties.

The legislation is not finalized, but the likely changes are:

  • A lower obligation threshold to obligate companies that handle more than 25 tonnes of packaging and have a turnover of at least 1 million GBP; this greatly expands the number of obligated companies
  • Introduction of modulated fees that requires more detailed reporting of packaging materials, including the kind of plastics used. The fee modulation reflects recyclability of packaging materials and will be required for reporting of 2023 sales
  • More detailed geographical reporting separated by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland markets, instead of just UK as a whole as it is presently
  • A new labelling system for packaging to ensure end users can easily tell if packaging waste can be recycled. This is expected to come into force for some packaging by 2024/25 and other packaging by 2026/27, though details on packaging types included in each phase is not yet available

The legislation has closed the consultation stage and the finalized law may differ from what is laid out above. However, big changes are certain, such as the need for producers to gather more detailed product packaging information and budget more for UK packaging compliance from 2023 onwards. Accerio will continue to monitor this legislation and will be in touch with any impacted clients.

New Washington D.C. Battery Law

Two miniature workers with yellow alkaline batteries
Image courtesy of Marco Verch

Washington D.C. has approved Law 23-211 Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act 2020, which obligates producers for distance sales and retail sales of batteries starting 1 January 2022.

Washington D.C is the first US district/state/territory to introduce EPR laws for both small rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. US EPR obligations are rapidly expanding, so similar laws are likely to develop elsewhere to significantly increase battery obligations for producers.

The Washington D.C. Act has an extensive scope, obligating all chemistries of standalone batteries and batteries integrated into certain products, with exemptions of products containing batteries that are already covered under Washington D.C.’s E-Waste law and specified product types . Companies selling covered integrated and standalone batteries into Washington D.C. will be required to enroll in a district approved battery stewardship plan. Please contact Accerio for an assessment and more details on Washington D.C’s battery and e-waste requirements.

July 2021 Newsletter Read More »

February 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: February 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Batteries Regulation Proposal

The EU Commission has made a proposal to repeal the current Batteries Directive 2006/66/ED and amend Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020. The proposed changes aim to harmonize the batteries waste compliance requirements among EU Member States and to standardize the registration procedure for producers and other actors in the supply chain.

There is an opportunity for public comment available to Producers and interested parties until March 1st, 2021, via this link. For Producers and Manufacturers of batteries, this is an important opportunity to have your voice heard about the proposed changes.
Important key proposed changes include:

  • Definition changes for the key terms “Producer”, ‘’Distributors’’, “Placing on the Market”, and “Making available on the Market”.
  • Battery manufacturers “not established in an EU Member State” will be required to appoint an Authorized Representative.
  • Electric vehicle batteries will be brought into scope as a fourth battery type.
  • Increased transparency of supply chain by establishing and operating a system of control and traceability.
  • A focus on increased collection of portable batteries, including increasing the collection target over time (65% by 2025, and 70% by 2030).
  • New information, labelling, sustainability, and safety requirements, including for example, a QR code to be placed on batteries.
  • The introduction of recycling efficiencies and recovery targets, with a schedule to increase over time, for specific raw materials, including lithium, lead, cobalt, copper, and nickel.
  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for industrial batteries.
  • Portable battery definition to include also batteries used in light vehicle (such as scooters and electric bikes) with a maximum weight threshold of 5 Kg.
  • Setting out in detail the model structure for the EU Declaration of Conformity.
  • Distributors of batteries will carry responsibilities to ensure Manufacturers, AR’s, Importers, and other distributors are appropriately registered to sell, and that the batteries are properly compliant with CE Mark, DoC and other requirements, including applicable documentation.

The 2020 European Green Deal’s New Circular Economy Action Plan has identified batteries as a category of products that are a high use of resources, but also great potential for recycling and circularity. The market demand for batteries is expected to dramatically increase over the next decade, especially for lithium batteries. The proposed changes are deemed necessary to address the urgent need for increased battery production, and investment and capacity expansion for recycling and handling capability.

 

 

French Repairability Index

France is the first EU country to implement a key element of the EU Circular Economy Package with the introduction of a Repairability Index for a selection of EEE products. This index is in force as of the 1st of January 2021. Products in scope will need to list the Repairability Index on the product packaging, on a label or online using a specific logo and color.

To begin with, products required to comply are the following:

  • Washing machines
  • TVs
  • Computers and Laptops
  • Mobile phones
  • Corded lawnmowers
  • Battery operated lawnmowers
  • Robotic lawnmowers

Producers or importers will be responsible for calculating and communicating the Index to all parties in the supply chain, and sellers both online and with a physical store must present the Index “in a visible manner on each product offered for sale/in the presentation of the equipment and close to its price”.

The Reparability Index is represented by a grade between 1 and 10, with calculations based on five specific criteria, to inform end-users about the “possibility to repair a product”.

The criteria are:

  1. Availability of the technical documentation, for use, maintenance, and repair
  2. Ease of disassembly, access, and removal of worn parts
  3. Availability of and access to spare parts
  4. Price of spare parts, especially relative to the cost of the item itself
  5. Product specific criteria such as accessibility to remote assistance for repair and possibility of a software reset.

The system will certainly evolve over time to include other requirements and quite likely an expanded product list, and in the early stages there are no sanctions for non-compliance. There are increased specifications planned; from 2022 manufacturers and importers will be required to provide essential spare parts, and in 2023 extended producer responsibility for financing the repair of products is expected. The Repairability Index will influence product design and purchasing habits, and other countries will soon follow suit.
If your products are in scope with the new legislation in France, please contact Accerio for additional information.

German Battery Changes

There are some new procedures for the management of end-of-life batteries in Germany, following changes to the German Battery law.

The Stiftung EAR has now taken over the role as the responsible organization for battery registrations from the UBA. There is a grace period until 01.01.2022 for transfer of current registrations, provided that the battery information at the UBA was up to date at year-end 2020. If your German battery registration is managed by Accerio, we have ensured all details were up to date by the end of 2020.

Main changes to the system include:

  • The collection target for portable batteries increased from 45 to 50%.
  • Collection systems for portable batteries will require approval by the Stiftung EAR.
  • Fees for portable batteries will be structured to provide an incentive to Producers to minimize the use of hazardous substances.
  • From now on firms that do not have a local German entity can appoint an authorized representative. However it is important to note that this is not a mandatory requirement.

The information requirements for producers to provide to customers have become more extensive. End users of batteries will need to be informed about measures to reduce waste and pollution of the environment from spent batteries, the options they have to prepare batteries for re-use, and the potential risks associated with lithium batteries.

Producers of industrial and automotive batteries need to publish the recycling rates they achieved last year on their website before the 31st of May. Furthermore, the German Environment Agency has now the right to request take-back documentation approved by an independent auditor/expert.

If you have any questions about your Producer obligations for batteries in Germany, please contact Accerio for support.

New EPR Legislation in South Africa

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South Africa will begin enforcement of a comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility law for electronic waste, packaging, and batteries on May 1, 2021, although existing producers will be granted six additional months to move into compliance. After this point, EPR schemes will be regulated and subject to approval by the Environmental Department. Critically, the law stipulates that both foreign and domestic entities will be obligated as producers.

Additional facets of the law include:

  • Participation in a Product Responsibility Organization (PRO) or individual compliance, a change from the previous voluntary system.
  • Scope of EEE categorized under three classes of products: large, medium, and small equipment.
  • Obligations for integrated batteries.
  • Registration with the national authority for most consumer products in the above categories
  • Mandatory take-back and labeling
  • Reporting concerning the above actions and the amounts of product placed on the market.
  • Separate provisions for lighting products, with specific collection criteria and product scope; carrying different requirements than most EEE.

With respect to packaging obligations, the new law introduces EPR for all packaging types and materials, as well as for certain single-use products, following the EU Packaging Directive’s scope.

In terms of WEEE, violations of the Law can be punished by imprisonment, significant fines, or both. Doubtless the de facto requirements of the law will shift with its implementation and subsequent legislation which can be expected in November of 2021.

February 2021 Newsletter Read More »

November 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter: November 2020

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Singapore Packaging Update

NEA Logo

The next phase of Singapore’s new suite of Extended Producer Responsibility Waste laws, incorporating Packaging, is ready to roll out in Q1 2021.

The spirit of intention of this legislation is to drive a reduction of packaging waste in Singapore, with a focus on packaging reduction and re-use, recycled content, and increased recyclability of packaging.
Actors who meet the definition of packaging producer in Singapore, include local entities who are importing regulated goods and packaging into Singapore.

Packaging Producers will be required to collect packaging data starting from January 1 2021 in order to be prepared for packaging reporting by the end of the year. The reporting required involves submission of plans that indicate initiatives to reduce packaging pollution, including specific targets and performance indicators and reviews of progress.

The Singapore Resource Sustainability Act focuses on definitions of exclusion, and most regulated goods and specified packaging are in scope, unless they meet any of the exclusion criteria. The list of regulated goods is available, and Accerio can help to determine if your products meet the definitions.

Penalties for non-compliance are not insignificant and include financial penalties with steep daily fines in some cases and imprisonment for persistent non-compliance and subsequent convictions.

If your company is importing regulated goods and packaging into Singapore, or if you unsure if your products fall into the definitions of regulated goods, please reach out to Accerio for assistance to register and be compliant with the Singaporean law.

EU Tax on Non-Recyclable Plastic

January 1, 2021 the EU non-recyclable plastics tax will come into effect. The tax is part of a Coronavirus recovery package. The €0.80 per Kg tax will be levied on EU Member state governments and will be calculated on the reported weight of non-recyclable plastic placed on the market in each country. Lesser economically developed countries will be granted exemptions.

Because it is individual EU Member States and not the non-recyclable plastics Producers themselves who are covered by this tax, it leaves a great amount of discretion for how this cost could be passed on to Producers, or not, as they see fit. Specific details are not yet available about which products the tax will apply to, or what exemptions may exist.

Because EU Member states will receive tax incentives from the EU Commission for higher rates of recycling, it is reasonable to expect that they will enact punitive economic instruments and policies targeting Producers who place unrecyclable plastics on the EU market. Whilst we cannot yet tell what the costs will be to Producers, what we can expect is enhanced scrutiny of plastics reporting by Producers, and almost certainly some kind of increase in fees and costs for Producers affected.

Regardless of the specific outcome of this tax, the trend is clear. There is a consistent push towards more recyclable packaging, and less of it, with taxes and laws coming into force in the next 12+ months in many European Member States. In anticipation of fee increases from this tax and other similar policies there is a window of opportunity now for Packaging Producers to analyze packaging used and work with supply chains to identify unrecycled plastics in use and possible recyclable alternatives, as well as potential to reduce the amount of packaging used.

Ontario 2021 WEEE Law Relaunch

On January 1, 2021 the new Ontario Electronic Waste law (The Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, O. Reg. 522/20: Electrical and Electronic Equipment) comes into force, obligating an expanded range of Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Products covered by the law include Telecommunications, Audio visual, and IT products, with spare parts and cables now included as well.

It is important to note that rechargeable batteries sold integrated in products were previously exempted, however all chemistries of integrated batteries will now carry obligations under the new E-Waste law. All standalone batteries, of all chemistries weighing < 5Kg are covered by Ontario’s new Battery law that commenced on July 1 2020 and was covered in our last newsletter.

The registration deadline with the Ontario authority was originally set for November 30, 2020, which didn’t permit much time to prepare, so this has been extended now until January 31, 2021. Registration requires submission of sales data from 2018 and 2019 in order to determine obligation thresholds, so Producers who have been selling Electrical and Electronic Goods, products with integrated batteries, or stand-alone or replacement batteries from that time frame should please contact Accerio as a matter of high priority for assistance in preparing reporting data in time for your registration application.

Please note that for Accerio clients who are currently already registered and complying through the collective EPRA will also need to register with the Authority (RPRA) but can continue complying through a collective organization, and your Account Manager will contact you to process this adjustment.

Year-End Reporting Preparation

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2021 is almost upon us, and with it comes the end-of-year WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging reporting. All Producers selling these types of goods anywhere in the EU will be required to report, which makes for a lot of very tight deadlines at a busy time of the year.

As a reminder, here are a few tips to make the process as streamlined as possible; please let us know here at Accerio if:

    • There have been any product changes that you may not have advised us of yet. Please send us SKU numbers, weights and technical specifications.
    • There are new reporting staff and or change of email addresses. Please update our information so we can be sure to be in communication with the right people.
    • There has been any takeback or recycling done by yourselves or any third parties, please send us the data and information. We may need a report directly from the recycling facility on how the take-back was recycled, so please ensure you know who to contact to obtain these reports.

It’s also a good idea to touch base with Authorized Signatories in your organization to remind them that some annual reports will require their signature, given it is an extra demand on them at a busy time of the year.
If you would like us to check through your data before the end of year to ensure that January is as stress free as possible, please feel free to contact your account manager.

November 2020 Newsletter Read More »

August 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter: August 2020

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Ontario's New Battery Law

Ontario battery recycling

The Province of Ontario in Canada has a new battery law that came into force on July 1 2020 as part of the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act: Ontario Regulation 30/20. Battery producers who place any sold-separately battery that weighs less than 5 Kg on the Ontario market are defined as obligated “Stewards”. Both single-use and rechargeable batteries are obligated. Stewards will be considered individually accountable and financially responsible for the resource recovery (reuse, refurbishment, or processing) of those end-of-life batteries that fall within the scope of obligated batteries.

The definition of a battery steward encompasses a variety of scenarios, but it does capture most sellers, with variables such as which party is the brand holder, their residency status in Ontario and Canada, and to whom the battery is sold. Some exemptions apply for specific scenarios.

Integrated batteries, meaning batteries that are sold already inside a product, are exempted from this law. However, a new electronic waste law is in the pipeline for Ontario and due to come into force early 2021. This is expected to encompass integrated batteries.

Requirements for compliance include free collection networks for consumers, the need for promotional and education materials until the end of 2022 to increase consumer awareness, and most producers will be likely to need to source services from a Producer Responsibility Organization to meet the legal obligations.

If your company sells portable batteries weighing less than 5 Kg on the Ontario market, or in any Canadian province, please contact Accerio for more details about your potential obligations.

UK Plastic Packaging Tax

From April 2022, the UK government will impose a £200 per tonne tax on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic. Plastic packaging is defined as packaging materials where plastic is the predominant material. The tax is designed to grow the recycled plastics market to meet increased demand and divert more waste from landfill. Most of the provisions have been finalized, however a few details are yet to be confirmed, including whether or not to exempt transit packaging intended only to protect products during transport.

This tax will apply to:

  • Large Producers: who place more than 10,000 Kg of plastic packaging on the UK market annually
  • UK Packaging Producers
  • UK Packaging Importers, if the packaging is produced outside of the UK
  • All packaging, regardless whether it is empty or filled, to all end users

This tax will not apply to:

  • Small producers: who place less than 10, 000 Kg of plastic packaging on the UK market annually
  • Foreign distance sellers (see above, the UK importer will carry obligation)

Quarterly reporting on packaging will be mandatory, with declarations required of all weights of packaging placed on the market (POM).  The tax applying to packaging in scope will be administered through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Department, and unless packaging is declared – with evidence – to contain at least 30% recycled material, the tax will apply to the total weight POM.

April 2022 will be here before we know it, so it is advisable to look now at supply chains to determine the % recycled content of plastic packaging used, and if proof of the recycled content exists in the form of certification or specification sheets.

New Eco-Design Regulations

Eco Design repair screen

The new EU Eco-design regulations, adopted as part of the Circular Economy package’s Eco-Design Working Plan, are coming into force in 2021, with the objective of increasing the repair, reuse, and recyclability of the products targeted. The 10 regulations apply to all products in scope that are placed on the EU Market regardless of their country of manufacture.  The product categories targeted are:

  1. Household Refrigerators
  2. Refrigerators with a direct sales function (e.g. fridges in supermarkets, vending machines)
  3. Washing Machines
  4. Dishwashers
  5. Welding Equipment
  1. Electronic Displays (including most computer monitors and televisions)
  2. Light Sources and Separate Control Gears
  3. External Power Supplies
  4. Electric Motors
  5. Power Transformers

The Eco-Design Regulations have a direct application, with no need for transposition into local legislation. The 2021 deadlines vary, the first being March for electronic displays, April for external power supplies, July for electric motors and power transformers, September for light sources.

The new requirements are focusing on lower limits for the Energy Efficiency Index and are bringing new material efficiency specifications. The Regulations are strengthening the concepts of products designed for repair and reuse, and design for dismantling, recycling and recovering, in accordant with the Waste Hierarchy. More, specific information will have to be made available in the technical documentation and on the producer website, together with specific labelling requirements, especially for some plastic components.

For Producers it may impact on production strategies and costs, with the decision to be made whether to manufacture compliant product lines specifically to be sold in Europe or to make products bound for all geographies in line with these regulations.

If you are interested in more information regarding Eco-Design Regulations, please contact Accerio for an introduction to the new requirements.

The Impact of POPs

POPs Old monitor

From July 15, 2020 the recast EU Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) came into force, repealing the previous POP’s Regulation. POPs are problematic for all biological life, and legacy Electronic and Electrical Equipment (EEE) containing these materials will now face increased treatment requirements, driving up WEEE treatment costs across Europe.

The new regulation aligns more closely with the REACH regulation and the Waste Framework Directive, with greater clarification of definitions to ensure unity across the EU. The list of POP chemicals included has been expanded, applying restrictions on the use of specific substances in manufactured products, as well as more detail of end-of -life treatment methods that must be used for certain products containing chemicals.

These chemicals are not as plentiful in current manufacturing as they once were but, they are still being collected in older WEEE processed. For example, many household electrical items, such as televisions and computer monitors, used to be manufactured using brominated flame retardants to reduce their risk of catching fire if overheating. These old items can no longer be recycled with other WEEE and must now be subject to thermal treatment at a hazardous waste plant.

As yet it is not clear how or when collective organizations and authorities will pass on the costs, or if they will instead absorb them, but it is probable that the increased handling overheads will translate into increase fees for Producers across the EU.

August 2020 Newsletter Read More »

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