France

Home » France

March 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2022

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

France Labeling Obligations for Household Products

According to the French Anti-waste Law and the respective Decrees published on the 29th of June 2021, producers placing Household products obligated under EPR on the French market are required to mark their products with the Triman symbol and the accompanying harmonized sorting information, as approved by the French Authorities.

The products affected are:

  • Household WEEE
  • Portable Batteries and Accumulators
  • Household Photovoltaic Panels
  • Household Lamps
  • Household Packaging

On the 15th of December 2021, the French Authorities approved harmonized sorting and return information that will accompany the Triman logo for the first four product categories. After thorough consultations, the respective eco-organizations confirmed the finalized format and issued the labelling guidelines for producers in mid-January 2022. The packaging information was approved earlier in 2021, with a slightly different format than the other four product categories.

The Triman symbol and the sorting information became mandatory on all household products as of 2022, though there is an extended period for producers to bring products into compliance. Please contact us for more information on the new requirements.

Phase 6 of the UK WEEE DTS is Up and Running!

Under the UK WEEE Regulation, household WEEE distributors are obligated to provide a free of charge, one-for-one basis take-back option to private end-users. This requires the distributor to take any product back for recycling when a private end-user buys a product that fulfills the same function, regardless of the EEE brand or its original seller.

Distributors have two compliance options to fulfill this requirement:

  • Offer in-store take-back of WEEE on a one-for-one basis or
  • Join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS)

DTS is an approved scheme by the UK government that has been running in two-year phases since 2007. The most recent phase (Phase 6) runs from the 1st of January 2022 through December 2023. Being a DTS member exempts distributors from the obligation to provide in-store one-for-one take-back. The DTS increases the rate of WEEE collection, reuse and recycling in the UK while making complying with take-back requirements feasible for foreign and online distributors. Accerio assesses clients for distributor obligations on an ongoing basis and makes recommendations on the best compliance options. Please contact us for more information on the DTS and compliance in the UK.

Marketplaces’ New Role in EU EPR Compliance

marketplace

Marketplaces are online platforms that enable businesses to offer their products for sale under their own name, risk, and liability, directly to end-users and resellers. The marketplace acts as an intermediary, providing a platform to bring sellers and buyers together to conclude sales contracts in which the marketplace itself is not party.

Unfortunately, online retail through marketplaces has been a common sales channel of non-compliant or ‘freeriding’ producers in the EU. Addressing this has been discussed in the EU for many years and is a stated priority in the preparation of the 2023 Waste Framework Directive. Though no official guidance has been published by the EU, a few member states have proactively defined the marketplaces’ role in the EPR compliance framework.

Beginning the 1st of January 2022, France AGEC law established that marketplaces hosting obligated products are required to comply with the French EPR legislation on behalf of the producers selling through the platform or ensure the producers themselves are compliant. In response to these requirements, most marketplaces require evidence or supporting documentation of the producer’s compliance for each applicable EPR waste stream as a condition to sell through the marketplace.

In Germany, the German Packaging Act, VerpackG, details a supervisory role for marketplaces over their vendors’ packaging compliance. Third parties who sell through an online marketplace are required to provide their EPR registration number to the marketplace. If the producer fails to provide this information, the marketplace is obligated to ban them from selling through their platform.

In both examples, marketplaces face significant fines if they fail to follow these requirements. Accerio is monitoring the development of EU-wide legislation and, in the meantime, similar measures that are expected to be adopted by other countries.

Draft of a Circular Economy Law for Mexico

The Mexican Senate approved the Circular Economy General Law draft on 18 November 2021, now under review of the Environment and Natural Resources Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. The law would promote the efficient use of products, services, materials, energy, water, and secondary raw materials, by means of clean manufacturing and principles of reuse, recycling, and redesign. Mainly, the purpose is to transition from a linear to a circular economy in Mexico.

If approved, the Law will create the following obligations for EEE and packaging producers:

  • Packaging producers must prepare and file a Circular Economy Plan and EEE producers must have a Waste Plan in place with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (“SEMARNAT” for its acronym in Spanish).
  • Producers will need to meet consumer communication requirements as well as collection, recovery, and valorization rates that will be set in the secondary legislation.
  • Producers must also consider minimum recycled plastic content goals for packaging, starting with 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Accerio will monitor the progression of the law and reach out to clients who are likely to be impacted by the requirements. The draft details significant sanctions for infractions to the law, so we encourage producers to contact us for more information.

March 2022 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

south-africa-162425_640

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 »

May 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter: May 2019

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

French Battery Discounts

money-2724235_1920

As part of French government policy, battery schemes in France have been directed to reward producers of more environmentally considerate battery chemistries with a bonus.  The objective is to financially incentivize preference for more ‘eco-conscious’ batteries to encourage producers to adjust the design of their products to choose more sustainable alternatives.

Batteries that qualify have certain qualities such as good economic value for recovery of the raw materials, especially for materials such as Cobalt, and battery life time as well as other features.

Discounted battery chemistries include:

  • Lithium accumulators using cobalt instead of secondary lithium accumulators. The reduced fee is 0.456 Euro per kg instead of the usual 0.479 Euro per kg. Examples are LCO (Lithium Cobalt Oxide), NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt) and NCA (Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum)
  • Eco-versions of Alkaline batteries, which are those containing recycled materials. This does not apply to regular Alkaline batteries. The reduced fee is 0.360 Euro per kg instead of 0.372 Euro per kg.

Screlec, a French battery recycling organisation, is the first in France to implement the discounted fees for batteries with appropriate eco-criteria. Although the fee reduction is relatively small, the difference can add up, especially for large producers, and it is a good policy direction to encourage production and use of batteries that have more sustainable characteristics.

Brexit Update

brexit-4166040_1920

The official date for the UK to leave the EU is now October 31st of 2019 and, despite a great number of uncertainties, Accerio is able to provide some guidance based on probable outcomes. The good news is that it is likely that little will change for WEEE and battery waste management when Brexit does happen.

Some key known facts:

  • Regardless of any deals agreed on, once the UK leaves the European Union, it will no longer be an EU member state and UK entities will from that point on be regarded as Non-EU Entities.  There may be further extensions of the deadline affecting when this occurs, and also the possibility too that Article 50 may be rescinded and Brexit called off.
  • All EU laws are being transposed into UK law, so that, at least temporarily, the same targets and obligations will be applied to those selling EEE and batteries in the UK. Of course, in time, the UK could choose to follow a different route to the EU.

Those who may see significant changes due to Brexit are companies with UK based legal entities who sell to other countries in Europe, because some countries have different regulations and requirements in place for EU entities as compared to non-EU entities.

For example:

  • A local Authorized Representative is required by any EU entity that sells into Denmark, France, Ireland, Portugal or Sweden in order to register and report. Non-EU entities do not require one.
  • Taking over Reseller responsibilities in Czech Republic, Finland, France, Portugal and Sweden is permissible to EU entities only. After Brexit, any current UK based entities will no longer be able to do this and will need to advise their affected resellers that they will need to be able to register and report for themselves.
  • If any country is using a UK-based certification scheme for EU compliance, such RohS certification or the CE mark, they will no longer be authorized to do this after Brexit. Any EU-wide standard mark can only be issued by a company registered in an EU member state. The certification schemes will likely have a plan in place to ensure their continued authority after-Brexit, but please do ensure you have checked this.

In the event that a deal is struck allowing the UK to retain a semi-EU status, similar to EEA members, it is possible that the UK could be viewed as a 3rd Party country and included in some EU requirements, such as AR requirement for UK based entities.

In the meantime whilst all wait for a final decision, here are some helpful documents both the UK government and the EU have released advising businesses on the changes that will come if no deal is agreed upon.

UK guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/how-to-prepare-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-with-no-deal

EU Guidance: https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/preparedness-notices_en

EU Guide for non-food and non-agricultural products: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/industrial_products_en_1.pdf

EU Non-Food and non-agricultural FAQ: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/qa_brexit_industrial_products_en.pdf

The Benefits of Compliance

1000px-Sustainable_development.svg

The EU WEEE and batteries directives are critical to the sustainable management of the electronic and battery waste streams that have grown at an astonishing rate. It is anticipated that by 2020, in the EU alone, more than 12 million tonnes of electronic waste will be generated that year. 

The three pillars of sustainability- People, Planet, and Profit – are fundamental to the spirit of intention behind the WEEE and batteries directives.  These laws help to protect the health and well-being of everyone involved. Extended Producer Responsibility helps fund the management of all this waste according to the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle.

Waste electronics and batteries that end up in landfill contaminate soil, water and air, as toxic raw materials such as heavy metals and other compounds used in their manufacture, seep into the environment.

Transportation of WEEE and waste batteries to countries where regulation is poor or absent, impacts heavily on the health and well-being of vulnerable people who are employed in backyard ‘recycling’ operations where they are exposed to heavy metals and other contaminants.

Waste can be a valuable source of raw materials, especially as the scarcity of specific metals and minerals increases manufacturing and mining costs. And as recycling technologies improve, there are increasing economic benefits to the efficient re-use of these commodities.

Europe 2020’s growth Strategy aims to lead to a more resource efficient Europe, and compliance with the WEEE and Batteries Directives supports the objectives towards building a more sustainable society. Through the financing of recycling programs, producers contribute to better health and well-being of humans, animals, and plants by preventing landfill of electronics and batteries. Producers also benefit from the economic and logistical efficiencies through the recycling of valuable raw materials, especially as some of these materials become more scarce and prices increase.

May 2019 Newsletter Read More »

Scroll to Top