March 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2023

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

EU Packaging Regulation Proposal

European_Commission

In November 2022, the European Commission proposed a European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, addressing crucial sustainability and safety topics throughout packaging’s entire life cycle. A key distinction between the proposed Regulation and current Packaging Directive is that the Regulation will create a harmonized framework for all EU Member States without transposition in their local legal system. If approved, the Regulation will repeal the currently in force Packaging Directive.

Key aspects:

  • Obligations for all parties in the supply chain who place packaging on the EU market, for all packaging levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), and all packaging materials
  • New obligations throughout the life cycle of packaging, starting from its design and manufacturing to its end-of-life. Touching upon topics such as:
    • Recyclability
    • Minimum recycled content in plastic packaging
    • Targets for reusable packaging usage
    • Harmonized packaging labeling
    • Mandatory Authorized Representative appointment in each Member State where the obligated party places products on the market
    • Provisions on communication of information to end users
  • Prohibition on Member States introducing additional sustainability requirements if they are contrary to the Regulation’s provisions or restrict the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market

It is of note that the provision forbidding contrary or restrictive sustainability requirements is in line with the recent infringement procedure by the EU Commission that included the France Triman labeling requirements. More specifically, the Triman initiative has been considered an action that leads to the fragmentation of the Single Market; the EU Commission has called France to comply with its legal obligations deriving from the EU law. France has until 15th of April 2023 to respond to the concerns of the EU Commission.

The legislative process for drafts like the Packaging Regulation lasts around 18 months but there are steps that you can take to prepare. Please contact Accerio for more information and assistance preparing for the Packaging Regulation.

New E-Waste Rules in India

The Indian government announced new E-Waste Management Rules (E-Waste Rules) on November 2nd, 2022 that are set to enter into force on April 1st, 2023. The E-Waste Rules will replace the E-Waste Management Rules 2016. The legislation will apply to manufacturers, producers, refurbishers, dismantlers, and recyclers involved in any part of the product’s life. The scope has been greatly expanded from the 2016 E-Waste Rules to include solar photo-voltaic panels, certain IT equipment, additional consumer devices, tools and appliances, as well as medical devices.

Manufacturers and Producers shall comply with Extended Producer Responsibility obligations, which among others, are:

  • Registration through the new centralized portal
  • Fulfillment of annual EPR targets
  • Submitting annual and quarterly reports

The E-Waste Rules also allow for reductions in management quantity through purchasing refurbishing certificates. Additionally, there are important changes to the responsibilities of Bulk Consumers, reducing their obligations and shifting responsibilities to other parties in the supply chain. Contact Accerio for an assessment of your obligations under India’s new E-Waste Management Rules.

Belgium Draft Repairability and Durability Legislation

Eco Design repair screen

In September 2022, the Belgium Ministry of Environment published a draft law together with three draft decrees on the subjects of Repairability and Durability score for electronic devices (as well as software compatibility). The draft law introduces a repairability index for electronic devices. The proposed standards are similar to those in France’s 2020 AGEC Law. Belgium’s proposed index is based on several criteria, such as the availability of technical information and maintenance manuals, the ease with which the product can be dismantled, the availability of spare parts and their delivery time, and the price of spare parts.

The new law will also be introducing a durability index as a possible way to supplement the repairability index. The draft decree provides the modalities of communication, format of the repairability index and accessibility to technical standards, a software compatibility obligation, as well as the products covered by the repairability score (some examples of the covered products are washing machines, smartphones, TVs, and laptops).

Public consultation on the drafts closed on the 22nd of March 2023. The drafts are now in the first reading phase at the Federal government level and a publishing date has yet to be announced. The drafts are scheduled to enter into force 6 months after its publication.

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