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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 »

August 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter: August 2019

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

On the Move

Generic Moving

Accerio has outgrown the current space we occupy in the USA and the time has come to relocate. We will be on the move in the latter part of August to new larger premises only a few blocks away, located right on the famous Boulder Pearl Street Mall.

To update your records, from September 1st our new address will be:

1245 Pearl Street
Suite 201
Boulder, CO, 80302
USA

Please note, if you have our Amsterdam (Accerio BV) office in your records, this does not need to be updated.

Please ensure you update our address in your records from September onwards; our phone number will remain the same: +1-720-500-0310.

We will be operational throughout the move. If passing through Boulder, please stop by to say hello, we’d love to see you!

Changes to UK Household Take-Back Obligations

Household WEEE fo rUK Take Back article

Phase 4 of the UK Distributor Take-Back Scheme (DTS) which began in January 2017 will end in December of 2019, and there are currently no plans for what will take its place.

Under the current system, the DTS provides its members with an exemption from the take-back requirement of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which is to accept and arrange for the recycling of the customers’ old WEEE when a new and functionally equivalent piece of EEE is purchased.

The scheme functions by directing end-users to public recycling facilities where they can recycle their old products. Membership fees are used to fund projects that aim to increase the rate of WEEE collection, reuse and recycling in the UK, as well as the recycling points themselves.

This affects those companies that sell household products directly to end-users and, in the absence of the DTS program, these companies will have to establish a take-back system themselves, ensuring this is offered “in-store”. For online sellers, “in-store” means the website would need to clearly offer customers the opportunity to return their old WEEE at the time of buying a similar product.

A Government consultation on the current WEEE system towards the end of 2020 is planned and the DTS Steering Committee have been researching options for a new DTS phase starting in 2020. An interim DTS phase 5 is being considered until the consultation and review of the WEEE regulations has been completed.

When Phase 3 ended in 2016, confirmation of Phase 4 was not received until very last minute, so Accerio anticipates the same may happen again. As soon as we know the decision for 2020, we will be in touch with affected clients, either to ensure they register with the new phase or to advise how to comply with the take-back regulations.

Evaluation of the Batteries Directive

Batteries

The European Commission has conducted an evaluation of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC to determine the impact on the environment and the functioning of the internal market. The findings of this assessment may stimulate a revision of the Directive.

The positive conclusions were that the Batteries Directive:

  • Has delivered sum positive impacts on the environment and promoted batteries recycling
  • Has affected a significant reduction in Mercury and Cadmium content in batteries
  • Has increased Collection and Recycling rates; 2012 targets of 25% have largely been met, however it is notable that only 14 Member States have achieved the 2016 target of 45%

Gap analysis identified areas that need to still be addressed:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility Obligations for Industrial batteries are not well defined, with no provisions for collection, financing, and recycling of industrial batteries
  • Hazardous substances other than Mercury and Cadmium have not been addressed and have not been reduced
  • Re-use of advanced batteries is not addressed, and it is perceived by the majority of stakeholders as not supported by the directive
  • There is no mechanism to accommodate technological novelties and new usages, such as the re-use of lithium ion batteries.

The Batteries Directive has successfully incorporated some of the major circular economy goals, however, there is more progress to be made and it is likely that future amendments will aim to capture them in more depth. It is also anticipated that there will be clearer provisions for the EPR obligations for industrial batteries and new technologies and applications.

Defining a Component

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Accerio often receives questions on components and if they are considered in scope of WEEE. Although components are considered outside the scope of WEEE, it has always been a difficult question to answer as there were never very clear definitions of what is considered a component. Additionally, each company has their own definition of component that may or may not align with the intentions of the WEEE Directive. This lack of clarity has caused a lot of confusion and frustration with producers.

To assist with clarification of the component issue The European WEEE Registers Network (EWRN) has published guidance to help understand the difference between obligated WEEE and non-obligated components.

The European WEEE Registers Network (EWRN) 2019 guide provides the following definitions:

Components are

“…unfinished products that have no direct function for an end user. They are not intended for an end user. Components are intended for a producer for further processing into a (finished) product (the finished EEE)”

EEE is defined as

“EEE is an electrical and electronic product that can be used by and is intended for end users because it (already) works properly. Therefore, EEE is always a finished product that has a (i) direct function and that is (ii) intended for an end user.”

Direct Function is defined as:

“…any function which fulfils the intended use specified by the manufacturer in the instructions for use for an end user…Products are also considered to have a direct function even if they require a combination with other equipment or parts…”

A fundamental element to understand if the “component” is in scope of WEEE is if it is provided to an end-user or another manufacturer for further integration. If provided to the end-user, it is in scope of WEEE.

Additionally:

  • The component would not be in scope at the time it is being provided for further integration by another manufacturer; however, it potentially would be in scope when integrated into that manufacturer’s product. That is to say, it would make up the weight of the product when placed on the market.
  • If you are providing the component to an end-user for integration into a product, then it would be considered WEEE if it is a “finished good”. It is considered finished when it has a direct function and is intended for the end-user.

Some examples of components are cables without finished ends, transistors and capacitors, while items not considered a component include fuses, wall switches, miniature circuit breakers, cables with ends, sockets and hard drive. For further examples, please refer to the guidance.

The diagram below provides even better clarity on how to differentiate:

We highly recommend reviewing this document to understand if the “components” your company sells are out of scope. If you do require further support or have questions about the guidance, please feel free to contact the Accerio team for support.

August 2019 Newsletter Read More »

August 2018 Newsletter

Newsletter: August 2018

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

Open Scope Implementation

change

 What Is Changing?

From 15th August 2018, the EU legislation on how EEE is categorized and reported throughout the EU changes. The current 10 categories used to define EEE products will be replaced by 6 new categories, three of which are dependent on the dimensions of products.

With the addition of size into some categories, some countries are also taking the opportunity to rearrange their definitions of household and professional EEE, with many items under 50cm automatically being categorized as household.

The legislation is also moving to an Open Scope means of classifying EEE, meaning that anything not specifically listed in the exclusions will now automatically be considered EEE. This may mean that some of your products will now be in scope whereas in the past they were not. Again, this does change from country to country, especially with regard to clothing or furniture that includes electronics, and you may find your business reporting more items in one country that another.

When Is It Changing?

Some countries have already implemented these changes, and some are trying to avoid making any changes to producer registrations until 2019, but the majority of countries will need your data to fit into the new categories by the end of Quarter 3.

What Do I Need To Do?

The country requiring most work to implement the new changes is Germany. The German authorities are automatically recategorizing all products. If your product is recategorized wrongly, you will need a new registration put in place, and you will have to pay the accompanying registration fee. If your company is affected by this, Accerio will be in touch. For most countries, a quick chat with your account manager about the products you sell and their sizes should suffice. You will have to start including your product sizes in your data reports. See below for more information on how to measure your products.

What Are The New Categories?

The new general categories are below. Please note, each country may also implement their own subcategories.

Temperature exchange equipment is electrical and electronic equipment (“EEE”) with internal circuits where substances other than water – e.g. gas, oil, refrigerant or a secondary fluid – are used for the purpose of cooling and/or heating and/or dehumidifying.

Examples: Refrigerators, Freezers, Equipment which automatically deliver cold products, Air-conditioning equipment, Dehumidifying equipment, Heat pumps, Radiators containing oil and other temperature exchange equipment using fluids other than water for the temperature exchange.

Not Included: Ventilation equipment (e.g. fan, hot-air blower, fan coils etc.), infrared equipment, or water radiators, and in general all equipment using water without additives or refrigerants for the temperature exchange.

Screens and monitors are EEE intended to provide images and information on an electronic display such as cathode ray tubes (CRT), liquid crystal displays (LCD), light‐emitting diode (LED) displays or other kind of electronic displays. Additionally Open Scope includes under category 2 other equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm2.

However, not all equipment containing a screen greater than 100 cm2 falls under category 2. Only EEE with a screen-surface greater than 100 cm2 and whose intended usage focus is displaying images or information on a screen is allocated to category 2.

Equipment such as Laptops, Notebooks, Tablets, eBook-/e-Readers with a screen surface greater than 100 cm2 shall be considered under category 2, but not equipment like washing machines, refrigerators, printers, mobile phones (smartphones, phablets etc.), even if they have a screen surface greater than 100 cm2, because their intended usage focus is not displaying information on a screen.

Examples: Screens, Televisions, LCD photo frames, Monitors, Laptops, Notebooks, Tablets, eBook-/e-Readers

Not Included:
a) All small IT equipment, such as mobile phones (smartphones, phablets etc.), GPSand navigation equipment, pocket calculators, telephones etc. (such EEE is allocated to category 6).
b) EEE that may contain screens with surfaces greater than 100 cm2, such as some refrigerators, automated teller machines, body care equipment, industrial machinery, medical devices, printers, photocopier etc.

Lamps in every size are “equipment for the generation of light”, which means electrical light sources (including LED lamps but not LED luminaires) which can be installed or exchanged by the end‐user in specific electric and electronic devices such as luminaires, projectors, solariums etc.

Examples: Straight fluorescent lamps, Compact fluorescent lamps, Fluorescent lamps, High intensity discharge lamps ‐ including pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lamps, Low pressure sodium lamps, LED lamps.

Not Included:
Luminaires: an apparatus which distributes, filters or transforms the light transmitted from one or more lamps and which includes all the parts necessary for supporting, fixing and protecting the lamps and, where necessary, circuit auxiliaries together with the means for connecting them to the electric supply. The words “luminaire” and “lamp” are often mixed up.
Luminaires are allocated to category 4 or 5. Luminaires with fixed lamps (that cannot be removed without damaging the unit) are also considered as luminaires.

EEE that is not allocated to categories 1, 2 or 3. Any external dimension is more than 50 cm.
The external dimensions of the equipment needs to be measured in a status ready for use. For correct measurement of EEE see here.

Examples: Washing machines, Clothes dryers, Dish washing machines, Cookers, Electric stoves, Electric hot plates, Luminaires, Equipment reproducing sound or images, Musical equipment (excluding pipe organs installed in churches), Appliances for knitting and weaving, Large computer‐mainframes, Large printing machines, Copying equipment, Large coin slot machines, Large medical devices, Large monitoring and control instruments, Large appliances which automatically deliver products and money, Photovoltaic panels. Household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; consumer equipment; luminaires; equipment reproducing sound or images, musical equipment; electrical and electronic tools; toys, leisure and sports equipment; medical devices; monitoring and control instruments; automatic dispensers; equipment for the generation of electric currents.
This category does not include equipment included in categories 1 to 3.

Not Included: Refrigerated vending machines (category 1), large screens (category 2), large lamps (long fluorescent tubes) (category 3) etc.

EEE that is not allocated to categories 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6. No external dimension is more than 50 cm.
The determination of dimensions follows the definition provided for category 4 above. If then the largest outer dimension is 50 cm or less and it’s not IT or telecommunication equipment it meets the definition of category 5.

Examples: Vacuum cleaners, Carpet sweepers, Appliances for sewing, Luminaires, Microwaves, Ventilation equipment, Irons, Toasters, Electric knives, Electric kettles, Clocks and Watches, Electric shavers, Scales, Appliances for hair and body care, Radio sets, Digital cameras, Video cameras, Video recorders, Hi‐fi equipment, Musical instruments, Equipment reproducing sound or images, Electrical and electronic toys, Sports equipment, Computers for biking, diving, running, rowing, etc., Smoke detectors, Heating regulators, Thermostats, Small Electrical and electronic tools, Small medical devices, Small Monitoring and control instruments, Small Appliances which automatically deliver products, Small equipment with integrated photovoltaic panels. Household appliances; consumer equipment; luminaires; equipment reproducing sound or images, musical equipment; electrical and electronic tools; toys, leisure and sports equipment; medical devices; monitoring and control instruments; automatic dispensers; equipment for the generation of electric currents.
This category does not include equipment included in categories 1 to 3 and 6.

Not Included: Small IT equipment with external dimension less than 50 cm (mobile phones (e.g., smartphones, phablets etc.), routers, printers, GPS and navigation equipment etc.) is allocated to category 6.

EEE that is not allocated to categories 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.
Information equipment is equipment that can be used for collecting, transmitting, processing, storing and showing information. Telecommunication equipment is equipment designed to transmit signals – voice, video and data – electronically over a certain distance.
The determination of dimensions is the same as for category 5. If then the equipment is IT or telecommunication equipment it meets the definition of category 6.

Examples: Mobile phones (smartphones, phablets etc.), GPS and navigation equipment, Pocket calculators, Routers, Personal computers, Printers, Telephones.

Not Included: Small equipment that is not IT and telecommunication equipment (e.g. mp3 players etc.), large IT equipment (large printers) and IT equipment with screens greater than 100 cm2 (laptops, tablets, eBook-/e-Readers etc.) that are in category 2.

Dimensions

If you do not already have the dimensions of your products, you will have to measure them. Please note the following guidelines:

  • You can see some examples of how to measure different items here.
  • As a general rule, the external dimensions of an EEE shall be measured in a status ready for use but without parts and accessories such as hoses, tubes and cables. Power cables, fixed or detachable, are also not measured with the EEE. If the EEE has fixed retractile or foldable parts (e.g. antennas or articulated arms) it shall be wrapped in its most compact form in order to minimize the impact on the measurement. For example, a household water kettle with long flexible cable can be categorized at smaller than 50cm even if the flexible power cable would be 100 cm long when extended.
  • In case of rectangular equipment the largest height, width or depth of the EEE is relevant.
  • Screens and monitors are measured by total surface area. If their total surface area is less than 100cm, they will not be classified as screens and we will therefore need their largest height, width or depth as above.
  • For round equipment the largest diameter is applicable.

UK Fee Change

bank

Along with the advent of great changes in the United Kingdom with Brexit, in 2019 the fees for Producer Compliance Schemes in the UK will also change.  

The new pricing is advantageous to non-UK Producers distance selling into the United Kingdom, with the exception of non-UK based large producers who do not have VAT registration seeing a steep rise .  For UK based producers however there is a something of a financial sting with significant fee increases from the current rates.

You can check your status here to see how your organization will be affected:

Client Status 2018 Fee 2019 Fee
(a) Small producer* £30 £30
(b) Large** UK based producer who is not VAT registered £30 £100
(c) Large** overseas based producer who is not VAT registered £30 £100
(d) Producers with £1 million turnover or less and required to be VAT registered £210 Category now divided into (f) or (g)
(e) Producers with more than £1 million turnover £445 Category now divided into (f) or (g)
(f) Large** overseas based producer who is VAT registered New category; most likely previously in category (d) or (e) £375
(g) Large** UK based producer who is VAT registered New category; most likely previously in category (d) or (e) £750

*A small producer is a manufacturer who places less than 5 tonnes of EEE on the UK market annually.
**A large producer is a manufacturer who places more than 5 tonnes of EEE on the UK market annually

Source: UK Environment Agency

German Battery Act

batteries
An important Extended Producer Responsibility update is coming for batteries in Germany, with the German Federal Environment Ministry to publish a new draft law in the coming months.

Who Is Likely To Be Taking Charge?

The changes are expected to include the introduction of a new national authority, which is likely to be an extension of the Stiftung EAR’s current mandate to manage WEEE in Germany. This new battery authority will operate in a similar way to the WEEE National Authority management, including managing tasks such as the registration of producers and the collection of put-on-market (POM) data, and take-back volume specifications.  The full range of tasks will become available once the new law has been formally announced.

What Is Likely To Change?

The role of GRS Batterien Foundation is expected to change completely. Currently, GRS is operating the largest common collection scheme for portable batteries in Germany for most producers. However, in the future they will operate in a more general capacity by focussing on running awareness and informational campaigns, and undertaking research and development. Membership with GRS will no longer be an option. Consequently, producers will have to comply through other take-back systems. Accerio will explore these options for you.

What Are The Implications?

A positive outcome for stakeholders will be a partial alignment of the Batteries Act with the WEEE Act, and the commensurate advantages of both to be managed by the one National Authority providing the convenience of doing everything with one authority as opposed the inherent complication of dealing with multiple organizations. The down side will be an anticipated increase in battery recycling fees due to the additional administrative layers and overall complexity of the proposed system.

What Happens Next?

For now it’s business-as-usual. Accerio will closely monitor the market situation and will let you know once action is required.

India Enforcement

CPCB India Logo

What Is Happening?

For companies selling EEE in India, there have been some big changes triggered by the amended E-Waste Rules of 2016 that might affect operations, with far stricter enforcement of the laws, and significant stings for companies caught out not complying. Recently the Indian government has shifted the responsibilities for WEEE compliance from a State run system into a centralized management approach, operated by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and have increased enforcement in a big way. 

What Might Happen To My Imports?

Non-compliant imports may be subject to being held up in customs until the producer is correctly registered.  To complicate things further, getting hold of someone in the government office to answer questions or to help process applications is not easy, and having a contact who knows the system and can arrange things on your behalf makes a very big difference in time and money.

How Does WEEE and E-Waste Work In India?

The Indian EPR framework has a few unique features. All stakeholders in the supply chain from start to finish must apply for authorization. Producers and manufacturers both have WEEE obligations, the latter because so much manufacturing occurs in India that under the same E-Waste law producers who are manufacturing in India are also held responsible for the environmental impact of the waste and by-products created during production. What products are considered in scope varies from the European model, and parts used for refurbishment and repair are included.  There are specific requirements for reporting and marking products, with sales backdated as part of the requirement. 

Can I Become Registered in India?

As part of the more stringent adherence to the laws the CPCB has a published list of companies who have properly registered.  If you suspect you may have WEEE Obligations in India and would like to be on that list, or if you need to get a shipment released that is currently stuck in Indian Customs, please contact Accerio, we are here to help!

August 2018 Newsletter Read More »

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