WEEE und ElektroG

The WEEE regulation is European Union (EU) directive governing the disposal of electronic and electrical devices

This new regulation came into effect in January 2013. In Germany, the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) has governed implementation the WEEE directive since March 2005.

WEEE stands for “Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment”. The WEEE regulation is intended to avoid or reduce electronic waste. With the WEEE directive, full responsibility for the environmentally friendly disposal of old appliances was transferred to the manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment.

WEEE establishes compulsory labelling. Manufacturers must ensure that their appliances are clearly identifiable. Since November 2005, companies are also required to register their devices in the used electronic appliances register (EAR). Since March 2006, manufacturers must also report monthly the amount of electronic and electrical appliances put into circulation. In addition, the WEEE directive obliges producers to implement recycling-friendly production of their articles. Responsibility for collection and environmentally-friendly disposal of waste electronic and electrical equipment lies with the manufacturers.

The WEEE directive provides for disposal separately from household waste. In Germany, according to ElektroG, local authorities are responsible for the collection of electrical/electronic waste. The municipal recycling centres sort the devices according to five different categories. The collected waste appliances are collected and disposed of by the manufacturers.

Obligations under WEEE and ElektroG are borne predominantly by the manufacturers. The retailer is not obliged to take back waste appliances. However, they may choose to accept waste appliances on a voluntary basis. Where trading companies act as direct importers of non-EAR registered devices, a registry and a corresponding fee may be due.

Publisher: European Commission