The Latest News and Initiatives from B2B Compliance

Keep up to date with the latest developments

WEEE regulations deadline changes in Germany hit UK companies

Posted by & filed under International, WEEE Legislation.

The next deadline of staggered changes we announced earlier of Germany’s transposition of WEEE directive (WEEE II) now affects UK companies supplying into Germany. If your company offers delivery or sells directly to customers through distance communication methods (such as an online store, email, phone or catalogues), then you may need to take action.

Requirements include the appointment of an authorised representative (AR) and introduction of WEEE takeback for large retailers or distant sellers.

As a result of the Regulatory change in Germany, the previous registrations of foreign companies with the German WEEE Register and central authority, Stiftung EAR, technically should expire in April 2016.

What should our company do to comply?

Companies selling into Germany from abroad were required to either have set up a German legal entity or appointed an Authorized Representative to re-register the company and act on its behalf.

Selling into Germany is illegal without a valid WEEE registration

Without an approved registration, producers may not sell EEE to German customers. In a recent statement Stiftung EAR confirmed that the deadline for foreign registrations to be renewed had passed, but that the existing registrations would not automatically expire – as previously feared – at the end of April 2016.

The German WEEE authority is instead contacting producers in the UK requesting further information as to why they are no longer registered, or, if they should have registered, confirming when the UK company intends to re-register with an local AR. This is the first step under German administrative law, which can result in legal steps leading to cancellation of the existing WEEE registrations in Germany after which companies can be pursued under German administrative and anti-competition law.

Do you sell direct to German customers (B2B or B2C) or simply offer delivery to Germany either through your website, or via phone, catalogue or other mail-order?

If your website or catalogue currently allows for delivery to Germany you could already be obligated. Separate registrations – needed for the Authorized Representative (in case of selling from abroad), the producer, each brand that this producer sells and the financial guarantee (B2C only) – can each take up to 8 weeks to be finalized at Stiftung EAR.

Does your company have direct takeback obligations as an (Online) Retailer or Distributor?

Waste takeback obligations will begin from 27 July 2016 and affect B2B and B2C distributors and retailers with a sales space (“stationary” retailer) and storage or distribution space (online retailer) of > 400 m².

1.) Do you have any storage or distribution space of > 400 m² in Germany?

If yes, you may have an obligation as a producer and distributor in Germany.

2.) Do you sell through a fulfilment service, such as Amazon or E-bay?

If yes, you must clarify whether this service has a storage or distribution space of > 400 m² in Germany, as this could obligate you for online retailer takeback.

Where do I start?

European legislation is large and complex, so B2B Compliance provides a modular support solution to compliance. This has allowed members to clarify whether they are compliant and correctly registered with the local authorities across Europe, and where necessary gives guidance on the next steps your company should take to comply.

Contact our membership@b2bcompliance.org.uk to book a free meeting to discuss your European compliance requirements.

Printer cartridges now in scope from Q1 2016

Posted by & filed under B2B Compliance, EEE Scoping, WEEE Legislation.

Following an announcement from BIS last year, printer cartridges have now come into scope and should be reported in quarter 1 2016 EEE data.

Last year we worked with BIS on the implementation of the latest scoping and interpretation matters regarding EEE products, one topic of which was the scoping and recycling systems available for printer cartridges. This saw the UK view fall into line with that of other EU member states for reporting EEE – see our EU WEEE FAQ publication news story http://news.b2bcompliance.org.uk/2014/04/recast-faqs-published/

In combination with the new Dual Use interpretation, we agreed that some printers, and therefore their cartridges, could be used in either the home, or business, so as well as being in scope the printer and cartridge would be classed as Household B2C EEE. This requires producers to report quarterly, instead of annually like Non-Household B2B products, and household EEE will carry a recycling obligation based on the weight the company has imported, manufactured or re-branded.

The new interpretation will affect the 2016 Q1 data returns and means that:

  • Producers who will be placing printer cartridges on the UK market during the 2016 compliance period will need to register as an EEE producer.
  • Producers will need to report on a quarterly basis during 2016 the tonnages of printer cartridges placed on the UK market.
  • Data collected during 2016 will feed into determining the targets for 2017 and as such the financial obligations for the collection, treatment and recovery of printer cartridges will arise for producers during the 2017 compliance period.

Our membership services team will be able to update your account if you are affected by this change, and can help with any scoping issues or grey areas und the latest WEEE Regulations and interpretations. Our WEEE specialist Michelle Walsh in our membership services team is available on 0845 680 9829 or email to mwalsh@b2bcompliance.org.uk

Final 2016 WEEE targets published

Posted by & filed under WEEE target.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have now finalised targets for 2016 household WEEE collections to rise by more than 37,000 tonnes to 544,341 tonnes.

WEEE collection data published by the environment agency in March highlighted that during 2015 WEEE collections exceeded the set target by more than 14,000 tonnes. This is a clear pointer that the changes in dual use classification has additional collections to take place and has provided BIS with sufficient evidence that an stretching target is possible for WEEE collections into 2016.

This 2016 collection target applies only to household WEEE and so producers placing household WEEE onto the market will be required to finance their respective market share of what they placed onto the market in 2015, by category.

James Champ of B2B Compliance comments: “B2B Compliance have been working with members closely over the past couple of years to prepare for the change in dual use reporting. Whilst the collection targets have increased, and more traditionally non-household only producers are now picking up a market share obligation, we maintain our confidence that we will meet our members’ collection obligations in 2016.”

Changes to Hazardous Waste Regulations

Posted by & filed under Collection and Recycling.

Following a recent release from the Environment Agency, changes to the Hazardous Waste Regulations will affect producers of Hazardous Waste from 1st April 2016. The two changes that businesses will need to prepare for are:

Site Licences
The requirement to notify the Environment Agency if you are producing more than 500kg of hazardous waste in any 12 month period has been removed. There is therefore no requirement to licence the premises which brings a small saving of £18 per year.

Consignment Note Codes
Each hazardous waste movement must have a hazardous waste consignment note, however from April 2016 the code which accompanies the waste movement will change to a unique reference created by the producing site for the first 6 digits used on the consignment note.

A note of caution accompanies the changes that business will need to adopt – shipments from Wales to England are not covered by the site registrations or consignment note codes changes. Only movements from England to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland are affected, so in some instances there may be sites with differing systems and requirements in place, depending on address.

The waste collection team at B2B Compliance are fully versed on the changes taking effect from April. If you have any queries about how it may affect you, or what needs to be in place up until 1st April 2016 please call 0845 680 9829 or email collections@b2bcompliance.org.uk

Redundant IT project

Posted by & filed under B2B Compliance, WEEE Treatment.

We are increasingly conscious that in our offices, and in those of our Members, there are significant quantities of redundant IT – but a possible reluctance for its disposal – partly for reasons of data security. Having decided to use one of our service providers, SHP Ltd (www.shplimited.co.uk), to clear our own redundant IT, we have been so impressed by their service, security levels and ethos (not forgetting a valuable rebate) that we have agreed to recommend them to our Members.

As their Chairman, Lord Digby Jones explained “We believe that our services complement the demands of Producer Responsibility and I am delighted that SHP has linked up with B2B Compliance, both to ensure optimum re-use of EEE and to extend their Member opportunities through our professional service provision”.

To get in touch with SHP telephone 01524 580900 or email contact@shplimited.co.uk and help us to close the loop as part of our commitment to the circular economy!

Amendments to WEEE regulations

Posted by & filed under WEEE Legislation.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills have recently reviewed and published new WEEE regulations, in the form of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (amendment) regulations 2015. These new, amended, regulations seek to tidy the existing regulations, which came into effect at the beginning of 2014.

The key changes reflect some legal adjustments which were considered necessary to improve efficiency in the WEEE system and incorporation of developments in the regulations since they were first published, such as:

  • Reg 27A/28 Provides for notification and adjustment of a scheme household WEEE target if a member goes into administration/liquidation/receivership
  • Reg 51 Maintains prohibition on the visible recycling fee for a household EEE product to end users
  • Reg 52 Maintains provision for the repair/service sector to have the same right of return as Distributors

As for other updates, you may remember that B2B Compliance were strongly lobbying for the netting off of EEE exports in 2014. This paid off when guidance was published allowing this netting off for the 2015 compliance period. As guidance can change more regularly, we are pleased to say that this netting off of EEE exports has now become part of the new amended regulations.

These amendments were published on 3rd December 2015, without consultation since no policy changes were made, coming into force on 25th December 2015.

WEEE producer consultation on change to reporting categories

Posted by & filed under EEE Scoping, WEEE Legislation.

The Recast WEEE Directive aims to improve the environmental performance of all operators involved in the lifecycle of EEE across the EU.

In order to conform to the Recast WEEE Directive, in January 2019, the UK WEEE Regulations introduce new reporting categories for EEE and WEEE, reducing the current 14 categories down to 6. While BIS is considering how it implements this change, we are asking our WEEE producer members to feedback on proposed changes to the way they report.

Options include:

  • Continuing with the current 14 categories and use a protocol to convert these into the new 6 categories for government EC reporting purposes
  • change EEE and WEEE reporting to the new 6 categories
  • a variant of this such as adding new sub-categories for EEE that generates a distinct WEEE stream

This change will affect all EEE producers, but for household EEE producers the option chosen could also affect your future compliance costs and/or require the funding of protocols that need to be regularly updated so it is important this matter is carefully considered allowing sufficient time to make any necessary reporting changes.

You feedback is valuable to us and the wider WEEE system and so we invite you to complete a short, anonymous questionnaire on future EEE/WEEE reporting options.

To take this survey, please click here.

Couple Fined For Exporting WEEE To Africa

Posted by & filed under Collection and Recycling, WEEE Treatment.

Two company directors and their company have been ordered to pay £130,000 for illegally exporting 187 tonnes of hazardous WEEE to six African countries between 2011 and 2015. One of the directors was also given a 9 month suspended sentence.

The prosecution, brought by the Environment Agency, follows their officers finding eleven shipping containers full of electrical waste destined for Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania – where there are insufficient controls to avoid pollution and harm to people and the environment.

The BBC’s Panorama programme fitted a hidden tracking device to a broken television and left it at a civic amenity site in South London. The TV was tracked to the recycler’s site in Warrington and then back down to Felixstowe port, where officers found the TV in a shipping container. It was seized before it was illegally exported. This evidence formed a crucial part of the Environment Agency prosecution case. These 40-foot containers, each with about 15 tonnes of e-waste inside, had wrapped items at the front, which were made to look like working products. However, further back the container included hazardous cathode ray televisions and broken fridge freezers, which were described as second-hand goods but didn’t work.

In addition to these eleven containers planned for illegal export, the Environment Agency prosecutors told the court that the company had illegally exported another 186 shipping containers to Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Gambia and Togo.

The company and its directors pleaded guilty to shipping the containers illegally. Director, Mark Daniels, was given a 9-month custodial sentence suspended for 2 years and ordered to pay £50,000 Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and a £20,000 contribution to costs. Daniels Recycling Ltd was fined a total of £25,000 (£5k per offence pleaded to). Fellow director, Lynn Gallop, was fined £450, with £25,000 POCA and a contribution to costs of £10,000. Other defendants have also pleaded guilty to exporting six of the containers, having bought the waste from Daniels Recycling – their sentencing has been adjourned to March 2016.

B2B Compliance Project Director, Mark Sayers, commented “This case highlights the absolute necessity for Producers, obligated under the WEEE Regulations, to ensure that their Compliance Scheme providers have strong and close relationships with their contracted recyclers – supported by extensive and intensive auditing procedures – so-called ‘cheap’ compliance can come at a high cost!”

UK producers affected in Germany WEEE recast

Posted by & filed under B2B Compliance, WEEE Legislation, WEEE Recast.

On 24th October Germany released their long awaited regulations transposing the recast WEEE Directive. But the implementation has raised alarms for UK business who may hold new obligations under this far reaching legislation.

What does this German legislation mean to the UK?

The new German WEEE regulations can place responsibility on companies who offer delivery or supply of products into customers from another member state, even if the company does not have a legal presence in Germany. This means that many new companies, as well as companies who were registered under the old system, will need to review their compliance solutions again.

If you are a UK company selling electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) directly into Germany you will need to consider the following:

  • If the company supplies EEE to Germany via online store, or makes delivery available (even before a sale is made), the company could be obligated. This is because, under German law, if obligated, you may not sell EEE to Germany unless you are first registered with the German “clearing house” Elektro-Altgeräte Register (EAR).
  • If, before 24th October, you were registered correctly with the German “clearing house” EAR, this registration is no longer valid for companies who are registered as a UK producer without a German legal base. There is now a requirement on UK Producers to appoint an Authorised Representative (AR) in Germany who must fulfil your obligations on your behalf within 6 months of 24th Oct. If not already registered with EAR, the UK company must register and appoint an AR immediately.

In addition night storage heaters, PV modules or luminaries for use in private households are now in scope and Producers of these products will now be affected by the same requirements for all household EEE producers, who must provide a financial guarantee in case of insolvency.

What needs to happen?

Following the 24th October 2015 regulations the next major milestone is 24th January 2016, by which time producers and distributors of PV modules and luminaires for households must have a valid registration with the EAR. Also, producers and distributors who already takeback waste must register these facilities with EAR by this date.

After 6 months from the release of the new Regulations, on or by 24th April 2016, companies without a legal base in Germany must appoint an AR, or register a legal entity in Germany themselves, who in turn register with the EAR.

By 24th July 2016 large distributors, resellers and retailers must start to take back waste from customers, and have these facilities registered with the German EAR.

What should I do next?

Companies should take action now. Where a company is obligated, both the registration as producer and the registration of the AR requires approval by EAR, which can take up to 12 weeks, which is why the legislation allows between 3-6 months for new registrations.

B2B Compliance recognises that many of the specialist products that our members’ supply may be destined for Germany. Our technical specialists are available to help you understand what this legislation means to your business and what to do next. With European support services available through B2B Compliance or our approved partners in Germany we can help you take the next step to cover any responsibilities. If you have concerns about your responsibilities in Germany contact our Membership Services team on 0845 680 9829 or email membership@b2bcompliance.org.uk  for more information.

WEEE code of practice draft released

Posted by & filed under WEEE Treatment.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have recently released a draft WEEE code of practice for limited consultation amongst key stakeholders. This code of practice applies to operators of approved designated collection facilities (DCFs) and WEEE producer compliance schemes (PCSs) and sets the rules on how the DCF and PCS partnership must operate.

The code aims to facilitate the separate collection and treatment of WEEE disposed of, by consumers, at DCF sites and encourages DCFs and PCSs to work together to encourage reuse of whole items through legitimate reuse organisations.

While we expect that the final code will be published shortly, we are confident that our working processes with our DCF partners are bona fide and follow this code of practice to maximise the amount of WEEE send for re-use and recycling.