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WEEE Regulations

What is WEEE & EEE?

WEEE stands for waste electrical and electronic equipment and EEE is electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

EEE is defined in the regulations as ‘equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields falling under the categories set out in Schedule 1 [to the Regulations] and designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1,000 volts for alternating current and 1,500 volts for direct current’.

In other words, if it needs electricity to work, whether it be plugged-in or battery-operated, and is below the voltage limitations, it is EEE.

There are, however, a range of exemptions and anyone in any doubt about whether a product is in Scope should refer to the Agency Guidance document.

What are the WEEE regulations?

The WEEE Directive and transposing UK Regulations are all about ‘extended producer responsibility’ (‘EPR’), which the OECD defines as a policy approach in which a producer’s responsibilities for a product extend to the post-consumer stage of that product’s life cycle – in other words, the producer is responsible for the product when it becomes waste.

There are two related features of EPR: (a) the shifting of responsibility (physically and/or economically, partially or fully) away from the consumer or end-user upstream towards the producer; and (b) providing incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations at the design stage of a product’s development. For the definition of ‘producer’ under the WEEE Regulations, click here.

Both of these features are incorporated into the WEEE legislation: producers are financially responsible, generally through their compliance scheme, for meeting the cost of collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of the products they put on the UK market when they become waste. The Regulations place a duty on the Secretary of State to encourage the design and production of EEE which takes into account and facilitates dismantling and recovery, in particular the re-use and recycling of WEEE, its components and materials.

The whole point of EPR is to encourage the reduction of waste, to promote the re-use of products and materials, and to increase the amount of recovery and recycling of waste, all of which serve to divert waste away from landfill.

WEEE is the third producer responsibility regime introduced. The first two are for packaging and end-of-life vehicles whilst legislation governing the collection and recycling of batteries was introduced in 2010.

Categories of EEE

Until January 2019, the 10 categories of electrical and electronic equipment, transposed as Schedule 1 to the WEEE Regulations, are as follows:

Large household appliances

  • Small household appliances
  • IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Electrical and electronic tools (with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools)
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)
  • Monitoring and control instruments
  • Automatic dispensers

In the Regulations, there are four other categories, the first three of which are extracted from Categories 1-10:

11 – display equipment;

12 – cooling appliances containing refrigerants;

13 – gas discharge lamps.

14 – Photovoltaic Cells (solar panels)

Schedule 2 to the WEEE Regulations, provides a non-exhaustive list of products that would fall under each category. The Agencies have produced Guidance on a range of products that have been assessed as to whether they are in Scope.

1. Large household appliances:

Large cooling appliances
Other large appliances used for refrigeration, conservation and storage of food
Washing machines
Clothes dryers
Dish washing machines
Electric stoves
Electric hot plates
Other large appliances used for cooking and other processing of food
Electric heating appliances
Electric radiators
Other large appliances for heating rooms, beds, seating furniture
Electric fans
Air conditioner appliances
Other fanning, exhaust ventilation and conditioning equipment

2. Small household appliances

Vacuum cleaners
Carpet sweepers
Other appliances for cleaning
Appliances used for sewing, knitting, weaving and other processing for textiles
Irons and other appliances for ironing, mangling and other care of clothing
Grinders, coffee machines and equipment for opening or sealing containers or packages
Electric knives
Appliances for hair-cutting, hair drying, tooth brushing, shaving, massage and other body care appliances
Clocks, watches and equipment for the purpose of measuring, indicating or registering time

3. IT and telecommunications equipment

Centralised data processing:
Printer units
Personal computing:
Personal computers (CPU, mouse, screen and keyboard included)
Laptop computers (CPU, mouse, screen and keyboard included)
Notebook computers
Notepad computers
Copying equipment
Electrical and electronic typewriters
Pocket and desk calculators
Other products and equipment for the collection, storage, processing, presentation or communication of information by electronic means
User terminals and systems
Pay telephones
Cordless telephones
Cellular telephones
Answering systems
Other products or equipment of transmitting sound, images or other information by telecommunications

4. Consumer equipment

Radio sets
Television sets
Video recorders
Hi-fi recorders
Audio amplifiers
Musical instruments
Other products or equipment for the purpose of recording or reproducing sound or images, including signals or other technologies for the distribution of sound and image than by telecommunications

5. Lighting equipment

Luminaires for fluorescent lamps with the exception of luminaires in households
Straight fluorescent lamps
Compact fluorescent lamps
High intensity discharge lamps, including pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lamps
Low pressure sodium lamps
Other lighting or equipment for the purpose of spreading or controlling light with the exception of filament bulbs

6. Electrical and electronic tools (with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools)

Sewing machines
Equipment for turning, milling, sanding, grinding, sawing, cutting, shearing, drilling, making holes, punching, folding, bending or similar processing of wood, metal and other materials
Tools for riveting, nailing or screwing or removing rivets, nails, screws or similar uses
Tools for welding, soldering or similar use
Equipment for spraying, spreading, dispersing or other treatment of liquid or gaseous substances by other means
Tools for mowing or other gardening activities

7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment

Electric trains or car racing sets
Hand-held video game consoles
Video games
Computers for biking, diving, running and rowing
Sports equipment with electric or electronic components
Coin slot machines

8. Medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)

Radiotherapy equipment
Pulmonary ventilators
Nuclear medicine
Laboratory equipment for in-vitro diagnosis
Fertilization tests
Other appliances for detecting, preventing, monitoring, treating, alleviating illness, injury or disability

9. Monitoring and control instruments

Smoke detector
Heating regulators
Measuring, weighing or adjusting appliances for household or laboratory equipment
Other monitoring and control instruments used in industrial installations (for example, in control panels)

10. Automatic dispensers

Automatic dispensers for hot drinks
Automatic dispensers for hot or cold bottles or cans
Automatic dispensers for solid products
Automatic dispensers for money
All appliances which deliver automatically all kind of products

Note that, in the Regulations, EEE and WEEE is split into:

(i) the 10 categories above (excluding display equipment, cooling appliances containing refrigerants and gas discharge lamps),
(ii) display equipment (Category 11),
(iii) cooling appliances containing refrigerants (Category 12), and
(iv) gas discharge lamps (Category 13).
(v) photovoltaic cells (Category 14)

WEEE Regulations 2013 Summary

Follow the link for a summary of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 that took effect from 1 January 2014. Should you have any questions or concerns around the regulations, get in touch with our specialists.

EEE Scope Guidance

Producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) must identify and report the weight of EEE they place on the market. The Environment Agency’s technical guidance provides information on which electrical equipment should be counted under the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations.

If you need help please get in touch, a member of our expert team will be available to help.

Glossary of Terms

A number of terms are used in the WEEE regulations. By following the link below, we can help you understand the terminology on EEE and WEEEE, with an extensive list of EEE and WEEE terms that are used around WEEE compliance.

Should you need any clarification on these terms, or on your responsibilities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of specialists.

Approved Authorised Treatment FacilityAn authorised treatment facility (ATF) that is approved by the appropriate authority under the Regulations to issue Evidence Notes for WEEE treated within the UK. See also ‘Approved Exporter’.

Approved Exporter

An exporter who is approved by the appropriate authority under the Regulations to issue Evidence Notes for WEEE that is exported out of the UK for treatment, recovery and recycling.

Authorised Treatment Facility

An authorised treatment facility (ATF) is a facility that treats WEEE in accordance with the requirements of the Annex to the WEEE Directive. ATFs are authorised under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Waste Management Licensing) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 (or Scottish and Irish equivalents). All separately collected WEEE, e.g. WEEE deposited at DCFs and business WEEE collected by B2B producers, must be delivered to an ATF for treatment.

Business-to-Business (B2B)

Business-to-Business (B2B) is the common term used for supplies of EEE for which the end-user is a business, as opposed to a consumer, or for WEEE arising from businesses. In the Regulations, B2B WEEE is referred to as ‘WEEE from users other than Private Households’.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) is the common term used for supplies of EEE for which the end-user is a consumer, i.e. a member of the public. In the Regulations, B2C WEEE is called ‘WEEE from Private Households (WPH)’, although, as the definition of WPH shows, it can include business WEEE (see ‘The Legislation in Depth’ in the members’ area for a more detailed account of WPH).

Designated Collection Facility

Designated Collection Facilities (DCFs) are sites dedicated to the collection of WEEE from Private Households (WPH) for onward clearance by, or on behalf of, producers or compliance schemes. DCFs may be established at local authority civic amenity sites or waste transfer stations, or by distributors, producers, third parties or charitable and social enterprise organisations engaged in the re-use of EEE.

Dual use

Business EEE that is similar in nature to household EEE and must therefore be classed as household EEE. This is also then classed as household WEEE on collection.

Declaration of Compliance

The Declaration of Compliance (DoC) is a certificate submitted to the appropriate authority by compliance schemes or, in certain circumstances, producers declaring that the scheme/producer has or has not met its obligations under the WEEE Regulations. DoCs must be submitted by 1 June in the year following the end of the compliance period and be accompanied by copies of all evidence notes.

Distributor Take-back Scheme

The Distributor Takeback Scheme is the body appointed by the DTI to approve DCFs. The DTS also provides its member distributors with signs in a standardised format for in-store display to provide information to their customers.

EEE Producer Registration Number

The EEE Producer Registration Number (EPRN) is a unique registration number issued to producers, via their compliance scheme, by the appropriate authority. Producers are required to declare their EPRN to any distributor to whom they intend to sell or supply EEE.

Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) is defined in the Regulations as ‘equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields falling under the categories set out in Schedule 1 [to the regulations] and designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1,000 volts for alternating current and 1,500 volts for direct current’. EEE does not include equipment designed specifically to protect UK national security or for a military purpose, or equipment that is part of another type of equipment that is outside the scope of the Regulations (e.g. an aircraft or car).

Evidence Note

The Evidence Note (EN) is the WEEE equivalent of the packaging regime’s ‘PRN’. ENs will be issued by the operators of AATFs in two stages: the first stage will document the WEEE received by the ATF for treatment; the second stage will document the WEEE leaving the ATF after treatment. ENs will be used by Compliance Schemes to demonstrate that they have met their targets for collection, recycling and recovery.

Historic WEEE

WEEE arising from EEE put on the market before 13 August 2005.

Non-Household WEEE

Non-household WEEE is WEEE arising from users other than consumers (i.e. business WEEE). See Business-to-Business.

Producer Compliance Scheme

A Producer Compliance Scheme is usually a limited company, through which producers will meet their obligations to register with the appropriate authority and finance the cost of collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal.

Producer Identification Mark (PIM)

Producers must mark their EEE with a ‘producer identification mark’. This is usually their brand name or logo. The PIM must easily identify the producer of the EEE product.


For practical purposes, ‘recovery’ is essentially recycling plus incineration with heat recovery.


Recycling is defined as the reprocessing, in a production process, of waste materials for the original purpose or for other purposes, but excluding energy recovery (which means the use of combustible waste as a means of generating energy through direct incineration with or without other waste but with recovery of the heat).


A reprocessor is a person who carries out one or more activities of recovery or recycling and who holds a relevant authorisation, e.g. a waste management licence or exemption from holding such a licence.


‘Re-use’ means any operation by which WEEE or components thereof are used for the same purpose for which they were conceived, including the continued use of the equipment or components thereof which are returned to collection points, distributors, recyclers or manufacturers.


‘Treatment’ is defined as any activity carried out on WEEE after it has been handed over to a facility for depollution, disassembly, shredding, recovery or preparation for disposal, and any other operation carried out for the recovery or disposal or both of WEEE. Treatment must be carried out using ‘best available treatment, recovery and recycling techniques’ (BATRRT) and certain treatment for materials and components of WEEE is stipulated in Annex II to the Directive, transposed in the UK through the WEEE Treatment Regulations.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

WEEE is electrical or electronic equipment which is waste within the meaning of the Waste Framework Directive including all components, subassemblies and consumables which are part of the product at the time of discarding. ‘Waste’ is defined in the Directive as any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.

WEEE Materials

WEEE materials include all substances, components, subassemblies and consumables derived from WEEE that have not been fully recovered.

WEEE from Private Households

WEEE from Private Households (WPH) is WEEE which comes from private households and from commercial, industrial, institutional and other sources which, because of its nature and quantity, is similar to that from private households.

WEEE from users other than private households

B2B or non-household WEEE.

WEEE Abbreviations

Abbreviations are often used as short-hand for some of the longer WEEE terms. Use the link below to find out what the common abbreviations stand for, such as PCS, AATF and DCF.

If you have any questions on the abbreviations contained within the list, please contact us and we can provide further information where necessary.


Approved Authorised Treatment Facility


Approved Exporter


Authorised Treatment Facility


Business-to-Business sales of EEE (also called ‘non-household EEE’)


Business-to-Consumer sales of EEE (also called ‘household EEE’)


Best Available Treatment, Recovery and Recycling Techniques


Designated Collection Facility


Declaration of Compliance


Distributor Takeback Scheme


Electrical and Electronic Equipment


Evidence Note


Individual Producer Responsibility


Non-Household WEEE


Producer Compliance Scheme


Producer Identification Mark


Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment


WEEE from Private Households


WEEE Producer Registration Number

Frequently Asked Questions

What products are exempt under the WEEE regulations?

Certain equipment is exempt under the WEEE regulations. These include:

  • Equipment which does not require electricity for its primary function
  • Equipment which is part of another type of equipment outside of the scope of the WEEE regulations
  • Filament bulbs
  • Household luminaires
  • Equipment for military purposes
  • Large scale industrial tools
  • Implanted or infected medical equipment

The Environment Agency’s technical guidance document provides information on which electrical equipment should be counted under the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations.

Please click on the link for the current EEE Scope Guidance.

What are the obligations for distributors?

Under the WEEE regulations, distributors must offer free take-back to consumers on like for like sales, regardless of whether this is done in store, online or by mail order.

Retailers with a floor space that is greater than 400 square metres must also provide free take-back to consumers on any item with any dimension greater than 25cm.

Where a take back WEEE service is offered, relevant documentation of WEEE returned must be retained for at least four years.

Where a take back WEEE service is not offered, retailers must pay to join a Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS) and direct end users to their local authority recycling centres.

Distributors must also provide customers access to written information on the service provided, what they should do with their WEEE and the meaning of the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol.

What are my obligations as a producer?

Producers must register as a producer each year. How producers do this depends on how much EEE they have placed on the UK market in the previous calendar year, known as a compliance year:

  • If a producer places less than 5 tonnes of EEE on the UK market in a compliance year, they can register direct with their environmental regulator as a small producer.
  • If a producer places more than 5 tonnes of EEE on the market, they must join a producer compliance scheme (PCS), such as Comply with Clarity. The PCS takes on their obligations to finance the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of household WEEE collected in the UK.
  • The weight of any batteries in this EEE must be subtracted and reported separately, under the regulations covering Batteries and waste batteries.

Producers must also ensure a ‘crossed out wheeled bin’ symbol of appropriate size (as per the BSI EN50419 standard) is displayed on the product.

Within one year of placing new EEE on the UK market, producers must ensure information is made available on the reprocessing of EEE components and materials.

Producers must retain all relevant documentation for at least four years.

Am I an obligated producer of EEE?

An obligated producer is defined as any company that either:

  • Manufactures and sells EEE under their own brand in the UK
  • Resells equipment made by someone else under their own brand (if the maker’s brand appears on the equipment, it is the producer)
  • Imports EEE on a commercial basis into the UK
  • Is established outside of the UK and supplies EEE directly to the UK market by distance selling (for example online, mail order, by phone.

Distributors (including retailers) which make EEE available on the UK market, extending to any means of distance selling also have obligations under the WEEE regulations.

Comply with Clarity

Our approved WEEE compliance scheme helps businesses to meet the WEEE regulations, with unrivalled member support, cost-effective packages and a variety of WEEE membership categories for all producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).