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Environment Agency Applies Dual Use WEEE Definition Change

The definition of household and non-household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been amended to ensure the UK is consistent with EU guidelines. The Environment Agency has told WEEE reprocessors and producer compliance schemes that dual-use WEEE should now be considered as ‘consumer WEEE’ in line with the revised definition.

The UK previously considered both nature and quantity when determining how WEEE should be classified. However, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has now revised its guidance to ensure the UK is in line with the European Commission position, which focuses solely on whether electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is likely to be used by both private households and users other than private households.

The UK guidance has been amended and states that any WEEE of a similar nature to that presented to householders, regardless of how much is presented, should be classed as household WEEE.

This guidance will apply for producers placing new items onto the market from January 2016. However, in a note issued to producer compliance schemes and reprocessors last week, the Environment Agency has stated that the revised interpretation will be applied for WEEE arising, and the type of evidence that can be issued against that WEEE, with immediate effect.

What does this mean?

• From 2015, EEE producers will be required to report their EEE data in line with the new ‘dual use’ position.
• All electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) products will be classed as business to consumer (B2C), unless the producer can provide evidence that, due to nature and design, the product is not intended for use in private households.
• Where there is evidence to demonstrate that material is likely to be used by both private households and users other than private households, B2C evidence can be issued against that WEEE in the relevant category.
• From January 2016, producers will attract a B2C financing obligation based on their market share of all dual use EEE placed on the market in 2015.

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