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Sustainable Development
Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

EC Directive on the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive  (WEEE) aims to minimise the impacts of electrical and electronic equipment on the environment during their life times and when they become waste.  It applies to a huge spectrum of products.  It encourages and sets criteria for the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment.  It makes producers responsible for financing most of these activities (producer responsibility). Private householders are to be able to return WEEE without charge.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive was agreed on 13 February 2003, along with the related Directive on Restrictions of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).

DTI leads the EU negotiations on the WEEE Directive working in partnership with the Devolved Administrations on the implementation of the Directive in the UK.  The Environment Agency (SEPA in Scotland and EHS in NI) will be the enforcement agencies for WEEE.

Defra leads on the premitting of Authorised Treatment Facilities by means of Waste Management Licences, and is responsible for making the necessary regulations to transpose the WEEE Directive requirements for treatment of WEEE and issuing guidance thereon. Defra works in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government on the making of permitting regulations in England and Wales and liaises closely with the other Devolved Administrations.

The Environment Agency (SEPA in Scotland, EHS in NI) will enforce these aspects.

Envirowise offers practical help on both the WEEE and RoHS Directives, as well as other environmental issues free of charge. www.envirowise.gov.uk

Index

1. Latest Information
2. Timeline
3. WEEE in the UK
a. UK Consultations
b. DEFRA Permitting and Treatment Requirements.
4. EU Developments on WEEE
a. TAC Meetings
b. Perchards Report
c. Official Documents and Guidance
5. Unseful Links 
6. Contacts

1. Latest Information

This section summarises key recent developments. More details and links to documents are provided in sections below.

Announcement by the Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks of the Implementation Review:

In December the Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks announced an immediate review of proposals for implementing the WEEE Directive. Click here for details.

Conclusions of the Implementation Review: A Supplementary Paper:

Following the feedback from Stakeholders on the high-level policy paper: Conclusions of the Implementation Review the review team have now drawn together a more detailed paper to underpin the high level recommendations. Click here for details. Stakeholders are invited to consider the paper and submit further comments by the 19 May 2006 to the weee@dti.gsi.gov.uk mailbox.

An executive summary of stakeholder responses to the high-level policy paper has also been included. Click here for details.

On the 27th March 2006, officials posted a high-level policy paper: Conclusions of the Implementation Review on the DTI's website.  Final decisions on proposals will be taken by the Government and the Devolved Administrations in the light of stakeholder responses to this paper.  The paper presented the review team's key proposals for the implementation of the Directive. Click here for details. Stakeholders were invited to provide evidence to show whether the implementation proposals will deliver the objectives and obligations set by the Directive in an effective and an efficient way. The deadline for submitting evidence was the 21 April 2006.

2. Timeline

There will be a full consultation of draft regulations and guidance in the Spring. This will include a new timeline for implementation. 

3. WEEE in the UK

The implementation of the WEEE Directive in the UK has been delayed. The Energy Minister announced an immediate review of the proposals for implementing the WEEE Directive in December 2005.  A paper setting out the conclusions of the review was published on the 27th March 2006. Stakeholders were invited to send comments on the proposed policy approach to weee@dti.gsi.gov.uk.  A full consultation of the draft regulations and guidance will follow in the Spring.  

Are you in business and want to find out what you need to do to prepare for the WEEE and RoHS Directives? If so, the following guides should help. They have been produced by Envirowise in association with business and can be viewed/downloaded by clicking; Envirowise guides on the WEEE and ROHS Directives

3a Previous Government Consultations:

The Government published on 25 November 2003 a consultation paper setting out proposals for implementation of the WEEE and RoHS Directives. The consultation was issued in Northern Ireland on 28 November 2003.

The consultation paper is in three parts, for ease of reference.  These can be downloaded from this website as three separate documents and are presented here solely as reference documents..  Part I provides an overview of the Government's proposed approach to implementation of the WEEE and RoHS Directives.  It summarises the main proposals and the Government thinking behind these. Part II sets out detailed proposals for implementation of the WEEE Directive.  Part III presents the Government's proposals for implementation of the RoHS Directive.

Parts I, II and III can be viewed/downloaded as separate documents, by clicking on the links below.

Part I - Overview of Government's implementation proposals. 
Part II - Proposals for WEEE implementation
Part III - Proposals for ROHS implementation

An executive summary and an assessment of responses to this consultation paper have now been published. These documents can be viewed/downloaded using links below.

Executive Summary of Responses to Second WEEE and ROHS Consultation
Assessment of Responses to Second WEEE and ROHS Consultation

The Government conducted a previous round of consultation on options for implementation of the WEEE and RoHS Directives in a Discussion Document, which was published on 28 March 2003.  This earlier Discussion Document, which also includes the full text of the WEEE and RoHS Directives, may be viewed/downloaded via this link.

Discussion Document on implementation of the WEEE and RoHS Directives

The links below may be used to view/download an analysis of the 316 responses received to this Discussion Document.  This analysis aims to be factual and can be viewed as a whole or just the WEEE or RoHS elements. A DTI executive summary gives an overview and initial reactions to the responses.

WEEE and RoHS combined: factual and statistical analysis of the responses to the WEEE and RoHS consultation of 28 March 2003. Posted 1 August 2003.
WEEE report only. Posted 1 August 2003
RoHS report only. Posted 1 August 2003

DTI executive summary and comments on the responses on both the WEEE and RoHS Directives.

On 30 July 2004, the Government published a consultation paper seeking views from stakeholders on the draft implementing Regulations and non-statutory guidance for WEEE and RoHS.

Part I - Introduction

Part II - The WEEE Directive - draft implementing Regulations 

Part III - The WEEE Directive - draft non-statutory guidance

Part IV- The RoHS Directive - draft implementing Regulations

Part V - The RoHS Directive - draft non-statutory guidance

Part VI - The WEEE Directive - partial Regulatory Impact Assessment

Part VII - The RoHS Directive - partial Regulatory Impact Assessment

Part VIII - SEWPF paper on WEEE Allocation

This consultation has now closed. An executive summary and an assessment of responses to this consultation has been published. These documents can be viewed/downloaded using links below.

Executive Summary of Responses to Third WEEE and RoHS Consultation
Assessment of Responses to Third WEEE and RoHS Consultation

The National Clearing House Project Group was a small stakeholder group convened by DTI during the consultation period. It has sent a paper to the DTI on issues associated with allocation of WEEE to producers. This may be viewed/downloaded using the link below.

National Clearing House Project Group report on WEEE allocation

The Department published a consultation document on 24 May 2005 about the proposed fees to be charged by the Environment Agencies to recover their costs for the registration of producers under the WEEE Regulations.

Consultation paper on Agencies fees
RIA on proposed Environment Agencies fees

3b Permitting and Treatment Requirements

The WEEE Directive includes permitting requirements for treatment of WEEE.

For England and Wales these are expected to be transposed into law by new regulations, which DEFRA will make. These permitting regulations are to be the subject of a seperate consultation. Information on the waste permitting reveiw may be viewed here.

The Northern Ireland Administration has consulted separately on proposals for its transposition of the permitting and treatment requirements of the WEEE Directive. Its consultation paper can be viewed here. The consultation ended 9 October 2004.

Separate regulations implementing the treatment requirements of the WEEE Directive will be made in Scotland.

The Environment Agency has consulted on draft guidance for treatment and storage of WEEE at treatment facilities. This consultation closed 29 October 2004. The draft guidance can be viewed here.

4 EU Developments on WEEE

4a TAC Meetings

At EU level the TAC (Technical Adaptation Committee) chaired by the European Commission and comprising of Member State representatives, considers follow up issues for the WEEE Directive. 

The DTI has produced an unofficial note of the last TAC meeting held on the 15th February 2006.  This includes information relating to a discussion on grey area products and fixed installations. 

Notes of previous meeting can be viewed here. 
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 15 February 2006
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 6 July 2005
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 19 April 2005
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 16 March 2005
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 10 December 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 22 October 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 20 July 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 28 June 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 10 June 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 17 March 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 3 March 2004. This note should be read alongside the note of the meeting of 17 March.
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 27 January 2004
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 17 December 2003
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 26 November 2003
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee Sub-Group on scope of the WEEE and RoHS Directives 16 September 2003
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee Sub-Group on scope of the WEEE and RoHS Directives 11 July 2003
Unofficial note of meeting of Technical Adaptation Committee, 23 June 2003

The UK hosted an informal workshop of TAC national representatives in London on 24 October to consider a range of implementation issues.

Unofficial note of Technical Adaptation Committee workshop on the WEEE and RoHS Directives, 24 October 2003

Following concerns raised by business about the potential negative effects of financing rules on historic waste from non-household sources, the European Commission proposed a draft Directive to amend Article 9 of the WEEE Directive.  This draft Directive was agreed by the European Council & Parliament without amendment and has now been published in the Official Journal. The amendment is to be transposed into member State law by 13 August 2004, alongside the WEEE Directive.  The text of the proposal is below. The Government has produced an Explanatory Memorandum and an accompanying Regulatory Impact Assessment, which set out the provisions of the amendment and identify the costs and benefits. These were submitted to Parliament in September 2003. Explanatory Memorandums are submitted to Parliament to explain the context and implications of all new policy proposals. They are reproduced here to provide further background for interested stakeholders and as part of the Governments response to the Better Regulation Task Force report "Environmental Legislation- getting the message across" where the Government has committed to making more information available on the detail and context of, in particular, the WEEE and ELV Directives.

Amendment of Article 9 of the WEEE Directive
Article 9 amendment- Explanatory Memorandum, September 2003
Article 9 amendment- Regulatory Impact Assessment

4b Perchards Report

The Perchards Report produced on behalf of DTI by consultants Perchards details other Member States preparations for WEEE and RoHS.  It was last updated November 2005.  Click here for details. (the latest version of the Perchards Report)

Previous issues:

July 2005 report
April 2005 report
January 2005 report
September 2004 report
May 2004 report

4c Official Documents and Guidance

The text of the WEEE Directive is available here.

WEEE Directive

Explanatory Memoranda produced by the Government to set out the provisions of the Directive, as submitted to Parliament in March 2002. Explanatory Memoranda are submitted to Parliament to explain the context and implications of all new policy proposals. They are reproduced here to provide further background for interested stakeholders and as part of the Governments response to the Better Regulation Task Force report "Environmental Legislation- getting the message across" where the Government has committed to making more information available on the detail and context of, in particular, the WEEE and ELV Directives.

WEEE Directive- Explanatory Memorandum, March 2002

The DTI supported a project by GTS and ICER to look at possible methods of removing metal oxides from waste cathode ray tubes (CRTs). The project also estimates arisings of this type of waste and looks at current techniques for recycling CRTs in the UK. The project report can be downloaded by using the link below:

New approach to cathode ray tube recycling 

The Government made a statement on the policy and timetable for the WEEE and RoHS implementations on 24 March 2005. Click here for the text of this earlier statement.

The DTI commissioned an assessment by consultants Future Energy Solutions (AEA Technology plc) of WEEE schemes in other European countries.

Future Energy Solutions study of European WEEE schemes.

The DTI commissioned a report from accountants KPMG into the accounting implications of the WEEE Directive.  This report is intended to stimulate debate on these matters and the DTI would welcome consultation responses from businesses and their auditors.

KPMG report on accounting implications of the WEEE Directive.

DEFRA commissioned a study by consultants Network Recycling on the UK's civic amenity site infrastructure and its capacity to collect WEEE separately.

Network Recycling report on civic amenity sites.

5. Useful Links

DEFRA    

The Environment Agency for England and Wales

Cabinet Office Better Regulation Task Force

The European Commission

6. Contacts

For further information on the WEEE Directive, please contact:

Debra Huntington Tel: 01142 794318
   
Helen Berry   Tel:  0207 215 5822
   

 

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