What exactly is WEEE?

WEEE stands for ‘waste electrical and electronic equipment’ and refers to electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that has come to the end of its lifespan and needs to be disposed of responsibly.

EEE is defined in the government’s WEEE directive as equipment that is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly. In order words, if an item needs electricity to work, whether it’s plugged in or runs on batteries, it’s classed as EEE. There are some exemptions, so please check those if you’re unsure.

What are the exemptions to WEEE compliance regulations?

Certain items of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are exempt from WEEE compliance regulations. These include:

  • Equipment that is not dependent on electricity to work properly in its primary function
  • Equipment that is part of a type of equipment which falls outside the scope of the regulations (eg. Part of an aircraft or car)
  • EEE that is specifically designed for military purposes, or to protect UK national security
  • Filament light bulbs
  • Household luminaries for fluorescent lamps
  • Large-scale stationary industrial tools
  • Implanted or infected medical equipment

For advice on WEEE compliance and WEEE disposal, contact the Advantage Waste Brokers team today for expert advice.

Who is affected by WEEE compliance regulations?

WEEE compliance regulations affect two main types of businesses: WEEE producers and WEEE distributors. A WEEE producer is the person whose brand is on the goods, whereas a WEEE distributor is the person who supplies the goods to the end-user or consumer.

Distributors who supply business users have no distributor obligations under the regulations. For more information on your WEEE compliance obligations, contact the Advantage Waste Brokers team today.

What’s the difference between B2B and B2C?

The terms B2B (‘business to business’) and B2C (‘business to consumer’) are a bit misleading when it comes to WEEE compliance regulations. What’s actually important, as far as a producer is concerned, isn’t who sells the EEE but who ends up using it.

If, for example, a producer sells EEE to a retailer, who sells it to a member of the public, then this is B2C. On the other hand, if a producer sells EEE directly to a business, or to a business via one or more third parties, this is B2B.

If you’re still not sure about the difference between B2B and B2C WEEE, one of the Advantage Waste Brokers team members will be happy to advise you – get in touch!

I produce both B2B and B2C equipment. Do I have to pay twice?

Some schemes charge customers twice if they produce both B2B and B2C equipment. Here at Advantage Waste Brokers, we operate an ‘open scheme’ and accept clients who produce one or both types of WEEE. If you produce both types of waste, you’ll need to register this information with us when you join. After that, you’ll only ever pay one fee.

As a retailer/distributor, what do I have to do?

As a distributor of EEE, you have to:

– Provide free take-back to consumers on like-for-like sales
– Provide information to consumers on:

o the requirement on each Member State under article 2 of the Directive to minimise the disposal of WEEE as unsorted municipal waste and to achieve a high level of collection of WEEE for treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal;
o the collection and take-back systems available;
o the role of consumers in contributing to the re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of WEEE;
o the potential health and environmental effects of hazardous substances in EEE
o the meaning of the wheelie bin symbol

• Keep records of the number of units of WPH returned to you
• Keep records of the information made available to consumers

For more information – or to find out how joining a take-back scheme could help you make life simpler, talk to the Advantage Waste Brokers team today.

Are there any important dates for my diary?

WEEE history

– WEEE compliance regulations came into force on 2 January 2007.
– Producers have been obliged to join a producer compliance scheme, like Advantage Waste Brokers, since 15 March 2007.
– Marking items of EEE became mandatory from 1 April 2007.
– Recycling and recovery of of WEEE began on 1 July 2007.

Each year

– Producers must rejoin a WEEE Producer Compliance Scheme by 15 October each year.
– First Compliance Period ended 31 December 2007.
– Subsequent WEEE compliance periods end on 31 December each year.

What is the registration fee for?

The registration fee that our clients pay to join our WEEE compliance schemes goes towards a variety of costs that we incur when managing a new client, including membership of all the official agencies and organisations needed for us to maintain our position as a leading compliance company.

We are happy to discuss registration fees with prospective new clients and we’ll always do our best to help you choose the solution that’s right for your needs and your budget.

If my turnover is £1 million or less, why do I need to provide proof?

The Environment Agency registration fees are split into three bands – £30 for producers below the VAT threshold; £220 for producers whose turnover is £1 million or less; and £445 for producers whose turnover is more than £1 million. These fees are paid by your WEEE compliance scheme to the Environment Agency when you become a member. If you are unable to provide proof of turnover, you will be obliged to pay the highest level fee – £445.

Can I change schemes?

WEEE producers are required to stay with their WEEE compliance scheme for the duration of the compliance period (a calendar year, ending on December 31st each year). However, you can change schemes during your current compliance period, ready for the next compliance period.

Get in touch with Advantage Waste Brokers today to discuss the benefits of choosing one of our tailored WEEE compliance and disposal services.

What if a WEEE producer hasn’t registered with, or joined, an approved compliance scheme?

A company that falls within scope of the UK WEEE Regulations but is not yet a member of an approved WEEE compliance scheme , or registered as a WEEE Producer with the Environment Agency, is in breach of government legislation. Contact [email protected] to find out how we can assist organisations in this position, how we can advise you on mitigation and how we can help you ensure swift compliance with WEEE regulations.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. Is there someone I can talk to?

Absolutely! Simply get in touch and one of our friendly team members will be happy to talk to you about your WEEE compliance and WEEE disposal needs!