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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the most common questions we are asked. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us.

WEEE FAQs

Why does the Directive 2006/66/EC apply to all batteries and not just to hazardous ones?

Directive 2006/66/EC applies to all batteries because:

  • All batteries contain substances which are more or less harmful to the environment;
  • Experience with the previous Directive (91/157/EEC) on hazardous batteries (batteries containing mercury, cadmium or lead) showed that 'all battery' collection schemes are more efficient than separate schemes for certain types of portable batteries;
  • All batteries contain metals which are recyclable, so the collection and recycling of all batteries help save resources in conformity with Article 174 of the EC Treaty.

Do I need to register in Ireland?

According to the Statutory Instruments S.I. No. 268 of 2008 Waste Management (Batteries and Accumulators) regulations 2008 you need to register if you are considered a producer of Batteries and/or Accumulators.

A Battery "Producer" means any person in a Member State that, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance communication as defined in Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts, places batteries or accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles, on the market for the first time within the territory of that Member State on a professional basis.

"Places on the market for the first time means supplying or making available to a third person on a professional bases within the EU for the first time.  This is irrespective of whether a battery or appliance containing a battery has been made available in return for payment or free of charge."

If you are considered a producer you will need to apply for registration with WEEE Register Society Ltd. Please download the Application Form from the REGISTRATION section of WEEE Register Society Ltd. website; www.weeeregister.ie.

Do retailers have a role to play?

Yes, from 26th September 2008, each retailer must provide for free in-store take back of waste batteries of equivalent type as the batteries supplied by him or her without the obligation on the customer to purchase like-for-like.

What information is to be provided for the renewal of registration?

  • Name, address(es), telephone, electronic mail address and fax number of the registered office or, if not a company, the principal place of business, of the producer.
  • Location(s) of premises at or from which Batteries &/or Accumulators is or will be supplied by the producer.
  • The quantities, by weight or, as appropriate, by number of units and chemistry, of batteries that were placed on the market in the State excluding any batteries that left the State prior to being sold to end-users in the calendar year prior to the date of application for renewal in each of the categories specified in guidance which the Minister may issue from time to time.

What is the WEEE Blackbox?

WEEE Register Society Ltd. has appointed Deloitte to manage and operate the WEEE Blackbox function on its behalf. The information gathered will be used to establish producers' financial liabilities associated with the management of a proportion of the Waste Batteries & Accumulators arising in Ireland. 

The proportion of Waste Batteries & Accumulators management for which individual producers are responsible, will then be reported on a confidential basis to each producer, whether they are participating as part of collective compliance scheme or have opted to self-comply.

The role of the Blackbox includes: 

  • Receipt and processing of data on market share from registered producers;
  • Determination of market share based on battery type, producer and/or other criteria e.g., consortia or collective compliance scheme;
  • Advising WEEE Register Society Ltd. on the validation of environmental management costs (costs of collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste batteries &/or accumulators);
  • Advising WEEE Register Society Ltd. on the adequacy of financial guarantees;
  • Providing management reports for WEEE Register Society Ltd.

Confidentiality of Market Data:

Producers should note that the WEEE Blackbox is statute-barred from informing any third party, including the collective schemes and the Executive and Committee of Management of WEEE Register Society Ltd. itself of market share information. The contractor will not handle monies arising from registration fees or recycling monies paid by producers. 

Measures taken to ensure the security and confidentiality of data submitted to the WEEE Blackbox:

A highly secure approach to computer and network security is employed, based on the following premise: "that which is not explicitly allowed is denied". 

Rigorous controls are employed for access of any type to the system, incorporating the use of strong passwords, secure sockets layer technology and database encryption.

When am I fully Battery compliant for Ireland?

The following steps must be completed in order to achieve full Battery compliance and in turn receive certification from WEEE Register Society Ltd.: 

  • Registration with WEEE Register Society Ltd. to obtain a unique registration number. This number must be shown on all invoice, credit note, dispatch and delivery dockets issued from 26th September 2008.
  • Producers need to apply annually by the 31st January.
  • Provide WEEE Blackbox with the requested data input.
  • Registration with an approved compliance scheme (ERP Ireland or WEEE Ireland) or be self compliant. Producers participating satisfactorily in an approved compliance scheme are exempted from the provisions of some of the articles listed below.

Producer responsibility: 

  • All producers are required to comply with to the requirements of Articles 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 of the Waste Management (Waste Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 268 of 2008).
  • Register with WEEE Register Society Ltd. in Ireland, pay the appropriate registration fee (Article 17) and provide information to WEEE Register Society Ltd. (Article 32).
  • Finance the take back of waste batteries (Article 23 and 24).
  • Be responsible for the collection of waste batteries (Article 25).
  • Adhere to the obligations for the treatment requirements of waste batteries (Article 27).
  • Maintain and keep records of all treatment and recovery data, including specific weights or number of units, for a period of at least 6 years (Article 29).
  • Self-complying producers must prepare a waste management plan and provide it to the EPA, at least once every three years (Article 30).
  • Self-complying producers must prepare a waste management report and provide it to the EPA by 31st January each year.
  • Producers are also obligated to mark their product with the appropriate marking identifying that the producer of the battery and/or accumulator has registered with the National Registration Body in accordance with their terms and conditions (Article 31 & Second Schedule).

Is there a penalty for non compliance?

Article 48 of the Battery and Accumulator Regulations S.I. No. 268 of 2008 outlines possible prosecutions and penalties, where convicted on indictment, a fine to a maximum of €500,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, or both.

List of useful definitions

"producer" means any person in a Member State that, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance communication as defined in Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts7, places batteries or accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles, on the market for the first time within the territory of that Member
State on a professional basis; 

"placing on the market" means supplying or making available, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to a third party within the Community and includes import into the customs territory of the Community;

"distributor" means any person who provides batteries, or as appropriate, accumulators on a professional basis to an end-user

"to distribute" means -
(i) to sell in exchange for any consideration, including money whether or not by finance agreement, including, but not exclusive, to any loan, lease, hiring or deferred sale agreement or arrangement relating to any battery or, as appropriate, accumulator whether or not the terms of that agreement or arrangement or any collateral agreement or arrangement provide that a transfer of ownership of that equipment will or may take place, or
(ii) giving as a prize or otherwise making a gift, and cognate words, other than distributor, shall be construed accordingly;

"distance communication" is as defined in Article 2(4) of Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts5 or, as appropriate, means sales and marketing services by electronic communication, voice telephony services, including telesales and telemarketing or non-electronic direct marketing services, including mail order;

"battery" or "accumulator" means any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of one or more primary battery cells (non-rechargeable) or consisting of one or more secondary battery cells (rechargeable);

"portable battery or accumulator" means any battery, button cell, battery pack or accumulator that -

  1. Is sealed,
  2. Can be hand-carried or, as appropriate,
  3. Is neither an industrial battery or accumulator nor an automotive battery or accumulator;

"automotive battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator used for automotive starter, lighting or ignition power;

“industrial battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator designed for exclusively industrial or professional uses or used in any type of electric vehicle;

"battery pack" means any set of batteries or accumulators that are connected together or, as appropriate, encapsulated within an outer casing so as to form a complete unit that the end-user is not intended to split up or open;

"button cell" means any small round portable battery or accumulator whose diameter is greater than its height and which is used for special purposes such as hearing aids, watches, small portable equipment and back-up power;

"waste battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator which is waste within the meaning of Article 1(1)(a) of Directive 2006/12/EC;

"civic amenity facility" means a purpose-designed facility operated by or on behalf of a local authority or a private sector operator which is provided for the efficient reception and temporary storage of recyclable and non-recyclable waste materials, including segregated waste batteries;

"collection point" means 

  1. Any civic amenity facility,
  2. Any premises where batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators are stored following acceptance in accordance with the provisions of article 21(2),
  3. Any premises where batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators are stored prior to their distribution, including any distribution centre,
  4. Any premises where the user takes possession of industrial batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators,
  5. Any educational establishment or workplace, or
  6. Other facility for the receipt, storage (including temporary storage), segregation, sorting or repackaging of waste batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators pending their onward transport to a recycling facility, subject to such a facility, other than a premises where industrial batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators are used, educational establishment or workplace, being appropriately licensed, permitted or registered under Regulations made pursuant to Section 39 of the Act, or other such facilities as may be prescribed in Regulations;

Battery Product marking, what and by when?

On and from 26th September 2008 each producer shall ensure that as per Article 31 of S.I. No. 268 of 2008, that he or she or a third party acting on his or her behalf marks indelibly, visibly and legibly each battery including any button cell he or she places on the market with:–

Crossed-out wheeled bin as per the Fifth Schedule, which shall cover at least;

  • 3% of the area of the largest side of any battery, or as appropriate, battery pack, but excluding any cylindrical cell, or
  • 1.5% of the surface area of any cylindrical cell
  • up to a maximum size of 5 x 5 cm

Batteries and/or Accumulators containing more than the following chemical percentage, should have the associated chemical symbol printed beneath the crossed-out wheeled bin as per the Fifth Schedule, and shall cover an area of at least one quarter the size of that symbol;

  • 0.0005% mercury with the chemical symbol Hg,
  • 0.002% cadmium with the chemical symbol Cd or, as appropriate,
  • 0.004% lead with the chemical symbol Pb

The symbol indicating separate collection for batteries consists of the crossed-out wheeled bin, as shown below. 

Where the size of the battery or as appropriate, battery pack is such that the symbol shown in the Fifth Schedule would be smaller than 0.5 x 0.5 cm, the battery or as appropriate battery pack need not be marked, and the symbol shown in the Fifth Schedule shall be printed on the packaging and shall measure at least 1 x 1 cm.

Crossed-out wheeled bin symbol as per the Fifth Scheule.

WEEE Bin Symbol

>You can buy the standard -ISEN50419- from the –

NSAI Standards Sales Office 
Tel: 01 8073868 
Glasnevin, Dublin 9. 

Open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.  or call Tel: 01 8576730 

To buy on line go to www.standards.ie 
- Hardcopy €22 (from stock for sameday despatch) 
- Electronic (PDF) €22

Who has to join a compliance scheme?

Battery producers have the option of delegating their responsibilities to one of the two approved compliance schemes or can be self compliant.

How will I be charged by my compliance scheme?

Compliance schemes will charge based on the reported weight of Batteries submitted to the WEEE Blackbox.  Producers should check with their compliance scheme for specific information related to charges.

Do the products I make or import fall under the scope of this legislation?

The following 10 categories have been identified in the WEEE directive as belonging to EEE :

  • Large household appliances
  • Small household appliances
  • IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Electrical and electronic tools
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Monitoring and control instruments
  • Automatic dispensers

In order to assess if a given product falls under the legislation, the transposition of the directive into national legislation must be checked.

If you have further queries on product classification, please refer to WEEE Register Society Ltd.Category Listings; or do not hesitate to contact WEEE Register Society Ltd.

Renewal of registration and fees for WEEE Register Society Ltd.?

For application for registration or renewal of registration, as a producer you:

  1. Should have applied for registration to the registration body no later than 20th July 2005 or the date of commencement of business, whichever is the later, AND
  2. Need to apply for renewal of registration to the registration body no later than 31st January in each year following initial registration for the relevant calendar year!

Registration with WEEE Register Society Ltd. is annual and needs to be renewed by the 31st of January of each new year.

Committee of Management of WEEE Register Society Ltd. will set the registration fees for producers of EEE and these may be reviewed from time to time.

Do I have to register in every EU country?

Registration takes place at individual Member State level. No single organisation can provide effective European-wide compliance. Therefore it is still necessary to register in every country.

What information is needed for WEEE Blackbox submission and what is its purpose?

All EEE producers must submit the following details:

Historical data: this consists of all EEE placed on the Irish market in the calendar year 2004 and is a once off requirement;
Monthly Turnover: input of any EEE placed on the Irish market thereafter. The data required is exact quantity and weight of EEE products, per category and subcategory brought on to the State Market

The latter will be submitted on a monthly basis, beginning in September, to collect the period August 13th 2005 up to and including August 31st 2005, and each calendar month thereafter. 

Information is submitted through a specifically designed website managed by the WEEE Blackbox. Webaddress: https://www.weeeblackbox.ie. All producers will on completing the registration process receive a username and password by email and/or post to access a personal data input form. All monthly data must be submitted before or on the 19th of each month. A highly secure approach to computer and network security is employed.

The purpose of the data input is to determine the financial liability by market share of individual Producers. 

The Historical data is being collected in order to calculate market share of individual producers for EEE placed on the market before 13th August 2005. The financing system to be applied on 13thAugust for the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound management of WEEE  will be based on this calculation.

What are vEMC's?

“Visible Environmental Management Costs” means the costs of the environmentally sound management of WEEE from private households arising from EEE placed on the market prior to 13 August 2005. vEMC are not taxes or levies. WEEE Register Society Ltd., the National Registration Body for producers, has determined the vEMC per category and subcategory of EEE. This was done with consultation with the electronic and electrical industry.

The vEMC’s displayed to consumers cannot exceed the actual costs of recycling and are assigned for recycling activity and are not diverted elsewhere. The vEMC’s are calculated on the basis of the estimated number of electrical and electronic appliances that will be recovered and will be subject to change as more information becomes available. 

To clarify “producer recycling fund”- PRF - has the same meaning as “visible environmental management costs” – vEMC.

The vEMC’s are inclusive of VAT.

Who has to display the vEMC?

Since the 13th of August 2005, each producer, retailer and distance seller, must show separately to consumers of EEE the environmental management costs.

WEEE Product marking, what and by when?

Finished EEE products "put on the market" after 13th August 2005 for the first time in any Member State must be marked with:

  • Crossed-out wheeled bin
  • Unique producer identification (brand name, trade mark, company registration number or any other suitable means of identification etc)
  • Instructions for recycling and disassembly (if necessary).

The standard applies to both household and non-household WEEE.

Crossed-out wheeled bin: Article 10.3 of the WEEE Directive requires Member States to ensure that producers appropriately mark electrical and electronic equipment put on the market after 13 August 2005 with the symbol shown in Annex IV (the crossed-out wheeled bin). “In exceptional cases, where this is necessary because of the size or the function of the product, the symbol shall be printed on the packaging, on the instructions for use and on the warranty of the electrical and electronic equipment.” 

Annex IV: The symbol indicating separate collection for electrical and electronic equipment consists of the crossed-out wheeled bin, as shown below. This symbol must be printed “visibly, legibly and indelibly.”

WEEE Bin

For the marking of ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT in accordance with the article 10(3) of Directive 2002/96/EC (WEEE); you can buy the standard -ISEN50419- from the –

NSAI Standards Sales Office 
Tel: 01 8073868 
Glasnevin, Dublin 9. 

Open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.  or call Tel: 01 8576730 

to buy on line go to www.standards.ie 
- Hardcopy €22 (from stock for sameday despatch) 
- Electronic (PDF) €22

Producer identification (brand name, trade mark, company registration number or any other suitable means of identification etc)

Article 11.2 of the WEEE Directive requires that Member States shall ensure that any producer of EEE put on the market after 13 August 2005 is clearly identifiable by a mark on the appliance. Furthermore, in order to enable the date upon which the appliance was put on the market to be determined unequivocally, a mark on the appliance shall specify that the latter was put on the market after 13 August 2005. The Commission shall promote the preparation of European Standards for this purpose.

The standard says that to identify the producer and the equipment put on the market after 13 August 2005, the following shall be applied to the product: 

  • a unique identification of the producer (a brand name, trademark, company registration number or any other suitable means of identification)
  • the date of manufacture or date put on the market, either in uncoded text or in coded text for which the code is made available to treatment facilities, and/or an additional mark used in conjunction with the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol. This additional mark is a solid bar, containing no text or other information, which appears below the bin symbol and whose dimensions are specified in the standard.

If size or other characteristics such as functionality of the product means that the marking cannot be applied on the product it shall appear on a flag on the fixed supply cord or in the operating instructions and warranty certificates included with the product.

What is a compliance scheme and what is its role?

A compliance scheme is a non profit organisation that will take care of the collection, treatment and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Ireland on behalf of its producer members. The compliance scheme will then invoice the producer for his/her proportion of the WEEE collected in Ireland.

At present, there are two approved compliance schemes in Ireland: ERP Ireland (European Recycling Platform) and WEEE  Ireland.

What do I need to be self-compliant?

Once you have established that you are a producer, the following needs to be achieved for compliance: 

  • Registration with the WEEE Register Society Ltd to obtain a unique registration number. This number should be shown on all invoice, credit note, dispatch and delivery dockets issued from 13th August 2005. Provide the WEEE Blackbox with the requested data input. A producer will need to apply for renewal of registration annually as in Articles 10 and 11.

Producer responsibility: 

  • All producers are required to comply with to the requirements of Articles 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 40 and 41 of the Waste Management (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 340 of 2005).
  • Register with the WEEE Register Society in Ireland, pay the appropriate registration fee (Article 10) and provide information to the WEEE Register Society Ireland (Article 28).
  • Finance the take back of WEEE from private households and other users (Article 16 and 17).
  • Be responsible for the collection of WEEE (Article 19).
  • Ensure that any collection point and recovery facility carrying out the treatment of WEEE complies with the technical requirements as set out in the Sixth Schedule (Article 20).
  • Adhere to the obligations for the treatment requirements of WEEE (Article 21).
  • Achieve specified recovery rates depending upon the category and type of the WEEE arising (Article 22) and to maintain documentary evidence of progress on these targets. Producers can obtain this documentary evidence from their waste management contractors.
  • Maintain and keep records of all treatment and recovery data, including specific weights in and out of treatment facilities, for a period of at least 6 years (Article 23).
  • Prepare a WEEE waste management plan and provide it to the EPA, at least once every three years (Article 24).
  • Producers are obliged to inform waste management facilities of the appropriate re-use and treatment information for the products it places on the market after August 13th 2005, including a list of dangerous substances and the location of such substances in each product (Articles 25 & 26).
  • Producers are also obligated to mark their product with the appropriate marking identifying that the producer of the EEE has registered with the Registration Body in accordance with their terms and conditions (Article 27 & Ninth Schedule).
  • Producers must not use design features or production processes that make it difficult to reuse or treat the WEEE unless such designs have overriding environmental and/or health and safety advantages (Article 40).
  • Obligations under Article 41 on the Reuse of EEE

Are any products exempt from the WEEE-Directive?

WEEE Exemptions (by category): 

Lighting Equipment: 

  • Household lighting fixtures 
  • Filament light bulbs, including halogens 

Electrical and Electronic Tools: 

  • Some Large-scale stationary industrial tools. You should contact WEEE Register Society Ltd. to determine if EEE is exempt.

Medical Devices: 

  • Implanted or infected products

Other exemptions:

  • Equipment solely for Military and National Security purposes - Product must be specific to this market.
  • Equipment covered by other existing waste directives such as the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) - Automotive Products.
  • Something that is part of equipment outside the scope of the WEEE directive such as equipment which is integral to:
    • Aerospace/Aircraft Products
    • Surface Transportation Products (aircraft, trains, boats, etc.)

Does the WEEE Directive apply to batteries?

The Waste Management (Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No 268 of 2008) have been introduced.

Please refer to the Battery FAQ’s.

Does the WEEE Directive apply to cables?

Antennas and cables meet the definition of EEE under the WEEE and RoHS Directives.  

The difference between electrical and fibre optics relates to the material, not the function (electrical cables too can be and have been used for the transmission of information, sound, imate etc.).  

Cables which have a connection point at one or both ends would be considered in-scope. 

All cables inside and/or as extensions or connections which are part of the equipment at the time of discarding are considered WEEE.

Am I considered a distance seller?

“Distance communication” is as defined in Article 2(4) of Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts or, as appropriate, means sales and marketing services by electronic communication, voice telephony services, including telesales and telemarketing or non-electronic direct marketing services, including mail order;

Including by means of distance communication –

  • Manufactures and sells electrical and electronic equipment under his or her own brand,
  • Resells electrical and electronic equipment produced by other suppliers under his or her own brand,
  • Imports electrical and electronic equipment on a professional basis into the State,
  • Exports electrical and electronic equipment on a professional basis from the State to another Member State of the European
  • Distributes electrical and electronic equipment from a producer who is deemed not to be registered under the provisions of article 12(2).

What are my Responsibilities as a Distance Seller?

Each producer or distributor who supplies EEE by means of distance communication (i.e. over the internet, telesales, mail order etc.) has to

  • Register with the Registration Body, as per the requirements of Article 10,
  • Notify the Registration Body that he/she supplies EEE via distance communication, and
  • Provide information to demonstrate that he/she contributes in full to his/her share of the environmentally sound management of waste arising from EEE, in each member state of the European Union where he/she places EEE on the market when requested to do so by the Registration Body or the relevant enforcement agency.
  • Notify customers that household EEE will be taken-back at least free of charge on a one-for-one basis.
  • To take back WEEE on a one-to-one basis when the replacement EEE is being delivered, provided that the old appliance is disconnected from public utilities or a permanent structure and is presented for immediate collection, and provided at least 24 hours notice of delivery has been given, or if not taken back when the replacement EEE is being delivered:
    • Because at least 24 hours notice of delivery has not been given, within 15 days of the date of delivery, provided that the old appliance is disconnected from public utilities or a permanent structure and is presented for immediate collection, and provided at least 24 hours notice of collection has been given
    • Any or every place of business in the State from which he or she distributes electrical and electronic equipment and/or an address in the State, while it is occupied by an employee or agent of the direct seller, within a maximum of 30 days of the date of delivery of the replacement EEE.

Display EMC’s

on his or her website or other electronic means of communication, or, as appropriate,
in each of his or her catalogues, brochures, or, as appropriate, direct mail communications. The price of EEE quoted, displayed and advertised to members of  the public must be inclusive of the vEMC.

Each

invoice, receipt or docket issued at the point of sale to the customer,
website or other electronic means of communication, or, as appropriate,
catalogue, brochure, or, as appropriate, direct mail communication, displaying a vEMC shall state  –

“Producer Recycling Fund [amount of environmental management cost]”

Up until 13th of February 2006, vEMC’s do not have to be shown in catalogues. However, the vEMC and the retail price must be shown in a separate brochure, or at or within three meters of each entrance to his or her premises and at any location where catalogues are available and that such a brochure is inserted into any catalogue issued to a consumer.

What is Business to Consumer (B2C)?

If an EEE product placed on the Irish market, can at any stage be sold to or used by a consumer, this transaction is considered B2C, regardless of the supply chain (e.g. from producer to a wholesaler/retailer etc…)

What is Business to Business (B2B) and the requirement for compliance?

If you are deemed a Producer operating in a business capacity (B2B) (Article 17 & 18) and opting to self-comply*, you must do the following:

  • Register with WEEE Register Society Ltd. in Ireland, pay the appropriate registration fee (Article 10) and provide information to the WEEE Register Society Ltd. (Article 28).
  • Collect or provide for the collection of your proportion of WEEE arising from WEEE placed onto the market prior to 13th August 2005, which is dependent on your current market share. The market share target is provided by WEEE Register Society Ltd. Black Box Function.
  • Ensure that any collection point and recovery facility carrying out the treatment of WEEE complies with the technical requirements as set out in the Sixth Schedule (Article 20).
  • Adhere to the obligations for the treatment requirements of WEEE (Article 21).
  • Achieve specified recovery rates depending upon the category and type of the WEEE arising (Article 22) and to maintain documentary evidence of progress on these targets. Producers can obtain this documentary evidence from their waste management contractors.
  • Maintain and keep records of all treatment and recovery data, including specific weights in and out of treatment facilities, for a period of at least 6 years (Article 23).
  • Prepare a WEEE waste management plan and provide it to the EPA, at least once every three years (Article 24).
  • Prepare a WEEE waste management report and provide it to the EPA on/before 31st January each year.
  • Producers are obliged to inform waste management facilities of the appropriate re-use and treatment information for the products it places on the market after August 13th 2005, including a list of dangerous substances and the location of such substances in each product (Articles 25 & 26).
  • Producers are also obligated to mark their product with the appropriate marking identifying that the producer of the EEE has registered with the Registration Body in accordance with their terms and conditions (Article 27 & Ninth Schedule).
  • Producers must not use design features or production processes that make it difficult to reuse or treat the WEEE unless such designs have overriding environmental and/or health and safety advantages (Article 40).
  • Obligations under Article 41 on the Reuse of EEE.
  • B2B Producers are obliged to finance the takeback of historic and new B2B WEEE (Articles 17 & 18). From the 13th August 2005, each producer (or someone acting on his/her behalf) must finance the environmentally sound management of WEEE arising from B2B customers as follows:
  1. For historic B2B WEEE (equipment placed on the market prior to the 13th August 2005 that is now waste), the producer is obliged to take back WEEE of a similar type and function (irrespective of brand) when a business end user is purchasing new equipment from him/her. The producer is then responsible for the collection and environmental management of the WEEE.
  2. If the business end user is simply discarding the WEEE and not replacing it, the responsibility for ensuring the environmentally sound management of the WEEE remains with the business end user. An appropriately licensed and permitted waste management operator must be used to transport and manage the waste in both scenarios.
  3. For new WEEE (equipment placed on the market after the 13th August 2005 that will become waste), the producer must take back and manage WEEE from the business end user or make alternative financing arrangements with the business user i.e. there must be a formal agreement between both parties on how and who will finance the management of the WEEE. The WEEE must be transported and managed by appropriately licensed and permitted waste management operators.

*Note: As in B2B, i.e. - the end user is commercial, Article 24(10) regarding the display of visible environmental management costs via self-compliance does not apply.

Battery FAQs

Battery Directive

The Directive applies to all batteries and accumulators placed on the Community market. In line with Article 2(3) of the WEEE Directive, batteries and accumulators used in equipment connected with the protection of the essential security interests of the Member States are excluded from the scope of this Directive. Equipment designed to be sent into space is also excluded from the scope of the Directive.

Why does the Directive 2006/66/EC apply to all batteries and not just to hazardous ones?

Directive 2006/66/EC applies to all batteries because:

  • All batteries contain substances which are more or less harmful to the environment;
  • Experience with the previous Directive (91/157/EEC) on hazardous batteries (batteries containing mercury, cadmium or lead) showed that 'all battery' collection schemes are more efficient than separate schemes for certain types of portable batteries;
  • All batteries contain metals which are recyclable, so the collection and recycling of all batteries help save resources in conformity with Article 174 of the EC Treaty.

What is the objective of the Batteries Directive?

The objective of the Directive is twofold: 

  • To contribute to a high level of environmental protection.
  • To contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market.

Do I need to register in Ireland?

According to the Statutory Instruments S.I. No. 268 of 2008 Waste Management (Batteries and Accumulators) regulations 2008 you need to register if you are considered a producer of Batteries and/or Accumulators.

A Battery "Producer" means any person in a Member State that, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance communication as defined in Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts, places batteries or accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles, on the market for the first time within the territory of that Member State on a professional basis.

"Places on the market for the first time means supplying or making available to a third person on a professional bases within the EU for the first time.  This is irrespective of whether a battery or appliance containing a battery has been made available in return for payment or free of charge."

If you are considered a producer you will need to apply for registration with WEEE Register Society Ltd. Please download the Application Form from the REGISTRATION section of WEEE Register Society Ltd. website; www.weeeregister.ie.

Who is the "battery producer"? examples

  • A battery manufacturer or a domestic importer sells batteries to a retailer who in turn sells them to end-users in the same Member State. 
  • In this case, the battery manufacturer or the domestic importer is the producer in that Member State, as they are the ones placing the batteries on the market for the first time. 
  • A retailer sells batteries in a Member State; the batteries were bought outside that Member State. A retailer sells batteries to end-users in a given Member State, which he bought in another country. 
  • In this case, as the retailer is placing these batteries on the market for the first time in the given Member State, the retailer is the producer. 
  • An equipment/car manufacturer buys batteries within a Member State; these batteries are then sold together with the equipment/car in the same Member State 
  • A battery manufacturer or domestic importer in a Member State sells batteries to an equipment or car manufacturer in the same Member State who will then put the battery into equipment or a car and sell it on the market of this Member State. In this case, the battery manufacturer or domestic importer is the producer in this Member State as they are placing the batteries on the market for the first time. 
  • A car/equipment manufacturer buys batteries outside a Member State, then incorporates them into equipment/a car and sells this in the Member State. The car/equipment manufacturer or domestic importer sells cars/equipment in a given Member State with batteries incorporated. The batteries for the car/equipment were bought outside this Member State. 
  • Since in this case it is the equipment or car manufacturer or domestic importer who places these batteries on the market of the Member State for the first time, they are the battery producers in this Member State. 
  • A company imports batteries from a non-EU parent company for its independent subsidiary located in a Member State. 
  • In this case the independent European subsidiary is the producer, as it is the subsidiary, which places the batteries on the market in that Member State.

Renewal of registration and fees for WEEE Register Society Ltd.?

For application for registration or renewal of registration, as a producer you:

  1. Should have applied for registration to the registration body no later than 19th September 2008 or the date of commencement of business, whichever is the later, AND 
  2. Need to apply for renewal of registration to the registration body no later than 31st January in each year following initial registration for the relevant calendar year!

Registration with WEEE Register Society Ltd. is annual and needs to be renewed by the 31st January of each new year.

Committee of Management of WEEE Register Society Ltd. will set the registration fees for producers of  Batteries and Accumulators and these may be reviewed from time to time.

Are any exemptions from the Battery - Directive?

Prohibition 

Article 5 states; 
Subject to article 6, on and from

  1. 26 September 2008, any person shall be prohibited from placing on the market or, as appropriate, distributors shall be prohibited from distributing
    1. All batteries that contain more than 0.0005% of mercury by weight,
    2. Portable batteries that contain more than 0.002% of cadmium by weight or, as appropriate,
    3. Any battery or, as appropriate, battery pack
  2. (a) that is not marked in accordance with the provisions of articles 31(1)(a) and 31(2) or, as appropriate,
  3. (b) whose size is such that the symbol shown in the Fifth Schedule would be smaller than 0.5 x 0.5 cm and whose packaging is not marked in accordance with the provisions of articles 31(2) and 31(3) or, as appropriate,

(b) 26 September 2009, any person shall be prohibited from placing on the market or, as appropriate, distributors shall be prohibited from distributing any battery placed on the market on or from 26 September 2009 that does not display the capacity of the battery concerned in accordance with the provisions of article 31(6) unless exempted in accordance with the provisions of article 31(7).

Exemptions

Article 6 states;

  • (i) The prohibition in-
    1. Article 5(a) shall not apply in respect of button cells with a mercury content of no more than 2% by weight
    2. Article 5(a)(ii) shall not apply to portable batteries intended for use in;
    3. Emergency & alarm systems, incl. emergency lighting, 
    4. Medical equipment or 
    5. Cordless power tools

Also, prohibitions shall not apply in respect of batteries and/or accumulators placed on the market prior 26th September 2008 in compliance with previous Battery Directive 91/ 157/EEC of 18th March 1991

  • (ii) The provisions of this Part shall not apply to batteries placed on the market prior to 26 September 2008 in compliance with Council Directive 91/157/EEC of 18 March 1991 on batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances.

Article 34 outlines further exemptions from certain requirements.
Articles 23(1), 23(3), 23(4), 23(5), 23(6), 23(7), 23(8), 25(b), 27, 28 and 30 provided producer is participating satisfactorily in an approved collective compliance scheme and holds a valid certificate from an approved body.

Financing waste Batteries.

Article 23(1); on and from 26th September 2008 each producer shall ensure that he or a third party acting on his behalf finances any net costs arising from;

  • Collection, storage, treatment and recovery and/or disposal of waste batteries/accumulators included those incorporated in EEE and/or battery packs deposited at collection points and civic amenity facilities regardless on when placed on a market and their chemical composition
  • Collection from the end users and environmentally sound management of waste industrial batteries relating to his products regardless on when placed on a market and their chemical composition
  • Any public information campaign on collection, storage, treatment and recycling  of waste portable batteries in proportion to the quantity of portable batteries placed on a market in the State by him, excluding any portable batteries that left the State prior to being sold to the end users.

Do retailers have a role to play?

Yes, from 26th September 2008, each retailer must provide for free in-store take back of waste batteries of equivalent type as the batteries supplied by him or her without the obligation on the customer to purchase like-for-like.

Where can I obtain a box for waste Batteries?

Waste battery collection boxes can be obtained from the local County Councils or the box Compliance Schemes in the following area;

  • ERP Ireland for Cavan, Clare, Fingal, Kerry, Limerick, Meath, Monaghan
  • WEEE Ireland for all other areas

What information is to be provided for the renewal of registration?

  • Name, address(es), telephone, electronic mail address and fax number of the registered office or, if not a company, the principal place of business, of the producer.
  • Location(s) of premises at or from which Batteries &/or Accumulators is or will be supplied by the producer.
  • The quantities, by weight or, as appropriate, by number of units and chemistry, of batteries that were placed on the market in the State excluding any batteries that left the State prior to being sold to end-users in the calendar year prior to the date of application for renewal in each of the categories specified in guidance which the Minister may issue from time to time.

What is the WEEE Blackbox?

WEEE Register Society Ltd. has appointed Deloitte to manage and operate the WEEE Blackbox function on its behalf. The information gathered will be used to establish producers' financial liabilities associated with the management of a proportion of the Waste Batteries & Accumulators arising in Ireland. 

The proportion of Waste Batteries & Accumulators management for which individual producers are responsible, will then be reported on a confidential basis to each producer, whether they are participating as part of collective compliance scheme or have opted to self-comply.

The role of the Blackbox includes: 

  • Receipt and processing of data on market share from registered producers;
  • Determination of market share based on battery type, producer and/or other criteria e.g., consortia or collective compliance scheme;
  • Advising WEEE Register Society Ltd. on the validation of environmental management costs (costs of collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste batteries &/or accumulators);
  • Advising WEEE Register Society Ltd. on the adequacy of financial guarantees;
  • Providing management reports for WEEE Register Society Ltd.

Confidentiality of Market Data:

Producers should note that the WEEE Blackbox is statute-barred from informing any third party, including the collective schemes and the Executive and Committee of Management of WEEE Register Society Ltd. itself of market share information. The contractor will not handle monies arising from registration fees or recycling monies paid by producers. 

Measures taken to ensure the security and confidentiality of data submitted to the WEEE Blackbox:

A highly secure approach to computer and network security is employed, based on the following premise: "that which is not explicitly allowed is denied". 

Rigorous controls are employed for access of any type to the system, incorporating the use of strong passwords, secure sockets layer technology and database encryption.

Is there a penalty for non compliance?

Article 48 of the Battery and Accumulator Regulations S.I. No. 268 of 2008 outlines possible prosecutions and penalties, where convicted on indictment, a fine to a maximum of €500,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, or both.

List of useful definitions

"producer" means any person in a Member State that, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance communication as defined in Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts7, places batteries or accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles, on the market for the first time within the territory of that Member
State on a professional basis; 

"placing on the market" means supplying or making available, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to a third party within the Community and includes import into the customs territory of the Community;

"distributor" means any person who provides batteries, or as appropriate, accumulators on a professional basis to an end-user

"to distribute" means -
(i) to sell in exchange for any consideration, including money whether or not by finance agreement, including, but not exclusive, to any loan, lease, hiring or deferred sale agreement or arrangement relating to any battery or, as appropriate, accumulator whether or not the terms of that agreement or arrangement or any collateral agreement or arrangement provide that a transfer of ownership of that equipment will or may take place, or
(ii) giving as a prize or otherwise making a gift, and cognate words, other than distributor, shall be construed accordingly;

"distance communication" is as defined in Article 2(4) of Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts5 or, as appropriate, means sales and marketing services by electronic communication, voice telephony services, including telesales and telemarketing or non-electronic direct marketing services, including mail order;

"battery" or "accumulator" means any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of one or more primary battery cells (non-rechargeable) or consisting of one or more secondary battery cells (rechargeable);

"portable battery or accumulator" means any battery, button cell, battery pack or accumulator that -

  1. Is sealed,
  2. Can be hand-carried or, as appropriate,
  3. Is neither an industrial battery or accumulator nor an automotive battery or accumulator;

"automotive battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator used for automotive starter, lighting or ignition power;

“industrial battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator designed for exclusively industrial or professional uses or used in any type of electric vehicle;

"battery pack" means any set of batteries or accumulators that are connected together or, as appropriate, encapsulated within an outer casing so as to form a complete unit that the end-user is not intended to split up or open;

"button cell" means any small round portable battery or accumulator whose diameter is greater than its height and which is used for special purposes such as hearing aids, watches, small portable equipment and back-up power;

"waste battery or accumulator" means any battery or accumulator which is waste within the meaning of Article 1(1)(a) of Directive 2006/12/EC;

"civic amenity facility" means a purpose-designed facility operated by or on behalf of a local authority or a private sector operator which is provided for the efficient reception and temporary storage of recyclable and non-recyclable waste materials, including segregated waste batteries;

"collection point" means 

  1. Any civic amenity facility,
  2. Any premises where batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators are stored following acceptance in accordance with the provisions of article 21(2),
  3. Any premises where batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators are stored prior to their distribution, including any distribution centre,
  4. Any premises where the user takes possession of industrial batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators,
  5. Any educational establishment or workplace, or
  6. Other facility for the receipt, storage (including temporary storage), segregation, sorting or repackaging of waste batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators pending their onward transport to a recycling facility, subject to such a facility, other than a premises where industrial batteries or, as appropriate, accumulators are used, educational establishment or workplace, being appropriately licensed, permitted or registered under Regulations made pursuant to Section 39 of the Act, or other such facilities as may be prescribed in Regulations;

Who has to join a compliance scheme?

Battery producers have the option of delegating their responsibilities to one of the two approved compliance schemes or can be self compliant.

How will I be charged by my compliance scheme?

Compliance schemes will charge based on the reported weight of Batteries submitted to the WEEE Blackbox.  Producers should check with their compliance scheme for specific information related to charges.

Are there any exemptions from the Battery - Directive?

Prohibition

Article 5 states; 
Subject to article 6, on and from—

(a) 26 September 2008, any person shall be prohibited from placing on the market or, as appropriate, distributors shall be prohibited from distributing—

  • all batteries that contain more than 0.0005% of mercury by weight ,
  • portable batteries that contain more than 0.002% of cadmium by weight or, as appropriate,
  • any battery or, as appropriate, battery pack—
  • that is not marked in accordance with the provisions of articles 31(1)(a) and 31(2) or, as appropriate,
  • whose size is such that the symbol shown in the Fifth Schedule would be smaller than 0.5 x 0.5 cm and whose packaging is not marked in accordance with the provisions of articles 31(2) and 31(3) or, as appropriate,

(b) 26 September 2009, any person shall be prohibited from placing on the market or, as appropriate, distributors shall be prohibited from distributing any battery placed on the market on or from 26 September 2009 that does not display the capacity of the battery concerned in accordance with the provisions of article 31(6) unless exempted in accordance with the provisions of article 31(7).

Exemptions

Article 6 states;
(1) The prohibition in-

(a) article 5(a) shall not apply in respect of button cells with a mercury content of no more than 2% by weight
(b) article 5(a)(ii) shall not apply to portable batteries intended for use in;
emergency & alarm systems, incl. emergency lighting ,

  • medical equipment or
  • cordless power tools
  • Also, prohibitions shall not apply in respect of batteries and/or accumulators placed on the market prior 26th September 2008 in compliance with previous Battery Directive 91/ 157/EEC of 18th March 1991.

(2) The provisions of this Part shall not apply to batteries placed on the market prior to 26 September 2008 in compliance with Council Directive 91/157/EEC of 18 March 1991 on batteries and accumulators containing certain dangerous substances.

Article 34 outlines further exemptions from certain requirements.
Articles 23(1), 23(3), 23(4), 23(5), 23(6), 23(7), 23(8), 25(b), 27, 28 and 30 provided producer is participating satisfactorily in an approved collective compliance scheme and holds a valid certificate from an approved body.

Do I have to register in every EU country?

Registration takes place at individual Member State level. No single organisation can provide effective European-wide compliance. Therefore it is still necessary to register in every country.

What information is needed for WEEE Blackbox submission and what is its purpose?

All EEE producers must submit the following details:

Historical data: this consists of all EEE placed on the Irish market in the calendar year 2004 and is a once off requirement;
Monthly Turnover: input of any EEE placed on the Irish market thereafter. The data required is exact quantity and weight of EEE products, per category and subcategory brought on to the State Market

The latter will be submitted on a monthly basis, beginning in September, to collect the period August 13th 2005 up to and including August 31st 2005, and each calendar month thereafter. 

Information is submitted through a specifically designed website managed by the WEEE Blackbox. Webaddress: https://www.weeeblackbox.ie. All producers will on completing the registration process receive a username and password by email and/or post to access a personal data input form. All monthly data must be submitted before or on the 19th of each month. A highly secure approach to computer and network security is employed.

The purpose of the data input is to determine the financial liability by market share of individual Producers. 

The Historical data is being collected in order to calculate market share of individual producers for EEE placed on the market before 13th August 2005. The financing system to be applied on 13thAugust for the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound management of WEEE  will be based on this calculation.

What is a compliance scheme and what is its role?

A compliance scheme is a non profit organisation that will take care of the collection, treatment and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Ireland on behalf of its producer members. The compliance scheme will then invoice the producer for his/her proportion of the WEEE collected in Ireland.

At present, there are two approved compliance schemes in Ireland: ERP Ireland (European Recycling Platform) and WEEE  Ireland.

What do I need to be self-compliant?

Once you have established that you are a producer, the following needs to be achieved for compliance: 

  • Registration with the WEEE Register Society Ltd to obtain a unique registration number. This number should be shown on all invoice, credit note, dispatch and delivery dockets issued from 13th August 2005. Provide the WEEE Blackbox with the requested data input. A producer will need to apply for renewal of registration annually as in Articles 10 and 11.

Producer responsibility: 

  • All producers are required to comply with to the requirements of Articles 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 40 and 41 of the Waste Management (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 340 of 2005).
  • Register with the WEEE Register Society in Ireland, pay the appropriate registration fee (Article 10) and provide information to the WEEE Register Society Ireland (Article 28).
  • Finance the take back of WEEE from private households and other users (Article 16 and 17).
  • Be responsible for the collection of WEEE (Article 19).
  • Ensure that any collection point and recovery facility carrying out the treatment of WEEE complies with the technical requirements as set out in the Sixth Schedule (Article 20).
  • Adhere to the obligations for the treatment requirements of WEEE (Article 21).
  • Achieve specified recovery rates depending upon the category and type of the WEEE arising (Article 22) and to maintain documentary evidence of progress on these targets. Producers can obtain this documentary evidence from their waste management contractors.
  • Maintain and keep records of all treatment and recovery data, including specific weights in and out of treatment facilities, for a period of at least 6 years (Article 23).
  • Prepare a WEEE waste management plan and provide it to the EPA, at least once every three years (Article 24).
  • Producers are obliged to inform waste management facilities of the appropriate re-use and treatment information for the products it places on the market after August 13th 2005, including a list of dangerous substances and the location of such substances in each product (Articles 25 & 26).
  • Producers are also obligated to mark their product with the appropriate marking identifying that the producer of the EEE has registered with the Registration Body in accordance with their terms and conditions (Article 27 & Ninth Schedule).
  • Producers must not use design features or production processes that make it difficult to reuse or treat the WEEE unless such designs have overriding environmental and/or health and safety advantages (Article 40).
  • Obligations under Article 41 on the Reuse of EEE

Are any products exempt from the WEEE-Directive?

WEEE Exemptions (by category): 

Lighting Equipment: 

  • Household lighting fixtures 
  • Filament light bulbs, including halogens 

Electrical and Electronic Tools: 

  • Some Large-scale stationary industrial tools. You should contact WEEE Register Society Ltd. to determine if EEE is exempt.

Medical Devices: 

  • Implanted or infected products

Other exemptions:

  • Equipment solely for Military and National Security purposes - Product must be specific to this market.
  • Equipment covered by other existing waste directives such as the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) - Automotive Products.
  • Something that is part of equipment outside the scope of the WEEE directive such as equipment which is integral to:
    • Aerospace/Aircraft Products
    • Surface Transportation Products (aircraft, trains, boats, etc.)

Am I considered a distance seller?

“Distance communication” is as defined in Article 2(4) of Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts or, as appropriate, means sales and marketing services by electronic communication, voice telephony services, including telesales and telemarketing or non-electronic direct marketing services, including mail order;

Including by means of distance communication –

  • Manufactures and sells electrical and electronic equipment under his or her own brand,
  • Resells electrical and electronic equipment produced by other suppliers under his or her own brand,
  • Imports electrical and electronic equipment on a professional basis into the State,
  • Exports electrical and electronic equipment on a professional basis from the State to another Member State of the European
  • Distributes electrical and electronic equipment from a producer who is deemed not to be registered under the provisions of article 12(2).

What are my Responsibilities as a Distance Seller?

Each producer or distributor who supplies EEE by means of distance communication (i.e. over the internet, telesales, mail order etc.) has to

  • Register with the Registration Body, as per the requirements of Article 10,
  • Notify the Registration Body that he/she supplies EEE via distance communication, and
  • Provide information to demonstrate that he/she contributes in full to his/her share of the environmentally sound management of waste arising from EEE, in each member state of the European Union where he/she places EEE on the market when requested to do so by the Registration Body or the relevant enforcement agency.
  • Notify customers that household EEE will be taken-back at least free of charge on a one-for-one basis.
  • To take back WEEE on a one-to-one basis when the replacement EEE is being delivered, provided that the old appliance is disconnected from public utilities or a permanent structure and is presented for immediate collection, and provided at least 24 hours notice of delivery has been given, or if not taken back when the replacement EEE is being delivered:
    • Because at least 24 hours notice of delivery has not been given, within 15 days of the date of delivery, provided that the old appliance is disconnected from public utilities or a permanent structure and is presented for immediate collection, and provided at least 24 hours notice of collection has been given
    • Any or every place of business in the State from which he or she distributes electrical and electronic equipment and/or an address in the State, while it is occupied by an employee or agent of the direct seller, within a maximum of 30 days of the date of delivery of the replacement EEE.

Display EMC’s

on his or her website or other electronic means of communication, or, as appropriate,
in each of his or her catalogues, brochures, or, as appropriate, direct mail communications. The price of EEE quoted, displayed and advertised to members of  the public must be inclusive of the vEMC.

Each

invoice, receipt or docket issued at the point of sale to the customer,
website or other electronic means of communication, or, as appropriate,
catalogue, brochure, or, as appropriate, direct mail communication, displaying a vEMC shall state  –

“Producer Recycling Fund [amount of environmental management cost]”

Up until 13th of February 2006, vEMC’s do not have to be shown in catalogues. However, the vEMC and the retail price must be shown in a separate brochure, or at or within three meters of each entrance to his or her premises and at any location where catalogues are available and that such a brochure is inserted into any catalogue issued to a consumer.

Preparing for reuse of WEEE Organisations

Does an approved preparing for re-use organisation need to register as a producer of electrical and electronic equipment?

If the ”preparing for re-use organisation’ uses non-original or non-approved spare parts and/or modifies its original performance, purpose or type, then these products are to be considered as new products, and the ‘preparing for re-use organisation’ would be deemed a producer of EEE and must undertake to comply with the producer obligations set out in the WEEE regulations. More information is available from www.weee-enforcement.ie and www.weeeregister.ie.

What are the requirements with regards to Product Indemnity?

If applying to WEEE Register Society Ltd for approval as a ‘preparing for reuse organisation’ you must submit a letter from your insurer that an adequate policy is in place to deal with product indemnity on your re-use activities. For applicants not yet fully operational as a ‘preparing for reuse organisation’ a letter from your insurance provider is needed confirming that cover as above will be available if approval is granted. 

What are the EU rules with regards to electrical or electronic products (including refurbished products) being put on the market?

All applicants planning to become an ‘approved preparing for re-use organisation’ should carefully examine the recently published European Commission 2014 revised Blue Guide on the implementation of EU product rules (“Blue Guide”). The Blue Guide aims to facilitate an improved understanding of the EU legal framework for the placing of various products on the EU market and to ensure its uniform and coherent application across the different product sectors.

The revised Blue Guide, which was drafted in close cooperation with the EU Member State national authorities, provides a detailed explanation of the various elements of EU harmonisation measures concerning the products affected by these measures. EU harmonisation measures, such as Regulations and Directives, are designed to modernise the conditions for placing products on the EU market and provide a complete legal framework for these products.

EU harmonisation measures apply to products which are intended to be placed on the EU market and include industrial products and products intended for use by consumers or professionals. The Blue Guide is available here:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/single-market-goods/documents/internalmarket-for-products/new-legislative-framework/index_en.htm#h2-3

Specific to ‘preparing for re-use’, a product which has been subject to important changes or overhauls aiming to modify its original performance, purpose or type may be considered as a new product. The person who carries out the changes becomes then the manufacturer with the corresponding obligations. However, products which have been repaired without changing the original performance, purpose or type, are not to be considered as new products according to Union harmonisation legislation. 

If a decision is made to repair an item of WEEE, it should be repaired with original parts or replacement parts that have been approved by the manufacturer. Thus, if during the preparing for re-use operation only original spare parts are used, there is no real 'modification' of the product. Please note that materials such as screws, hoses and washers etc. would not be considered as replacement parts that would require approval by the manufacturer This means that the product stays 'second-hand', and is not to be considered as a new product that is put on the market. In this case the ‘preparing for re-use organisation’ who sell these second-hand products are not producers of EEE.

If on the other hand the appliance is repaired with non-original parts or with replacement parts that have not been approved by the manufacturer then the ‘preparing for re-use organisation’ has to guarantee that the appliance complies with all the applicable legislation and norms that apply for appliances that are being put on the market. In this case the ‘preparing for re-use organisation’ that is making the appliance available on the market for re-use shall ensure that the original manufacturer cannot in any way be held accountable for the appliance that was reused and has to offer the necessary legal guarantees for this.

What are the waste facility permitting/licensing requirements on becoming a WEEE Register Society ‘approved preparing for re-use organisation’ in order to access WEEE from the two approved WEEE Compliance Schemes?

The WEEE2 Regulations (S.I. No. 149 of 2014), only provide for an exemption from the requirement to have a waste facility permit for the storage, including temporary storage of WEEE under Regulation 42, subject to specified conditions. As ‘preparing for re-use’ is a specific case of ‘waste recovery’, for the time being, all organisations seeking to become an ‘approved preparing for re-use organisation’ are required to have a waste license or waste facility permit. Enquiries on acquiring a waste facility permit or license should be directed to your Local Authority or the EPA respectively. The Department will monitor the need for standard Permit/License conditions to be assigned to any new waste facility permit or review of an existing Permit/License with a view to harmonisation within the three Waste Regional Authorities.

What are the waste collection permitting requirements on becoming a WEEE Register Society Ltd. ‘approved preparing for re-use organisation’ in order to access WEEE from the two approved WEEE Compliance Schemes?

This depends on whether your organisation has been granted a ‘charitable status’.

For those organisations that do have charitable (CHY) status, exemptions from requiring a waste collection permit exist under the WEEE2 Regulations (S.I. No. 149 of 2014), which provide for an exemption from the requirement to have a waste collection permit for the transport of WEEE under Regulation 41(1)(b), subject to specified conditions set out in Regulation 41(2).

For those organisations that do not have charitable (CHY) status, with regards to the WEEE2 Regulations (S.I. No. 149 of 2014), apart from organisations that have ‘charitable status’, the only other exemption from the requirement to have a waste collection permit for the transport of WEEE provided for in Regulation 41 is for ‘registered distributors of EEE’ as set out in Regulation 41(1)(a).

Unless you have ‘charitable status’, or can avail of an exemption in regulation 41(1)(a) of S.I. No. 149 of 2014 or you intend to contract a third Party who has a Waste Collection Permit, then an organisation intending to become an ‘approved preparing for re-use organisation’ will require a waste collection permit from the National Waste Collection Permit Office (www.nwcpo.ie).

What are the benefits of PAS 141?

It sets out a robust framework for the testing, treatment and provision of reuse of WEEE & UEEE.

It provides reassurance that used equipment is electrically safe to use and functionally fit for purpose.

It gives the original producers of the equipment re-assurance that their safety liabilities and reputation are protected by re-use organisations using documented processes for safety tests, removal of confidential data and record keeping.

It will help differentiate legitimate exports from illegal exports of WEEE under the guise of being sent abroad for re-use. For more information on PAS 141, please visit this link: http://www.bsigroup.co.uk/en-GB/about-bsi/media-centre/press-releases/2011/4/BSIpublishes-new-specification-on-the-reuse-of-Waste-Electrical-and-ElectronicEquipment-WEEE-and-Used-Electronic-and-Electrical-Equipment-UEEE-/

What is the purpose of PAS 141?

The PAS 141 ‘Re-use of used and waste electrical and electronic equipment (UEEE and WEEE) process management specification’ has been developed to improve the standards for the re-use and refurbishment of discarded electrical and electronic equipment.

Developed by industry experts working with the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the PAS 141 specification aims to address a general demand (from consumers, retailers and others) for reassurance that all used equipment are both electrically safe to use and functionally fit for purpose.

The original producers of the equipment also need re-assurance that their safety liabilities and reputation will be protected by re-use organisations using documented safety tests, removing confidential data and keeping records to demonstrate this.

PAS 141 will also be used to differentiate ‘bona fide’ exports from illegal exports of WEEE under the guise of being sent abroad for re-use, by providing assurance that appropriate testing of equipment has taken place and allowing for a certificate to act as proof that products are genuinely for re-use.

What is PAS 141?

The UK standard PAS 141 is the European Union’s first standard for the treatment process of WEEE/Used EEE re-use, and forms a key part of the system for preparation of re-use of WEEE in Ireland, including the approval of preparing for reuse organisations. A copy of the standard is available to purchase from the British Standards Institute (http://shop.bsigroup.com/). 

What happens if an item of WEEE intended to be ‘prepared for re-use’ was listed in a ‘product recall’?

It would be expected that the ‘approved preparation for re-use organisation’ should have a system in place that maintains records of product recalls that have been issued by the OEM. As part of the quality control check at product input level, all items should be checked against the product recall register. Recalled items should not be prepared for re-use.

What matters need to be addressed by the ‘approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation’ and the two approved WEEE Compliance Schemes?

Given the fact that the Preparing for Re-use of WEEE Organisations and both WEEE Compliance Schemes are each already approved to carry out set functions within agreed terms, the only outstanding matters that should be addressed are;

• Locations and times of access to WEEE • Onsite contact name and number of direct contact

• Contact name and number of preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation

• Details regarding segregation of WEEE (Regulation 17(3) S.I. 149 of 2014)

• Provision of authorised vehicle registration numbers and waste collection permit

• Proof of WEEE Register Society Ltd approval • Categories of WEEE to be collected

• Arrangements for return of residual WEEE

The above measures can be agreed between the parties by an exchange of letters and there is no need for contractual arrangements to be entered into for the purposes of the re-use initiative. An ‘approved preparing for re-use organisation’ may enter into an arrangement with either or both of the WEEE Compliance Schemes. It is important to note that all residual WEEE arising from the preparing for re-use process must be returned to the WEEE Compliance Scheme that it was collected from.

How will we know how much WEEE has been prepared for re-use?

WEEE Register Society will require any ‘approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation’ to maintain records and provide evidence on the quantities of WEEE that has been subject to preparing for reuse as well as quantities of residuals returned to the WEEE Compliance Schemes for treatment

Are retailers and Local Authority Civic Amenity Facilities obliged to provide access to ‘approved preparing for re-use organisations’ for the collection of WEEE?

No. Both of the WEEE collection points referred to above are expressly prohibited in the WEEE2 Regulations from allowing WEEE to be transferred to anyone except a producer/authorised representative, an organisation acting on behalf of a producer or an approved body (WEEE Compliance Schemes). Furthermore, Regulation 44 of the WEEE2 Regulations states that each key stakeholder, including distributors and local authorities are to ‘give priority to preparing for re-use of WEEE’

How will this system work in practice?

Once WEEE Register Society Ltd. registers and approves a ‘Preparing for Re-use of WEEE Organisation’, the ‘approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation will confirm it’s working arrangements with the two approved WEEE Compliance Schemes (ERP Ireland & WEEE Ireland) (see FAQ 7 below) who are responsible for the separate collection of WEEE from both retailer take-back systems and Local Authority Civic Amenity sites. Both approved WEEE Compliance Schemes are members of the ‘WEEELABEX’ Organisation4 and the normative requirements contained within the WEEELABEX’ Standards should enhance how this system should work, as it states inter alia:

WEEE shall not be handled in such a way that subsequent preparation for re-use, de-pollution, or recovery according to this normative document is adversely affected or even inhibited.

The requirement above, as well as the requirement in regulation 17(2) of S.I. 149 of 2014 states that ‘a producer or authorised representative shall ensure that the collection and transport of separately collected WEEE is carried out in a way which allows optimal conditions for preparing for re-use, recycling, recovery and the minimisation of emissions of hazardous substances’.

It is expected therefore that all parties involved will work together in a constructive and co-operative manner to ensure that re-use works effectively. As outlined earlier, in terms of overcoming any possible issues, we c

What is meant by the term ‘preparing for re-use’?

The purpose of the European Directive 2012/19/EU on WEEE is, firstly, the prevention of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and secondly, reuse, recycling, and other recovery (e.g. energy recovery) to reduce the disposal of waste. Re-use of used or waste electrical appliances is best explained as items being made available to the public and/or businesses in the format that was originally intended. Preparing for re-use is viewed as a means of diverting waste material away from landfill. It is seen as preferable to recycling and other forms of recovery in the waste hierarchy. Preparing for reuse ‘means checking, cleaning or repairing recovery operations, by which products or components of products that have become waste are prepared so that they can be re-used without any other preprocessing

What is an ‘approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation’?

An ‘approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation’ is defined in the new WEEE2 Regulations that transpose European Directive 2012/19/EU on WEEE as ‘a preparing for re-use of electrical and electronic equipment organisation approved and registered by the national registration body for the purposes of regulation 17(3)’. This means that in order to be granted access to WEEE for the purposes of ‘preparing for re-use’; your organisation must be approved and registered with ‘WEEE Register Society Ltd.’ (weeeregister.ie).

Why has this initiative been launched?

Research has demonstrated the crucial importance of promoting re-use of WEEE. In many instances products are being discarded when they are in full working order that could be diverted for re-use and resale. Although the most common reason for getting rid of WEEE is that it is broken, in many cases it seems that the item only requires repair or refurbishment. Development of a re-use sector provides an opportunity to make a significant contribution to social and economic growth by creating employment and ensuring real sustainable economic growth whilst at the same time minimising environmental pollution. Development of this opportunity is reflected in the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government (DoECLG)’s Waste Management Policy2 published in July 2012 which included proposals for a ‘National Re-use Policy’ for WEEE.

Legislative changes through European Directive 2012/19/EU on WEEE now oblige EU Member States to prioritise re-use at the earliest stages of WEEE take-back, separate WEEE for re-use and enable access for re-use centres or ‘approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisations’ to collected WEEE prior to any further transfer.

Regulation 17(3) in S.I. 149 therefore now provides that ‘prior to any further transfer for treatment, a producer or authorised representative shall provide for the separation at their collection points of WEEE that is to be prepared for re-use from other separately collected WEEE by granting access for personnel from approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisations that have been approved and registered by the registration body’.

Re-use of WEEE (particularly white goods) is already common practice and operating very successfully in many EU countries where it is predominantly carried out by social enterprises. Their experience in the development and implementation of re-use has seen the examination and resolution of a variety of issues to the satisfaction of many different stakeholders. We can use this experience to allow us to successfully develop our domestic regulatory and operational regime. Given the legislative imperative to implement re-use, all WEEE stakeholders will have to embrace re-use in order to utilise waste as a resource and ensure as much WEEE as possible is prepared for re-use so as to minimise environmental pollution and provide a market within which commercial and social economy interests might have the potential to grow employment in a sustainable manner

1 http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/value-re-using-household-waste-electrical-and-electronic-equipment, http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/research/waste/strive110-re-evaluate-reuseofelectricalandelectronicequipment.html

2 http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/Waste/PublicationsDocuments/FileDownLoad,30729,en.pdf