A compromise deal revising the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Directive was agreed between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in late December 2011. The proposal to revise the Directive was originally made by the European Commission in 2008.
The deal makes a number of changes to the existing arrangements for WEEE:
- The scope of application of the WEEE Directive i.e. to the ten existing categories of equipment, will remain unchanged for 6 years after the revised rules come into force.
- After 6 years, the scope of application of the WEEE Directive will be opened to include all electronic and electrical equipment, unless specifically exempted.
- The producer of the electronic and electrical equipment is no longer the explicit addressee of the recovery target.
- After 4 years, the recovery target will be 45% of electronic and electrical equipment placed on the market.
- After 7 years, there will be a move to introduce a target based on the volume of WEEE generated.
- Producers will continue to be defined at a national level, although authorised representatives may be appointed for producers that are not established within a Member State.
- Greater harmonisation and cooperation between national WEEE registers.
- WEEE treatment standards to be developed.
- Focus on application of Eco-Design Directive requirements.
The revised Directive has been formally approved by the European Parliament and is awaiting adoption by the Council. It will then be published in the Official Journal of the EU before taking effect. Members States will then be required to transpose the legislation into national law.