WEEE (Waste and Electrical and Electronic Equipment)

The amount of electrical and electronic waste has steadily increased. In Germany alone, around two million tons are produced annually. On February 13th, 2003, two EU Directives came into force to tackle this problem. The WEEE Directive 2002/96/ EC requires the return and disposal of electrical and electronic waste while the Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS) restricts the use of certain hazardous substances. In Germany, both Directives have been implemented into the ElektroG (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act). German manufacturers and importers are obliged to take back and dispose of electrical and electronic waste free of charge. This will come into effect on March 24, 2006

Which waste categories fall within the ElektroG – WEEE?

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

Purpose of the ElektroG – WEEE: To reduce waste arising from electrical and electronic equipment, restore the environmental impact as well as to preserve raw materials.

The manufacturers are now resposible for their products and must guarantee an environmentally-friendly disposal of electrical and electronic waste, The producers are responsible for the disposal costs, therefore, a reduction in these costs is already a priority during the development stages of electrical and electronic devices. An increase in quality and lifespan as well as a good dismantling and high recycling component rate contribute to a general reduction in disposal costs.

Each manufacturer must register with EAR (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste Register) and include amounts before electrical and electronic devices can be distributed within the German market. This came into force on November 23, 2005. Other responsibilities include:

  • Easily identifiable labelling
  • Provide a solvency guarantee to the competent authority
  • Verify and organise disposal of waste

New WEEE 2012/19/EU Legislation Approved

The new WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) legislation has been adopted by the European Parliament and comes into force on 13 August. Member States are required to implement the new provisions into their own national legislation within 18 months.

The most important new provisions of the WEEE directive 2012/19/EU:


The ten categories in use until now will continue to be used during a transitional period of six years following the new directive coming into force. After that, the scope is open and consists of six categories of equipment. From 15 August 2018, all electrical and electronic equipment will fall within the scope of the WEEE Directive. The existing general exceptions remain in place.

Collection Rate

The onus is on Member States, not producers, to meet collection rates.

  • Until 31 December 2015, the collection rate remains at its current level of at least 4kg per inhabitant per year.
  • From 1 Jan 2016, for most EU Member States, the collection rate shall be 45 % of the average weight of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market in the preceding three years.
  • From 2019, the collection rate will be increased to 65% of the average weight of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market in the preceding three years, or alternatively 85% of WEEE generated in that Member State.

Recovery and recycling rates

  • Remain at current levels for the next three years.
  • After three years, recycling rates are to be increased by 5% (see appendix V to 2012/19/EU).
  • After six years, new recovery and recycling rates for the six categories are planned (for recovery, between 75% and 85%, for recycling between 55% and 80%).

Producers and national registration

Instead of establishing a branch in every Member State in which they sell their products, a producer can appoint an authorised representative for national registration purposes for distance selling and/or normal export of their products. However, the prerequisite for this is that the producer be established in another Member State. With this regulation, future internet-based trade will also be taken into account.

Additional changes

  • Registration will be standardised Europe-wide
  • Only one form will be required. However, this form will need to be submitted in every country in which the company’s products are to be placed on the market.
  • There is a general obligation for WEEE to be collected at retail shops. However, this collection obligation will only apply to small items of equipment with no external dimension larger than 25cm. In addition, the collection obligation only applies where the retail shop has sales areas for EEE of at least 400 square metres. Smaller retail stores and handicraft shops will not be affected by this regulation.

We have registered with the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste Register (EAR) for articles in accordance with §6 Abs.2 ElektroG.