Dual use debate continues

Just when you thought the new WEEE Regulations had been implemented with only a positive outcome for producers, earlier this summer BIS issued the consultation on dual use.

As a result of UK versus European Commission adopting what initially looked like a slight variance in interpretations, the implications are now looking much bigger than anticipated based on the feedback we are getting from recent stakeholder events. The Dual Use case was complicated by the EC delaying the publication of FAQ’s and guidance that BIS would normally align with – avoiding such problems in differing interpretations. Since, however, the EC guidance has been published with a change to defining B2B EEE, the differences are now apparent and the impact on Producers’ financing obligations could be significant. The EC FAQ’s state;

1.15. What is ‘dual-use’ equipment and how is it registered?

EEE that is likely to be used by private households as well as by users other than private households shall be considered to be ‘dual-use’ EEE.

The term ‘likely to be used’ needs to be interpreted by the Member States based on the context applicable for the specific equipment."

Dual Use focuses on EEE products that are, by nature, designed for both “household” (B2C) or “professional” (B2B) use. In today’s modern supply chain and retail markets, where you can source virtually everything from the internet, this poses some ambiguity as what is unintentional, and what is likely. These phrases now become key pieces of the jigsaw in the Dual Use debate.

With the outcome just around the corner, and an expected implementation date of 1 January 2015, Producers need to be aware of the revised scoping of their products. For a company previously reporting B2B EEE, under the new interpretation their products may shift to a B2C obligation which brings; 

  • Quarterly data reporting (instead of annual),

  • Take back obligation from householders (where a Producer also sells direct to householders),

  • Recycling obligations based on a market share of the relevant category of EEE (instead of pay-as-you-go collection requests).

The latter of these we anticipate will have the biggest splash with costs being carried by more businesses across the UK, as their products are scoped to be B2C instead of the previous B2B definition under the old regulations.

There are also downstream impacts on traditional B2B distributors who will now carry a retailer obligation and will be required to offer “in-store” take back or, alternatively, pay to join the national Distributor Take-back Scheme (which finances local authority collection points) to discharge this responsibility, as well as training employees and providing point of sale information to customers.

ecosurety will be releasing further information and recommendations to members shortly via our newsletter, webinars and Account Specialists. In the meantime we have a team of experts and a number of scoping support packages that can help with the quick turnaround necessary for 1st January reclassification.


James Champ

Technical manager

James joined the compliance team in August 2012 and now holds the role of technical manager. He is responsible for managing all regulator requirements across packaging, WEEE and batteries compliance regulations, and for overseeing our WEEE and batteries collections. In particular, James takes an active interest in quality improvement both for clients' data methodologies and internally to improve business efficiency.

Written by James Champ Published 17/09/2014 Topics Compliance

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