Germany has finally adopted draft legislation implementing the recast WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU.
UK producers that sell directly to customers in Germany, through an online store or by mail order, or have a legal sales presence in the country, could face significant changes to the scope of their obligations – even if they currently comply with German WEEE regulations.
The new law, ElektroG2, is expected to enter into force on 10 August 2015 with some action required by obligated producers from that date, and certain product groups (such as PV panels and luminaires in private households) moving into scope later in the year.
How will this impact UK producers selling in Germany?
From the date the new law enters into force, the mere ‘offering for sale’ of electrical and electronic equipment in Germany will qualify companies to be considered ‘producers’. The obligation begins from the moment a product in scope is advertised, be it online or in sales brochures. The actual placing on the market, or sale of a product, is no longer required as an obligation criteria.
Obligated producers without a legal presence in Germany can no longer register or remain registered.
Foreign companies will be required to either set up a branch in Germany or appoint an Authorised Representative (AR), established in Germany, who will fulfil all registration and reporting requirements on their behalf. This must take place within six months of ElektroG2 coming into force.
Photovoltaic modules and luminaires in private households – currently exempt from obligations in Germany - will move into scope only three months after ElektroG2 comes into effect. By November 2015, obligated producers and brands must be fully registered with Stiftung EAR. These are the first changes in a move to an ‘open scope’ which will include all EEE (unless explicitly excluded) and reduce the current ten product categories to only six by 18 August 2018.
In addition to these changes, new take-back requirements will come into effect for retailers and distributors and the current regulations for insolvency guarantees and administrative fees will be amended.
If you think these changes could impact your business, please contact our team for more information by calling 0845 094 2228.