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On 20 December 2011, the European Parliament and European Council have reached an agreement regarding the revision of the WEEE Directive (the Waste of Electrical & Electronic Equipment). This agreement was approved by the European Parliament during a second-reading vote on 19 January 2012. Key amendments concern the basis for calculating collection rates.

Before the proposed amendments, the method for calculating the collection rates was four kg / inhabitant / year. This method will be kept for another four years starting from the moment the amended directive comes into force. From the fifth year, during the next three years, collection rates will be calculated based on 45% of the weight of E&E products that have entered the market. These first seven years will constitute the transitional period. Once the transitional period is over, the European Union (EU) member states will be given the option to choose the collection calculation method. The two options will be: 65% of the weight of equipment that was placed on the market or 85% of the weight of waste equipment.

The directive includes only six categories of equipment after the transition period, according to Article 2, 1, (b) and Annex III, instead of ten categories. The introduction of an ‘open scope’ after six years is mentioned. Under the old directive, only certain products were covered, but the open scope means that all equipment that meets the definition outlined in the directive will now be covered.

Another significant amendment is the one to the definition of a producer of electrical and electronic waste, which has been extended from ‘an entity that introduces equipment in a given state’ to include ‘any entity placing equipment on the market’. Harmonised registers of all producers will now have to be stored online and member states will have the ability to share information in this regard.

Information Source: European Parliament Legislative

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