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The Directorate General (DG) for the Environment of the European Commission has published a first draft of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the new WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU with the purpose of providing assistance to competent public authorities and economic operators in the interpretation of the provisions of the Directive, which entered into force on 13 August 2012.

The draft clarifies that from 15 August 2018, all categories of EEE (e.g. lamps and luminaries, consumables, components, printer cartridges and inverters) will fall under the new WEEE Directive. The recast Directive is intended to increase the collection, reuse and recycling of EEE and thus expands the definition of ‘manufacturer’ to include ’importer’. This measure provides EU Member States with the instruments to combat illegal shipments of WEEE disguised as sued equipment, which are meant to by-pass EU waste regulations.

A clarification of the responsibilities of retailers in regards to discarded equipment is also outlined. Any retail store with an EEE sales area of at least 400m2 has the obligation to accept discarded items when an equivalent is purchased and it must also collect small WEEE (less than 25cm) free of charge to end consumers.

The FAQ document is not intended to be legally binding and it is subject to updates when necessary.

Resource Information: Draft-FAQ on Directive 2012/19/EU on WEEE