SAFEGUARDS | Electrical & ElectronicsNO. 048/16

SafeGuardS electronic waste

WEEE Directive (EU 2012/19/EU) has been updated to include an “open scope” encompassing all electrical and electronic (EE) equipment and allow distance sellers, sellers and manufacturers of EE equipment who are not EU based, to appoint an authorized representative to fulfill their obligations.

The WEEE directive (2012/19/EU) is a piece of European Union (EU) legislation on extended producer responsibility. It is designed to prevent the waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and places special responsibilities on producers to ensure that equipment is recovered, reused or recycled. Manufacturers and/or importers must contribute financially to cover the cost of collecting, treating and disposing of professional and household electrical and electronic equipment in an environmentally friendly manner. In addition, the WEEE Directive imposes labeling requirements, and compels producers to register and report in each Member State where they place electrical and electronic equipment. Producer, manufacturer and importer obligations differ depending on whether the WEEE is from private households or other sources. Distributors also have obligations related to the management of waste equipment.

WEEE directive (Directive 2002/96/EC) entered into force in 2003 and was updated and recast as the WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU. The latter entered into force in August 2012 and became effective in February 2014. The deadline for transposition into each Member State’s national law was 2014, but not all Member States met the deadline and, for instance, Germany’s transposition became effective in autumn 2015.

The current WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) made important changes to the scope:

  • From August 15 2018, the WEEE directive will have an “open scope”. Any equipment that falls under the definition of electrical and electronic equipment is within scope (exemptions remain for certain items such as large-scale stationary industrial machinery and military material). Also, electrical and electronic equipment shall be classified under six categories (previously 10)
  • When transposed into national law (January 1 2014 in the UK, for example), photovoltaic panels came within the scope of the WEEE directive

Authorized Representatives

The recast WEEE directive also specifies that distance sellers, sellers and manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment who are not established in a given EU Member State, can appoint a local Authorized Representative to fulfill their obligations as a producer of electrical and electronic equipment in that Member State. For instance, the Authorized Representative registers in the national registry of electrical and electronic equipment producers and may join a collective compliance scheme on the behalf of the foreign producer.

Compliance Services

In Finland, SGS Fimko offers Producer Responsibility services for compliance with requirements such as the WEEE directive in the EU, and equivalent requirements in other countries. Our services include:

  • Tailor-made requirements survey

  • Regulatory monitoring

  • Full compliance management advisory services

As the world’s leader in third party testing SGS has the global knowledge and local expertise to help you achieve compliance with Electrical & Electronics regulations covering product safety, EMC, hazardous substances (RoHS, REACH, SVHC etc), energy efficiency, Ecodesign, ErP, Performance and Reliability as well as with many other consumer product related requirements. Whether you are in need of testing or services in the fields of inspection, certification, compliance assurance, outsourcing, training or auditing SGS is ideally positioned to satisfy your needs.


For enquiries, please contact:

Adeline Maijala
Senior specialist – Requirements and Development, Certification Service

Stay on top of regulatory changes within your industry: subscribe to SafeGuardS!

© SGS Group Management SA – 2016– All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.