Following on from discussions with key stakeholder groups, including B2B Compliance, the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has released its formal response to the recent consultation on the interpretation of “Dual use” of EEE (see below).

The current interpretation will change, in line with the EC FAQ position, to look at the nature of the product to determine whether the EEE/WEEE is classified as household (B2C) or non-household (B2B). This means that if EEE can be used in both households and in businesses it will be considered dual-use EEE and would need to be reported as B2C. While reporting of dual use EEE will take place during 2015 it will not be until 2016 until the collection obligations, and therefore the cost implications, trigger in.

As the leading B2B sector representative Producer Compliance Scheme B2B Compliance has worked with BIS to highlight the impacts that this reclassification will have on a number of companies in the B2B sector. In the light of this, the next steps that BIS will take will be to carry out a more detailed assessment of the financial pressures involved for businesses and plan for any actions that need to be in place during the transition period.

David Burton, Project Director of B2B Compliance comments, “Whilst the interpretation will now follow the position in the FAQ and satisfy the pressures that the UK was facing from Europe, we are confident that BIS will factor in the challenges that this interpretation will pose to the B2B industry. We will work with BIS as they assess the financial and practical pressures involved in reclassification and are confident that we can achieve some exemptions to the rule for some of our key clients.”

The BIS response reads:

WASTE ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT (WEEE) REGULATIONS: INTERPRETATION OF HOUSEHOLD WEEE

“You will recall that following the publication of the European Commission’s WEEE FAQ document earlier this year we conducted a review of our interpretation of WEEE from Private Households. We invited input to that review from you and your members.

We have considered views made by stakeholders very carefully. It is clear that a change, consistent with the Commission’s FAQ document, would result in changes in the distribution of cost amongst producers. It is therefore important that businesses have sufficient time to adjust to that change.

Ministers have concluded that our statutory guidance should be amended to introduce the concept of “dual use” (ie. the classification of WEEE arising from businesses as household WEEE if it is a product that can be used in both households and business premises) into the UK WEEE system with effect from 1 January 2016. This would require producers placing EEE on the market in 2015 to report “dual use” EEE as B2C. Our guidance will be consistent with the position on dual use as set out in the European Commission’s WEEE FAQ.

In the meantime we will undertake more work to better understand the costs and benefits of this change. In light of this more detailed assessment we will be better able to understand where additional financial pressures may arise on businesses and consider what, if any, action needs to be taken to assist in the transition to working to the revised definition of WEEE from Private Households. The purpose of this work will be to inform guidance that we will publish to assist producers and recyclers to correctly classify EEE and WEEE as either household or non-household. We aim to conclude this work by March 2015. Producers, using this guidance, would then be required to classify products placed on the UK market as either household or non-household in 2015. That data would then be used to apportion the 2016 household WEEE collection targets according to market share.”