Both the Environment Agency and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have welcomed the official launch of a reuse specification for used electrical items which is expected to make it easier to identify illegal shipments of WEEE. The PAS 141 specification has been developed by industry experts working with BIS and will be awarded to ‘treatment’ facilities who comply with best practice in preparing used electrical items for reuse. The standard was officially launched on 27th February following the appointment of an assessment body to issue accreditation to treatment facilities – generally those who hold waste management licences. Treatment operators will be audited to ensure compliance with the standard on testing, dismantling, refurbishing and transporting used equipment. The auditing of premises that collect used EEE, which is not defined as waste, does not appear to be addressed and, as the standard is not a compulsory requirement, there are many companies, particularly in the IT refurbishment field, which will not be affected. It is thought, however, that PAS 141 could make it easier for regulators to identify illegal exports of WEEE which are often masked as legal shipments of electrical goods for reuse, as well as reassuring end users over quality. EU waste shipment guidelines call for a ‘test’ to differentiate between reuse and the illegal exports of waste it fails and it is hoped that PAS 141 will meet this requirement.