Engaging in policy and with industry

The Government is taking steps towards a circular Economy for Electronic goods and as part of this DEFRA are due to consult on changing the WEEE regulations at the end of this year. We are yet to hear whether this will be delayed due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The planned Government consultation is part of the Resource and Waste Strategy released at the end of 2019 and it is set to change WEEEE compliance requirements. It is expected that the revised regulations will address reuse & repair, ecomodulation, labelling and modulated fees. The ultimate aim of this is to improve the circularity of electronic equipment and to ensure sound treatment at end of life.

Whilst we await the future consultation, there is a great deal of activity taking place behind the scenes and as Scheme Manager I felt that it would be useful to explain how B2B Compliance is engaging in policy and with industry to best support our members with regards to any future potential changes.

Critically, as one of the few compliance schemes who are primarily focused on B2B producers, it is important that we actively represent our member base to ensure that the regulations take into account the way that B2B businesses work and the nuanced differences that B2B product types present.

The Joint Trade Association

The JTA was formed to represent the views of producers of electrical and electronic equipment and members of the JTA include AMDEA, BEAMA, BIPBA, BTHA, EEF, GAMBICA, LIA, PETMA, SEAMA and techUK.

B2B Compliance is a producer led scheme originally set up by GAMBICA, the trade association for instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology in the UK. Therefore, it is important for us to be a member of the Joint Trade Association (JTA).

This group discusses industry updates and collates feedback for industry and DEFRA from a producer perspective. The group has created working groups to discuss specific topics such as the B2B regulations and ecomodulation & labelling and POPs.

The WEEE Scheme Forum and ICER

The WEEE Scheme Forum (WSF) is a group of WEEE Compliance Schemes who meet to discuss industry matters. ICER (The Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling) is a similar group but includes producers, treatment facilities and waste management companies.

These groups enable B2B Compliance to discuss common dilemmas and stumbling blocks that all compliance schemes experience. The environmental agencies also attend so that they can understand in detail the issues that producers and compliance schemes are experiencing and can consider these when regulating and auditing. We are also able to discuss ways that the GOV.UK wording should be updated to be better understood.

The WSF created a Scoping Panel after Open Scope came into force in 2019. This is a group which discusses hard to scope items from the wonderful world of EEE. I am fortunate to be the chair of this group, which puts me in a fantastic position to guide our members with scoping decisions and methodologies.

Each compliance scheme puts forward items for discussion and the group comes to a common decision on how those items should be scoped. The panel then has quarterly meetings with the Environment agency to gain agreement on the scoping decisions made.

For those of you that are also GAMBICA members, I also attend the Environmental Regulatory Committee and will soon be presenting there on Producer Responsibility.

The JTA and WSF both individually have working groups to focus specifically on the B2B regulations. I have an integral role in these groups and have been producing some feedback documents to aid discussions.

Have your say

We are very interested in gaining feedback directly from our members. Please let us know where you feel the B2B regulations are flawed and where you think the B2B regulations succeed in their goal so that we can feedback you views.

We understand that the new regulatory changes are likely to have a huge impact on B2B producers,in a different way to B2C producers. I will have the opportunity to feedback in detail directly to DEFRA, specifically regarding the problems encountered by our member base, so please do get in touch to share your views.