On 24th October Germany released their long awaited regulations transposing the recast WEEE Directive. But the implementation has raised alarms for UK business who may hold new obligations under this far reaching legislation.
What does this German legislation mean to the UK?
The new German WEEE regulations can place responsibility on companies who offer delivery or supply of products into customers from another member state, even if the company does not have a legal presence in Germany. This means that many new companies, as well as companies who were registered under the old system, will need to review their compliance solutions again.
If you are a UK company selling electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) directly into Germany you will need to consider the following:
- If the company supplies EEE to Germany via online store, or makes delivery available (even before a sale is made), the company could be obligated. This is because, under German law, if obligated, you may not sell EEE to Germany unless you are first registered with the German “clearing house” Elektro-Altgeräte Register (EAR).
- If, before 24th October, you were registered correctly with the German “clearing house” EAR, this registration is no longer valid for companies who are registered as a UK producer without a German legal base. There is now a requirement on UK Producers to appoint an Authorised Representative (AR) in Germany who must fulfil your obligations on your behalf within 6 months of 24th Oct. If not already registered with EAR, the UK company must register and appoint an AR immediately.
In addition night storage heaters, PV modules or luminaries for use in private households are now in scope and Producers of these products will now be affected by the same requirements for all household EEE producers, who must provide a financial guarantee in case of insolvency.
What needs to happen?
Following the 24th October 2015 regulations the next major milestone is 24th January 2016, by which time producers and distributors of PV modules and luminaires for households must have a valid registration with the EAR. Also, producers and distributors who already takeback waste must register these facilities with EAR by this date.
After 6 months from the release of the new Regulations, on or by 24th April 2016, companies without a legal base in Germany must appoint an AR, or register a legal entity in Germany themselves, who in turn register with the EAR.
By 24th July 2016 large distributors, resellers and retailers must start to take back waste from customers, and have these facilities registered with the German EAR.
What should I do next?
Companies should take action now. Where a company is obligated, both the registration as producer and the registration of the AR requires approval by EAR, which can take up to 12 weeks, which is why the legislation allows between 3-6 months for new registrations.
B2B Compliance recognises that many of the specialist products that our members’ supply may be destined for Germany. Our technical specialists are available to help you understand what this legislation means to your business and what to do next. With European support services available through B2B Compliance or our approved partners in Germany we can help you take the next step to cover any responsibilities. If you have concerns about your responsibilities in Germany contact our Membership Services team on 0845 680 9829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.