The next deadline of staggered changes we announced earlier of Germany’s transposition of WEEE directive (WEEE II) now affects UK companies supplying into Germany. If your company offers delivery or sells directly to customers through distance communication methods (such as an online store, email, phone or catalogues), then you may need to take action.
Requirements include the appointment of an authorised representative (AR) and introduction of WEEE takeback for large retailers or distant sellers.
As a result of the Regulatory change in Germany, the previous registrations of foreign companies with the German WEEE Register and central authority, Stiftung EAR, technically should expire in April 2016.
What should our company do to comply?
Companies selling into Germany from abroad were required to either have set up a German legal entity or appointed an Authorized Representative to re-register the company and act on its behalf.
Selling into Germany is illegal without a valid WEEE registration
Without an approved registration, producers may not sell EEE to German customers. In a recent statement Stiftung EAR confirmed that the deadline for foreign registrations to be renewed had passed, but that the existing registrations would not automatically expire – as previously feared – at the end of April 2016.
The German WEEE authority is instead contacting producers in the UK requesting further information as to why they are no longer registered, or, if they should have registered, confirming when the UK company intends to re-register with an local AR. This is the first step under German administrative law, which can result in legal steps leading to cancellation of the existing WEEE registrations in Germany after which companies can be pursued under German administrative and anti-competition law.
Do you sell direct to German customers (B2B or B2C) or simply offer delivery to Germany either through your website, or via phone, catalogue or other mail-order?
If your website or catalogue currently allows for delivery to Germany you could already be obligated. Separate registrations – needed for the Authorized Representative (in case of selling from abroad), the producer, each brand that this producer sells and the financial guarantee (B2C only) – can each take up to 8 weeks to be finalized at Stiftung EAR.
Does your company have direct takeback obligations as an (Online) Retailer or Distributor?
Waste takeback obligations will begin from 27 July 2016 and affect B2B and B2C distributors and retailers with a sales space (“stationary” retailer) and storage or distribution space (online retailer) of > 400 m².
1.) Do you have any storage or distribution space of > 400 m² in Germany?
If yes, you may have an obligation as a producer and distributor in Germany.
2.) Do you sell through a fulfilment service, such as Amazon or E-bay?
If yes, you must clarify whether this service has a storage or distribution space of > 400 m² in Germany, as this could obligate you for online retailer takeback.
Where do I start?
European legislation is large and complex, so B2B Compliance provides a modular support solution to compliance. This has allowed members to clarify whether they are compliant and correctly registered with the local authorities across Europe, and where necessary gives guidance on the next steps your company should take to comply.
Contact our firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free meeting to discuss your European compliance requirements.