March 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Packaging Regulation Proposal

European_Commission

In November 2022, the European Commission proposed a European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, addressing crucial sustainability and safety topics throughout packaging’s entire life cycle. A key distinction between the proposed Regulation and current Packaging Directive is that the Regulation will create a harmonized framework for all EU Member States without transposition in their local legal system. If approved, the Regulation will repeal the currently in force Packaging Directive.

Key aspects:

  • Obligations for all parties in the supply chain who place packaging on the EU market, for all packaging levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), and all packaging materials
  • New obligations throughout the life cycle of packaging, starting from its design and manufacturing to its end-of-life. Touching upon topics such as:
    • Recyclability
    • Minimum recycled content in plastic packaging
    • Targets for reusable packaging usage
    • Harmonized packaging labeling
    • Mandatory Authorized Representative appointment in each Member State where the obligated party places products on the market
    • Provisions on communication of information to end users
  • Prohibition on Member States introducing additional sustainability requirements if they are contrary to the Regulation’s provisions or restrict the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market

It is of note that the provision forbidding contrary or restrictive sustainability requirements is in line with the recent infringement procedure by the EU Commission that included the France Triman labeling requirements. More specifically, the Triman initiative has been considered an action that leads to the fragmentation of the Single Market; the EU Commission has called France to comply with its legal obligations deriving from the EU law. France has until 15th of April 2023 to respond to the concerns of the EU Commission.

The legislative process for drafts like the Packaging Regulation lasts around 18 months but there are steps that you can take to prepare. Please contact Accerio for more information and assistance preparing for the Packaging Regulation.

New E-Waste Rules in India

The Indian government announced new E-Waste Management Rules (E-Waste Rules) on November 2nd, 2022 that are set to enter into force on April 1st, 2023. The E-Waste Rules will replace the E-Waste Management Rules 2016. The legislation will apply to manufacturers, producers, refurbishers, dismantlers, and recyclers involved in any part of the product’s life. The scope has been greatly expanded from the 2016 E-Waste Rules to include solar photo-voltaic panels, certain IT equipment, additional consumer devices, tools and appliances, as well as medical devices.

Manufacturers and Producers shall comply with Extended Producer Responsibility obligations, which among others, are:

  • Registration through the new centralized portal
  • Fulfillment of annual EPR targets
  • Submitting annual and quarterly reports

The E-Waste Rules also allow for reductions in management quantity through purchasing refurbishing certificates. Additionally, there are important changes to the responsibilities of Bulk Consumers, reducing their obligations and shifting responsibilities to other parties in the supply chain. Contact Accerio for an assessment of your obligations under India’s new E-Waste Management Rules.

Belgium Draft Repairability and Durability Legislation

Eco Design repair screen

In September 2022, the Belgium Ministry of Environment published a draft law together with three draft decrees on the subjects of Repairability and Durability score for electronic devices (as well as software compatibility). The draft law introduces a repairability index for electronic devices. The proposed standards are similar to those in France’s 2020 AGEC Law. Belgium’s proposed index is based on several criteria, such as the availability of technical information and maintenance manuals, the ease with which the product can be dismantled, the availability of spare parts and their delivery time, and the price of spare parts.

The new law will also be introducing a durability index as a possible way to supplement the repairability index. The draft decree provides the modalities of communication, format of the repairability index and accessibility to technical standards, a software compatibility obligation, as well as the products covered by the repairability score (some examples of the covered products are washing machines, smartphones, TVs, and laptops).

Public consultation on the drafts closed on the 22nd of March 2023. The drafts are now in the first reading phase at the Federal government level and a publishing date has yet to be announced. The drafts are scheduled to enter into force 6 months after its publication.

December 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: December 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Updated Austrian Packaging Legislation

blue bubble wrap

In January 2023, the updated packaging legislation (Verpackungsverordnung) will come into force in Austria. There are several critical changes that impact foreign producers; many already registered producers must take action to maintain compliance under the new law.

Changes include:

  • Online marketplaces are required to confirm that their sellers are properly registered
  • Foreign distance sellers must appoint an Authorized Representative for packaging
  • Producers from EU Member States who are voluntarily taking over Austrian reseller obligations must also appoint an Authorized Representative
  • Non-EU producers cannot voluntarily take over Austrian reseller packaging obligations

Any entity can be appointed as Authorized Representative; if your company doesn’t have an Austrian entity, Accerio will register you with a third-party to keep your registration compliant.

Mexico Draft EEE Packaging Labeling Standard

In August 2022, the Mexican Federal government published a draft of the Official Mexican Standard (Norma Oficial Mexicana or NOM) No. 024-SE-2022 regarding the information to be included in the packaging, instructions or manuals, and warranties of electronic and electric equipment (EEE). The Standard would apply to all new, refurbished, rebuilt, used or second hand, discontinued EEE and household electronic appliances, as well as its spare parts, accessories, and consumables that are marketed in the Mexican territory.

The Draft details the minimum required information that should be included on the packaging or containers, instruction manuals, and warranties of EEE and household appliances. The labeling must contain, among other things, details such as the company name, manufacturing location, product type, electrical characteristics, and hazardous product warning in Spanish. Further information on the format and label dimensions are expected to be included as an Annex to the Standard.

There are specific exemptions for certain types of EEE, though most EEE will require warnings when they are hazardous products. The Standard is still under discussion; contact Accerio for more information if your company places product on the market in Mexico.

Italian Packaging Labeling Requirements

In November 2022, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security published their Environmental Labeling Guidelines to provide clarity to the upcoming requirements. All packaging being placed in the Italian market needs to have an environmental label by 1 January 2023.

The obligation is for all packaging to:

  • be appropriately labeled in accordance with the procedures laid down in the applicable UNI technical standards
  • be appropriately labeled in compliance with the decisions of the European Commission: to facilitate the collection, reuse and recycling of packaging
  • provide consumers with proper information on the final destination of packaging

The new Environmental Labeling Guidelines confirm much of the guidance already provided by Consortium CONAI. However, the guideline provides additional clarification on the allowance for digital tools and alternatives for conveying the labeling information. Please reach out to Accerio for additional information and labeling guidance.

Canadian Consultation Papers on Plastics

The Canadian Government published two consultation papers on plastic to guide development of national-level legislation. Currently, Canadian Extended Producer Responsibility laws on packaging are only implemented by a few provinces and territories, with a focus on waste ending up with household consumers. The first consultation paper proposes a federal plastics registry for producers to report on metrics like diversion, reuse, recycling, and energy recovery of plastics placed on the market in Canada. The federal government is hoping to collect data on all plastic packaging, considering a large portion of the market is not captured in provincial EPR programs.

The second consultation paper outlines plastic and compostable product labeling for primary and secondary product packaging as well as single-use and short-term plastic products to reduce confusion and increase the proper sorting of recyclable materials and organic waste. Plastic diversion outcomes are highly dependent on public knowledge of proper waste sorting, which in turn impacts the amount of contamination in certain waste streams. The primary goals of the labeling are to reach zero plastic waste by 2030 and ensure that 80% of Canadians have access to reliable recycling.

Draft legislation is expected mid-2023 and would provide additional details of the proposed labelling and registry.

September 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

California Packaging and Battery EPR Laws

California

Several advances have been made to introduce EPR legislation in California over the course of 2022. This summer, Senate Bill 54 was passed to create an EPR packaging program. The law aims to reduce and eliminate single-use packaging, increase compostable packaging on the market, and move towards increasing recyclability of packaging. In-scope products include single-use packaging and plastic single-use food service ware imported or sold in California, which must be recyclable or compostable by 2032. To comply, producers can either form or join a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) by 2024.

Two California battery laws passed as well. The first law, the Responsible Battery Recycling Act of 2022 (AB 2440), introduces EPR on easily removable batteries and will replace the current Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act of 2006, repealing the old law starting January 1, 2027. Obligated producers must join a stewardship program for the collection and recycling of covered batteries. The second law, SB 1215, expands the definition of covered devices in the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 to include battery-embedded products. Starting January 1, 2026, retailers are responsible for charging the California consumer a visible fee for each product purchased with batteries that cannot be easily removed.

Please contact Accerio for more information if your company is currently selling or plans to sell products in California.

New India EPR Rules and Draft Rules

The India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has made recent changes to extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations. The Ministry issued new rules for battery and packaging, and is working on the draft for WEEE management. 

Most recently issued are the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 that replace the Batteries Management and Handling rules from 2001. Local producers and importers of batteries will be responsible for collection and recycling or refurbishment of waste batteries. The updates also include an improved system for producers to report on their obligations via an online EPR portal.  Obligated producers can comply through a collective organization or through an individual system. 

In February of 2022, the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 were amended to include details on plastic packaging EPR. The rules obligate producers, importers, brand owners and plastic waste processors to follow EPR requirements for four categories of plastic packaging.

There are also proposed changes to the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016. Most impactful would be the expansion of product scope to include additional categories of IT and household electronics. Please reach out to Accerio if your company imports product into India and would like an assessment of obligations.

Implementation of the EU Packaging Levy

European_Commission

The EU Packaging Levy was published in 2020 to support the goals of the EU Green Deal and the Recovery plan for Europe (also known as Europe’s Covid-19 recovery package). EU Member States must contribute €0.80 for each kg of plastic packaging waste that is not recycled at end of life (based on average Eurostat data in respective base years).

Each Member State can either cover these costs via their national budget or pass them through to the respective industry streams by:

  • Introducing a new Plastic Packaging Taxation on non-recycled plastics
  • Integrating them into existing packaging-related taxes or fees, such as EPR fees
  • Introducing other fiscal measures such as reduced subsidies or tax and fee exemptions

Some Member States have already introduced a new plastic tax (such as Spain and Italy) and more are expected to follow suit. As this taxation is focusing on non-recycled content so far, the demand for recycled plastic is expected to rise significantly.

Spain Packaging and Packaging Waste Law

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The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has proposed a new Packaging and Packaging Waste Law to replace Law 11/1997 of 24 April 1997. The draft law would incorporate the EU Packaging Directive and the EU SUP Directive into the Spanish legal framework.

Key proposed changes are:

  • Expanded scope of EPR regulations to include household, commercial and industrial packaging
  • An obligation for producers to register in a new Packaging National Register and be responsible for the environmentally sound management of the packaging they place in the Spanish market. All foreign producers are obligated to appoint an AR
  • Obligations for online marketplaces to bear responsibility as a subsidiary producer, for products placed on the Spanish market via their platform in the case that the foreign producer has not registered
  • Options for producers to comply collectively or individually, with additional obligations for large producers to set up and apply a prevention and eco-design business plan

This law is currently in a revision phase. The EU Commission has issued their Expert Opinion urging the Spanish Government to reconsider some of the dispositions in the draft that have been considered by the Commission as creating obstacles to the free movement of goods, or the provision of services, as well as possible cases of non-conformity with Union Law. Consequently, the publication of the Law is suspended until November 7, 2022 and is subject to informing the Commission of the measures it intends to take in response to the opinion. Accerio will update our clients once the law is published with next steps.

June 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: June 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Colorado Passes Packaging EPR Law

1280px-Flag_of_Colorado_designed_by_Andrew_Carlisle_Carson

Colorado is joining Maine and Oregon on the short list of US states to pass EPR packaging legislation. Colorado HB22-1355 passed the state senate in May and was signed into law in early June. The bill aims to increase the state’s recycling rate from 15% to 80% through a program that will be fully funded by producers.

The primary obligated producers are product brand holders selling primary/sales packaging materials and paper products, though there is a small producer exemption. Producers are required to appoint a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) or establish an approved individual plan by the first program deadline in January 2025.

Accerio is monitoring for decisions on details like exact targets, approved PRO’s, and costs; so please reach out if you sell products into Colorado to stay updated on program development.

An Introduction to European Eco-Modulation

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Eco-modulation (part of the eco-design concept) penalizes the use of materials that are less environmentally friendly and rewards the use of those with lesser environmental impacts. Its general goal is to promote eco-design approaches with producers on issues like waste prevention, reduction of highly polluting materials , and increased product lifespan, all leading to a more circular economy. Then through the eco-modulation fee structure of collective organizations, producers receive a return on investment for their eco-design efforts.

The first European country to introduce this concept was France. However, it has been gradually introduced in other EU Member States and now at the EU level. In January 2023, the EU Eco-Modulation Directive will come into force. Although this legislation is not yet in force, several EU countries have begun implementation of their own eco-modulation models.

Examples include:

  • Germany: Collectives are obligated to charge lower fees for packaging consisting of more recyclable materials.
  • Netherlands: There is an option to apply for a fee discount for packaging containing plastic that has higher recyclability or residual value.
  • UK: The authority is considering eco-modulations in the upcoming review of WEEE and Packaging legislation. Additionally, a new plastic packaging tax has been implemented for plastic packaging containing < 30% recycled content.
  • Czech Republic: Provisions for Eco-Modulation are in the national legislation; however, they are not yet implemented by collective organizations.
  • Estonia: From 2023, the collective organizations will modify the fees for packaging containing one material vs. composite materials (multilayered packaging).

Deadline for Germany Packaging Registration

The packaging legislation in Germany was revised in 2021 (an article on the topic can be viewed here), with an important upcoming implementation date for all obligated producers of packaging. From July 2022 onwards, all producers need to be registered at the packaging authority Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister.

Registration is now also required for packaging that ends up in purely industrial environments and transport packaging, while the prior legislation only required registration for packaging subject to system (scheme) participation. Producers of ‘non-scheme packaging’ must also maintain records of packaging taken back, though regular reporting to the authority is not required.

The registrations for non-scheme packaging can be completed now. Producers who are already registered with Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister and a scheme are encouraged to assess if they are selling non-scheme packaging as well. In that case, the existing registration at the authority must be updated to indicate additional packaging types.

United Kingdom Packaging EPR Reform

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The UK Packaging EPR legislation, that has been in force since 1997, fails to cover the full costs of disposing of packaging waste. A new EPR legislation, currently under consultation, aims to transfer the full cost of treating household packaging to the producers. This would make the producer responsible for the costs of their packaging throughout its life cycle, also known as the “polluter pays” principle. For packaging waste arising from businesses, producers will be responsible for contributing to a portion of the costs associated with recycling it when it becomes waste, through purchasing price-variable packaging recycling evidence (PRNs) in line with their business waste recycling obligation.

The new EPR system will obligate producers of household packaging to:

  • Meet new recycling targets
  • Pay higher fees for less sustainable packaging
  • Use clear unambiguous recyclability labelling to help consumers sort waste

Through these requirements, the draft legislation would encourage producers to reduce packaging material usage and use a higher percentage of recyclable packaging. The law is expected to come into force in 2023 and will impact companies with a UK presence who place obligated packaging on the UK market.

March 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

France Labeling Obligations for Household Products

According to the French Anti-waste Law and the respective Decrees published on the 29th of June 2021, producers placing Household products obligated under EPR on the French market are required to mark their products with the Triman symbol and the accompanying harmonized sorting information, as approved by the French Authorities.

The products affected are:

  • Household WEEE
  • Portable Batteries and Accumulators
  • Household Photovoltaic Panels
  • Household Lamps
  • Household Packaging

On the 15th of December 2021, the French Authorities approved harmonized sorting and return information that will accompany the Triman logo for the first four product categories. After thorough consultations, the respective eco-organizations confirmed the finalized format and issued the labelling guidelines for producers in mid-January 2022. The packaging information was approved earlier in 2021, with a slightly different format than the other four product categories.

The Triman symbol and the sorting information became mandatory on all household products as of 2022, though there is an extended period for producers to bring products into compliance. Please contact us for more information on the new requirements.

Phase 6 of the UK WEEE DTS is Up and Running!

Under the UK WEEE Regulation, household WEEE distributors are obligated to provide a free of charge, one-for-one basis take-back option to private end-users. This requires the distributor to take any product back for recycling when a private end-user buys a product that fulfills the same function, regardless of the EEE brand or its original seller.

Distributors have two compliance options to fulfill this requirement:

  • Offer in-store take-back of WEEE on a one-for-one basis or
  • Join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS)

DTS is an approved scheme by the UK government that has been running in two-year phases since 2007. The most recent phase (Phase 6) runs from the 1st of January 2022 through December 2023. Being a DTS member exempts distributors from the obligation to provide in-store one-for-one take-back. The DTS increases the rate of WEEE collection, reuse and recycling in the UK while making complying with take-back requirements feasible for foreign and online distributors. Accerio assesses clients for distributor obligations on an ongoing basis and makes recommendations on the best compliance options. Please contact us for more information on the DTS and compliance in the UK.

Marketplaces’ New Role in EU EPR Compliance

marketplace

Marketplaces are online platforms that enable businesses to offer their products for sale under their own name, risk, and liability, directly to end-users and resellers. The marketplace acts as an intermediary, providing a platform to bring sellers and buyers together to conclude sales contracts in which the marketplace itself is not party.

Unfortunately, online retail through marketplaces has been a common sales channel of non-compliant or ‘freeriding’ producers in the EU. Addressing this has been discussed in the EU for many years and is a stated priority in the preparation of the 2023 Waste Framework Directive. Though no official guidance has been published by the EU, a few member states have proactively defined the marketplaces’ role in the EPR compliance framework.

Beginning the 1st of January 2022, France AGEC law established that marketplaces hosting obligated products are required to comply with the French EPR legislation on behalf of the producers selling through the platform or ensure the producers themselves are compliant. In response to these requirements, most marketplaces require evidence or supporting documentation of the producer’s compliance for each applicable EPR waste stream as a condition to sell through the marketplace.

In Germany, the German Packaging Act, VerpackG, details a supervisory role for marketplaces over their vendors’ packaging compliance. Third parties who sell through an online marketplace are required to provide their EPR registration number to the marketplace. If the producer fails to provide this information, the marketplace is obligated to ban them from selling through their platform.

In both examples, marketplaces face significant fines if they fail to follow these requirements. Accerio is monitoring the development of EU-wide legislation and, in the meantime, similar measures that are expected to be adopted by other countries.

Draft of a Circular Economy Law for Mexico

The Mexican Senate approved the Circular Economy General Law draft on 18 November 2021, now under review of the Environment and Natural Resources Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. The law would promote the efficient use of products, services, materials, energy, water, and secondary raw materials, by means of clean manufacturing and principles of reuse, recycling, and redesign. Mainly, the purpose is to transition from a linear to a circular economy in Mexico.

If approved, the Law will create the following obligations for EEE and packaging producers:

  • Packaging producers must prepare and file a Circular Economy Plan and EEE producers must have a Waste Plan in place with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (“SEMARNAT” for its acronym in Spanish).
  • Producers will need to meet consumer communication requirements as well as collection, recovery, and valorization rates that will be set in the secondary legislation.
  • Producers must also consider minimum recycled plastic content goals for packaging, starting with 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Accerio will monitor the progression of the law and reach out to clients who are likely to be impacted by the requirements. The draft details significant sanctions for infractions to the law, so we encourage producers to contact us for more information.

December 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: December 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Current & Upcoming USA Packaging Laws

2021 was a very active year for the development of EPR packaging laws across the United States. Maine became the first state to pass an EPR packaging law in July of 2021. Maine is now entering a two-year rule making process to establish the program itself. The law obligates both local and foreign brand owners, and importers who are importing on behalf of foreign brand owners. Obligated companies who do not qualify for the small producer exemption will be required to either implement a takeback and recycling program or join the Packaging Stewardship Program once it is approved by the State for all obligated packaging materials.

Just one month later, Oregon passed the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act in August 2021. Oregon’s law comes into force in July 2025, obligating local and foreign brand owners, licensees of brands, and importers who import on behalf of foreign brand owners. Oregon’s scope of obligated materials and small producer exemptions are similar to Maine’s; however, Oregon has a more aggressive timeline for implementation and higher fines for non-compliance.

Currently there are 10 other states with draft EPR packaging legislation, mostly under review by state legislators. We encourage all producers selling to US states to reach out to Accerio for state-level assessments of current WEEE, battery, and packaging obligations.

Draft Packaging Law in Spain

To update their 20-year-old packaging waste regime, Spain has introduced a draft Royal Decree on Packaging and Packaging Waste. If implemented, the Royal Decree will repeal the existing legislation, replacing it with requirements in line with EU Directive 2018/52 of 30 May 2018, which modified Directive 94/62/CE on packaging and packaging waste to incorporate principles of circular economy and reuse of packaging. Additionally, the Decree will apply the content of EU Directive 2019/904 of 5 June 2019 (SUP Directive) on single use plastic packaging and the reduction on the impact of these products in the environment. The new regime will establish an EPR program for all packaging materials & sectors, as well as a deposit, refund, and return system for all packaging and packaging waste.

For obligated producers, compliance can be direct with the national authority or through a collective organization. The fee structure under collective compliance includes eco-modulations following circular economy criteria, including penalties for materials that do not meet the efficiency criteria.

The public consultation period ran through October 2021, followed by introduction of the draft to Spanish Parliament for discussion and approval. Please contact us for more information on compliance options and the provisions of the draft Decree. Accerio will contact impacted clients once the Decree is approved.

New Waste Act in Finland

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Beginning in July of 2021, the obligated producer definition expanded in Finland’s new Waste Act to all foreign producers, including foreign producers and distance sellers of batteries and packaging. Before the reform, foreign producers were only obligated under the WEEE legislation. Additionally, Foreign producers can now voluntarily take over the EPR obligations of their Finnish resellers and distributors.

The Act also includes stricter provisions on products themselves, with requirements for safety, quality, and sustainability during the manufacturing process. For example, the producer must ensure that products do not have excessive or unnecessary packaging. And considerations must be taken during the design phase, such as ensuring that EEE containing integrated batteries/accumulators can be easily removed, to encourage a longer lifespan for devices.

If your company is selling into Finland, please contact us to begin an assessment and the registration process. The first deadline for producer registrations is rapidly approaching at the end of 2021.

September 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Market Surveillance Regulation

European_Commission

The EU Market Surveillance Regulation came into force on the 16th of July 2021, in the EU and Northern Ireland. As it is a regulation, it became binding in all EU Member States without the need for transposition into their national legislation. The new framework aims to ensure that all WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging products placed in the EU market meet the criteria set by the EU sectoral legislation. It tightens both the surveillance and enforcement of EPR legislation on the EU and national level.

Relevant Changes:

  • The definition of ‘Placing into the Market’ is broadened to include all distance sales to end users, such as via websites and e-commerce.
  • Economic Operators, such as EU manufacturers, importers, fulfillment service providers, and Authorized Representatives, are obligated to provide relevant authorities with information on product compliance and should ensure that the sellers they work with are fully compliant.
  • All Non-EU entities selling directly to end users must appoint a European Authorized Representative and comply with the legislation prior to supplying obligated products to the EU Market.

Please contact Accerio for more information about the Market Surveillance Regulation’s impact on your requirements.

Austria Battery Law Update

The definition of ‘Producer’ will be expanded in an updated Austria battery law. Under the current law, only local Austrian entities are obligated, while the new definition of ‘Producer’ will also include foreign entities selling into Austria. Obligated foreign producers will be required to appoint an Authorized Representative starting on the 1st of January 2022.

This change makes the Austrian battery law more in line with obligations in most other EU countries, following the general trend toward harmonization of legislation. Additionally, the update allows for non-Austrian entities selling from the EU to take over Austrian reseller obligations by appointing an Authorized Representative.

Account Managers will be contacting Accerio clients who are impacted by this change. With the upcoming requirements beginning 1st of January 2022, it is recommended that obligated producers begin the registration process in Fall 2021.

Expansion of Producer Obligations in Canada

Canada flag

EPR obligations exist across Canada for WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging. Currently, 12 of Canada’s provinces and territories have active WEEE regulations, 6 have Small Battery laws, 4 have Lead Acid Battery requirements, and 5 have Packaging laws.

In recent years, several new provincial programs have begun while existing programs have expanded their product scope. The WEEE product scope is regularly updated and there is discussion of electric vehicle batteries coming into scope in multiple provinces. One of the most impactful changes has been the implementation of Ontario’s EPR laws. The Ontario laws require obligated producers to register with the newly established Ontario Authority for WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging. Small producers are only required to register and report, while large producers have registration, management, and public education requirements.

It is increasingly important for companies to understand their obligations across Canada. Accerio provides assessment, monitoring, and registration services for companies selling into Canada.

The UAE Waste Management Law

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The United Arab Emirates passed the Law on Integrated Waste Management in December 2018 that provides a framework for EPR, though the implementation of WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging obligations were not included in the legislation. On the 21st of June 2021, the UAE cabinet passed Resolution No. (39) of 2021: Implementing Regulations to the law 12/2018 on Integrated Waste Management. The resolution outlines several compliance requirements for importers and local UAE entities supplying all types of EEE or Batteries to end users.

Obligated entities must:

  • Pay into a national recycling fund.
  • Contract an approved PRO.
  • Submit regular reports of product take back.
  • Finance the take back and treatment of end-of-life products.
  • Implement collection boxes at retail locations.

This is the most comprehensive EPR law yet in the region, something that we can expect to see more of as circular economy programs take a central place in countries’ economic and environmental plans.

July 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: July 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Upcoming Changes to Germany’s WEEE and Packaging Requirements

Changes to both the WEEE and Packaging legislation in Germany have recently been approved, expanding producer obligations.

The updated packaging law will come into force on the 3rd of July 2021 and the WEEE law on the 1st of January 2022. Both laws put more responsibility on fulfilment service providers and online retailers to confirm that their sellers are correctly registered.

German Packaging Act – Amendment 2021
Beginning the 3rd of July 2021, registration requirements with the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister will apply to more producers and distributors, starting with final distributors of service packaging. Additionally, starting July 2022, the scope of obligated packaging requiring registration will be expanded to include all packaging types as well as packaging sold to professional/industrial environments.

Other changes include:

  • Optional appointment of authorized representatives for distance sellers
  • The extension of the deposit system to single-use PET beverage bottles and cans
  • Requirements for final distributors to offer reusable alternatives for single-use plastic

German WEEE Legislation Elektrogesetz 3
The changes under Elektrogesetz 3 primarily impact producers of professional products, coming into force over 2022 and 2023.

The requirements include:

  • Inform the authority about available take-back beginning in 2022
  • Expanded product marking of B2B EEE products in 2023

Sales/distribution of unregistered products is not allowed and carries risk of significant fines for noncompliance. With the earlier update of BattG2-2020 the German Battery legislation (BattG2) all three disciplines have now been resolved. Please contact Accerio for assessment of your company’s obligations under these changes.

UK Packaging Legislation and Plastic Tax

The UK has several big changes to their packaging legislation on the horizon. The first change is a new tax on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled materials. This was outlined in our previous newsletter, but the start date of April 2022 is drawing closer, so please contact your packaging suppliers to obtain the evidence you require.

In addition to the plastic tax, the UK is replacing the packaging law under the EU Packaging Directive with more comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility legislation. This will move the system to a single point of compliance along the packaging supply chain, instead of spreading it out through several links of the supply chain. This change obligates a single responsible party to cover the complete net cost of the recovery and recycling of their packaging. Additionally, the new legislation would shift the financial responsibility of curbside recycling and litter collection from local taxes to the obligated parties.

The legislation is not finalized, but the likely changes are:

  • A lower obligation threshold to obligate companies that handle more than 25 tonnes of packaging and have a turnover of at least 1 million GBP; this greatly expands the number of obligated companies
  • Introduction of modulated fees that requires more detailed reporting of packaging materials, including the kind of plastics used. The fee modulation reflects recyclability of packaging materials and will be required for reporting of 2023 sales
  • More detailed geographical reporting separated by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland markets, instead of just UK as a whole as it is presently
  • A new labelling system for packaging to ensure end users can easily tell if packaging waste can be recycled. This is expected to come into force for some packaging by 2024/25 and other packaging by 2026/27, though details on packaging types included in each phase is not yet available

The legislation has closed the consultation stage and the finalized law may differ from what is laid out above. However, big changes are certain, such as the need for producers to gather more detailed product packaging information and budget more for UK packaging compliance from 2023 onwards. Accerio will continue to monitor this legislation and will be in touch with any impacted clients.

New Washington D.C. Battery Law

Two miniature workers with yellow alkaline batteries
Image courtesy of Marco Verch

Washington D.C. has approved Law 23-211 Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act 2020, which obligates producers for distance sales and retail sales of batteries starting 1 January 2022.

Washington D.C is the first US district/state/territory to introduce EPR laws for both small rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. US EPR obligations are rapidly expanding, so similar laws are likely to develop elsewhere to significantly increase battery obligations for producers.

The Washington D.C. Act has an extensive scope, obligating all chemistries of standalone batteries and batteries integrated into certain products, with exemptions of products containing batteries that are already covered under Washington D.C.’s E-Waste law and specified product types . Companies selling covered integrated and standalone batteries into Washington D.C. will be required to enroll in a district approved battery stewardship plan. Please contact Accerio for an assessment and more details on Washington D.C’s battery and e-waste requirements.

February 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: February 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Batteries Regulation Proposal

The EU Commission has made a proposal to repeal the current Batteries Directive 2006/66/ED and amend Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020. The proposed changes aim to harmonize the batteries waste compliance requirements among EU Member States and to standardize the registration procedure for producers and other actors in the supply chain.

There is an opportunity for public comment available to Producers and interested parties until March 1st, 2021, via this link. For Producers and Manufacturers of batteries, this is an important opportunity to have your voice heard about the proposed changes.
Important key proposed changes include:

  • Definition changes for the key terms “Producer”, ‘’Distributors’’, “Placing on the Market”, and “Making available on the Market”.
  • Battery manufacturers “not established in an EU Member State” will be required to appoint an Authorized Representative.
  • Electric vehicle batteries will be brought into scope as a fourth battery type.
  • Increased transparency of supply chain by establishing and operating a system of control and traceability.
  • A focus on increased collection of portable batteries, including increasing the collection target over time (65% by 2025, and 70% by 2030).
  • New information, labelling, sustainability, and safety requirements, including for example, a QR code to be placed on batteries.
  • The introduction of recycling efficiencies and recovery targets, with a schedule to increase over time, for specific raw materials, including lithium, lead, cobalt, copper, and nickel.
  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for industrial batteries.
  • Portable battery definition to include also batteries used in light vehicle (such as scooters and electric bikes) with a maximum weight threshold of 5 Kg.
  • Setting out in detail the model structure for the EU Declaration of Conformity.
  • Distributors of batteries will carry responsibilities to ensure Manufacturers, AR’s, Importers, and other distributors are appropriately registered to sell, and that the batteries are properly compliant with CE Mark, DoC and other requirements, including applicable documentation.

The 2020 European Green Deal’s New Circular Economy Action Plan has identified batteries as a category of products that are a high use of resources, but also great potential for recycling and circularity. The market demand for batteries is expected to dramatically increase over the next decade, especially for lithium batteries. The proposed changes are deemed necessary to address the urgent need for increased battery production, and investment and capacity expansion for recycling and handling capability.

 

 

French Repairability Index

France is the first EU country to implement a key element of the EU Circular Economy Package with the introduction of a Repairability Index for a selection of EEE products. This index is in force as of the 1st of January 2021. Products in scope will need to list the Repairability Index on the product packaging, on a label or online using a specific logo and color.

To begin with, products required to comply are the following:

  • Washing machines
  • TVs
  • Computers and Laptops
  • Mobile phones
  • Corded lawnmowers
  • Battery operated lawnmowers
  • Robotic lawnmowers

Producers or importers will be responsible for calculating and communicating the Index to all parties in the supply chain, and sellers both online and with a physical store must present the Index “in a visible manner on each product offered for sale/in the presentation of the equipment and close to its price”.

The Reparability Index is represented by a grade between 1 and 10, with calculations based on five specific criteria, to inform end-users about the “possibility to repair a product”.

The criteria are:

  1. Availability of the technical documentation, for use, maintenance, and repair
  2. Ease of disassembly, access, and removal of worn parts
  3. Availability of and access to spare parts
  4. Price of spare parts, especially relative to the cost of the item itself
  5. Product specific criteria such as accessibility to remote assistance for repair and possibility of a software reset.

The system will certainly evolve over time to include other requirements and quite likely an expanded product list, and in the early stages there are no sanctions for non-compliance. There are increased specifications planned; from 2022 manufacturers and importers will be required to provide essential spare parts, and in 2023 extended producer responsibility for financing the repair of products is expected. The Repairability Index will influence product design and purchasing habits, and other countries will soon follow suit.
If your products are in scope with the new legislation in France, please contact Accerio for additional information.

German Battery Changes

There are some new procedures for the management of end-of-life batteries in Germany, following changes to the German Battery law.

The Stiftung EAR has now taken over the role as the responsible organization for battery registrations from the UBA. There is a grace period until 01.01.2022 for transfer of current registrations, provided that the battery information at the UBA was up to date at year-end 2020. If your German battery registration is managed by Accerio, we have ensured all details were up to date by the end of 2020.

Main changes to the system include:

  • The collection target for portable batteries increased from 45 to 50%.
  • Collection systems for portable batteries will require approval by the Stiftung EAR.
  • Fees for portable batteries will be structured to provide an incentive to Producers to minimize the use of hazardous substances.
  • From now on firms that do not have a local German entity can appoint an authorized representative. However it is important to note that this is not a mandatory requirement.

The information requirements for producers to provide to customers have become more extensive. End users of batteries will need to be informed about measures to reduce waste and pollution of the environment from spent batteries, the options they have to prepare batteries for re-use, and the potential risks associated with lithium batteries.

Producers of industrial and automotive batteries need to publish the recycling rates they achieved last year on their website before the 31st of May. Furthermore, the German Environment Agency has now the right to request take-back documentation approved by an independent auditor/expert.

If you have any questions about your Producer obligations for batteries in Germany, please contact Accerio for support.

New EPR Legislation in South Africa

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South Africa will begin enforcement of a comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility law for electronic waste, packaging, and batteries on May 1, 2021, although existing producers will be granted six additional months to move into compliance. After this point, EPR schemes will be regulated and subject to approval by the Environmental Department. Critically, the law stipulates that both foreign and domestic entities will be obligated as producers.

Additional facets of the law include:

  • Participation in a Product Responsibility Organization (PRO) or individual compliance, a change from the previous voluntary system.
  • Scope of EEE categorized under three classes of products: large, medium, and small equipment.
  • Obligations for integrated batteries.
  • Registration with the national authority for most consumer products in the above categories
  • Mandatory take-back and labeling
  • Reporting concerning the above actions and the amounts of product placed on the market.
  • Separate provisions for lighting products, with specific collection criteria and product scope; carrying different requirements than most EEE.

With respect to packaging obligations, the new law introduces EPR for all packaging types and materials, as well as for certain single-use products, following the EU Packaging Directive’s scope.

In terms of WEEE, violations of the Law can be punished by imprisonment, significant fines, or both. Doubtless the de facto requirements of the law will shift with its implementation and subsequent legislation which can be expected in November of 2021.

November 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter: November 2020

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Singapore Packaging Update

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The next phase of Singapore’s new suite of Extended Producer Responsibility Waste laws, incorporating Packaging, is ready to roll out in Q1 2021.

The spirit of intention of this legislation is to drive a reduction of packaging waste in Singapore, with a focus on packaging reduction and re-use, recycled content, and increased recyclability of packaging.
Actors who meet the definition of packaging producer in Singapore, include local entities who are importing regulated goods and packaging into Singapore.

Packaging Producers will be required to collect packaging data starting from January 1 2021 in order to be prepared for packaging reporting by the end of the year. The reporting required involves submission of plans that indicate initiatives to reduce packaging pollution, including specific targets and performance indicators and reviews of progress.

The Singapore Resource Sustainability Act focuses on definitions of exclusion, and most regulated goods and specified packaging are in scope, unless they meet any of the exclusion criteria. The list of regulated goods is available, and Accerio can help to determine if your products meet the definitions.

Penalties for non-compliance are not insignificant and include financial penalties with steep daily fines in some cases and imprisonment for persistent non-compliance and subsequent convictions.

If your company is importing regulated goods and packaging into Singapore, or if you unsure if your products fall into the definitions of regulated goods, please reach out to Accerio for assistance to register and be compliant with the Singaporean law.

EU Tax on Non-Recyclable Plastic

January 1, 2021 the EU non-recyclable plastics tax will come into effect. The tax is part of a Coronavirus recovery package. The €0.80 per Kg tax will be levied on EU Member state governments and will be calculated on the reported weight of non-recyclable plastic placed on the market in each country. Lesser economically developed countries will be granted exemptions.

Because it is individual EU Member States and not the non-recyclable plastics Producers themselves who are covered by this tax, it leaves a great amount of discretion for how this cost could be passed on to Producers, or not, as they see fit. Specific details are not yet available about which products the tax will apply to, or what exemptions may exist.

Because EU Member states will receive tax incentives from the EU Commission for higher rates of recycling, it is reasonable to expect that they will enact punitive economic instruments and policies targeting Producers who place unrecyclable plastics on the EU market. Whilst we cannot yet tell what the costs will be to Producers, what we can expect is enhanced scrutiny of plastics reporting by Producers, and almost certainly some kind of increase in fees and costs for Producers affected.

Regardless of the specific outcome of this tax, the trend is clear. There is a consistent push towards more recyclable packaging, and less of it, with taxes and laws coming into force in the next 12+ months in many European Member States. In anticipation of fee increases from this tax and other similar policies there is a window of opportunity now for Packaging Producers to analyze packaging used and work with supply chains to identify unrecycled plastics in use and possible recyclable alternatives, as well as potential to reduce the amount of packaging used.

Ontario 2021 WEEE Law Relaunch

On January 1, 2021 the new Ontario Electronic Waste law (The Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, O. Reg. 522/20: Electrical and Electronic Equipment) comes into force, obligating an expanded range of Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Products covered by the law include Telecommunications, Audio visual, and IT products, with spare parts and cables now included as well.

It is important to note that rechargeable batteries sold integrated in products were previously exempted, however all chemistries of integrated batteries will now carry obligations under the new E-Waste law. All standalone batteries, of all chemistries weighing < 5Kg are covered by Ontario’s new Battery law that commenced on July 1 2020 and was covered in our last newsletter.

The registration deadline with the Ontario authority was originally set for November 30, 2020, which didn’t permit much time to prepare, so this has been extended now until January 31, 2021. Registration requires submission of sales data from 2018 and 2019 in order to determine obligation thresholds, so Producers who have been selling Electrical and Electronic Goods, products with integrated batteries, or stand-alone or replacement batteries from that time frame should please contact Accerio as a matter of high priority for assistance in preparing reporting data in time for your registration application.

Please note that for Accerio clients who are currently already registered and complying through the collective EPRA will also need to register with the Authority (RPRA) but can continue complying through a collective organization, and your Account Manager will contact you to process this adjustment.

Year-End Reporting Preparation

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2021 is almost upon us, and with it comes the end-of-year WEEE, Batteries, and Packaging reporting. All Producers selling these types of goods anywhere in the EU will be required to report, which makes for a lot of very tight deadlines at a busy time of the year.

As a reminder, here are a few tips to make the process as streamlined as possible; please let us know here at Accerio if:

    • There have been any product changes that you may not have advised us of yet. Please send us SKU numbers, weights and technical specifications.
    • There are new reporting staff and or change of email addresses. Please update our information so we can be sure to be in communication with the right people.
    • There has been any takeback or recycling done by yourselves or any third parties, please send us the data and information. We may need a report directly from the recycling facility on how the take-back was recycled, so please ensure you know who to contact to obtain these reports.

It’s also a good idea to touch base with Authorized Signatories in your organization to remind them that some annual reports will require their signature, given it is an extra demand on them at a busy time of the year.
If you would like us to check through your data before the end of year to ensure that January is as stress free as possible, please feel free to contact your account manager.

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