Newsletter: November 2018

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

WEEE, Batteries and Packaging Year-End Reporting

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Now that we are well into Quarter 4, the end-of-year reporting will soon be upon us!  At Accerio we try to make reporting as streamlined and low-stress as possible for you, especially given that for many companies it means collating a lot of data under tight deadlines at a busy time of the year.  

Those accustomed to reporting monthly or quarterly will be more practiced, however for those who send data only in January here are a few steps and reminders to help make it run as smoothly as possible. 

  1. To avoid a scramble in January when the deadline is imminent, please let us know as soon as possible if there have been any product changes in your inventory since the last reporting period, including new products, or changes to existing ones.

     

  2. If you have changed reporting staff over the last year, please let us know so we ensure we send the data request email to the correct person, and to help anyone unfamiliar with what is needed prepare for January reporting

     

  3. The new Open Scope categories are now operational (> and < 50cm dimensions) across much of the EU.  If you haven’t already provided dimensions of your products please update us with the details as soon as possible, as they will be required for January reporting.

  4. Many countries will require a report of any take-back or recycling you have done. Often this will be managed by a scheme on your behalf, but we will need to know if you have done any directly, especially for professional WEEE or industrial batteries. Please ensure you are aware of how to get this data.

  5. Please make authorized signatories aware that some yearly reports will require their signature to finalize reporting, given this is an extra demand on their time in January and February. We will send reports for signature as soon as they are available.

If you would like us to check through your data before the end of the year to ensure that January is as stress-free as possible, please feel free to contact your account manager.

Austria

Household and professional WEEE, Portable batteries, Packaging

Belgium

Industrial and portable batteries, Packaging

Canada – British Columbia

Professional WEEE

Canada – Manitoba

Professional WEEE

Canada – New Brunswick

Professional WEEE

Canada – NF and Labrador

Professional WEEE

Canada – Nova Scotia

Professional WEEE

Canada – P. Edward Island

Professional WEEE

Canada – Saskatchewan

Professional WEEE

Denmark

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Finland

Professional WEEE, Industrial batteries

France

Professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries, Packaging

Germany

Professional WEEE, Portable batteries, Packaging

Hungary

Professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries, Packaging

Italy

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Luxembourg

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Netherlands

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Poland

Professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Portugal

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Spain

Packaging

Sweden

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries

Switzerland

Portable batteries

Turkey

Household WEEE

United Kingdom

Household and professional WEEE, Industrial and portable batteries, Packaging

USA – California

Professional WEEE

USA – District of Columbia

Household WEEE

USA – Illinois

Household WEEE

USA – Maine

Household WEEE, Portable batteries

USA – Oregon

Household WEEE

USA – South Carolina

Household WEEE

USA – Wisconsin

Household WEEE

Irish Compliance Enforcement

Recently the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued correspondence regarding enforcement of obligations to comply with WEEE and Batteries regulations in their entirety.  The communication emphasizes the importance of compliance not only with the basic registration and reporting obligations, but also with the additional requirements that some companies may not be aware exist.  Please see communication here. The Irish EPA has put in place measures to issue fixed payment notices (FPN) to businesses not complying with their all of their obligations under the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations and the Batteries Regulations.  These FPNS will be issued for specific offences and range between 500 to 2,000 per offence. You could incur these fines even if you are properly registered and complying with reporting requirements in Ireland but fail to meet all of the other Producer obligations. These additional requirements may include:
  • Placing WEEE or battery registration number on invoices and other business documents
  • Informing customers about their recycling options
  • Displaying statutory notices
  • Providing country specific information on website or product literature
  • Adherence to trans-frontier waste shipment legislation
  • Additional Retailer and Distributor obligations
  • Other country specific WEEE and battery compliance requirements
As WEEE laws mature across the European Union, the emphasis on full compliance beyond the basics is becoming a focus, and other countries are following the Irish example of looking more closely at compliance with all obligations. If you should have any questions regarding these additional requirements and would like to check to see if you are fully compliant with all obligations, please do not hesitate to contact your Accerio Account Manager with any questions. We are fully knowledgeable on all country specifics and are happy to assist.

Germany's New Packaging Law

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Did you know that Germany has a new Packaging Act that will come into force January 1, 2019?  If you fall into the category of those who need to comply, you need to act now to have your registration in place by the end of year. This will ensure you are properly compliant for when the new law becomes active.

The New German National Packaging Authority, (the Verpackungsregister), has made a great effort to make the process of registering and reporting as simple as possible, and it is free to register. However, it is still an involved exercise taking time to go through all the required steps. 

Details of the requirements include:

  • All local companies placing packaged products on the market have an obligation to comply.
  • There are scenario-specific obligations for some foreign companies selling products with packaging into Germany.
  • Online sales from outside Germany to private consumers in Germany will incur packaging obligations.
  • There are no minimal amount exclusions for small producers.
  • The strongest provisions apply to sales and grouped packaging to private households.
  • Sales to business end-users do not require registration, but free take-back of packaging must be provided.
  • All packaged goods are in scope – not just packaging for electronics and batteries.

The system of registering and reporting employs the Polluter Pays Principle, thereby ensuring all those placing packaging on the market in Germany support the costs of processing waste packaging. This makes for a fairer market by making it more difficult for free riders to dodge the system.

Significant penalties for non-compliant actors include fines of up to €200,000 and bans on selling any product in Germany!  A public register will publish a list of fully compliant companies, which acknowledges the companies doing the right thing by the law and the environment.

The good news is that Accerio can help assess your obligations and guide you through the process, so please contact us and we will be happy to ensure you are fully compliant in time for the deadline. If you would like to learn more, you can start by watching this video about the process.

USA e-waste and Battery Compliance

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Is there any e-waste or battery legislation in place in the USA?

The USA has active e-waste and battery compliance regulations in place in 26 of the 50 States of the Union.  The approach is quite different to that of the European Union, and it’s not uncommon for companies to be organized with their EU WEEE and battery compliance and unaware that they also may have requirements in the USA.

Who is responsible for complying?

The e-waste laws vary by state, are product focused, and consider what kind of entity the product was sold to as well as where the customer is located when determining compliance obligations. Who has the responsibility to comply is dictated by who manufactured the product, rather than the selling model. Some states only obligate products sold into that state, although there is a trend emerging in changing that to assessing national sales, and in some cases even global sales are considered.

Is all electronic waste in scope?

The type of e-waste in scope varies significantly from one state to the next, although there is a core focus on computers, monitors and associated peripheral products.  Obligated battery chemistry varies quite a bit from one state to the next.

What happens if I don’t comply?

States are active in monitoring waste streams to detect products that are not registered for sale, and publish ‘good’ lists of companies registered and ‘bad’ lists of those who are not, and will ban sales of non-registered products.  Litigation exposure and fines for non-compliance are expensive, and increasingly states are losing patience with non-compliers and are tightening up practices.

The e-waste and battery compliance environment in the USA is constantly evolving. Over time it is expected that the scope for product and battery chemistries will expand, and that categories of sales will increase to include some of those previously exempted.  If you are unsure if your product qualifies for compliance in the USA please contact us today for an assessment, and avoid ending up on the bad do-not-sell list!