Resource Use

WEEE Regulations laid in Parliament


Regulations regarding waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) have been laid in Parliament and will come into force on 1 January 2014.

The Waste Electrical And Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013, which transpose the main provisions of the European Union’s recast WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU), were laid in Parliament on Tuesday (10 December).

As outlined in the government’s formal response to its consultation on the regulations, WEEE legislation will be amended to include:

  • collection targets for compliance schemes (based on the proportion of EEE put onto the market by member producers), which will be set in ‘the first quarter of 2014’;
  • a compliance fee to finance the collection of household WEEE (which will replace the trading of evidence notes);
  • integrating LED light sources into the same category as gas discharge lamps;
  • creating a new category for photo-voltaic panels; and
  • a discounted registration cost for ‘small producers’ (companies placing less than five tonnes of equipment on the market) of £30 per annum.

The amendments were proposed by the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) to ‘respond to concerns from UK producers of electrical and electronic equipment under the Environmental Theme of the Red Tape Challenge about the cost of meeting their financial obligations under the UK WEEE Regulations’.

‘UK first member state to transpose WEEE Directive’

The changes to the legislation were largely welcomed by the industry, with Nigel Harvey, Chief Executive of lighting compliance scheme Recolight, commenting yesterday (11 December): “The UK is the first EU member state to have transposed the recast WEEE Directive into national law. That is an excellent achievement for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) – particularly given that some of the changes being made in the UK were far more wide ranging, and frequently more controversial, than in most other member states. 

“The final outcome is a system that is fairer, will encourage higher recycling rates, and should ensure that the UK meets the targets laid down in the recast directive.”

Saying that the new regulations ‘recognise the transformation taking place in the lighting industry’ (as gas discharge lamps are replaced by LED lamps and LED luminaires), he added: “We are really pleased that BIS has listened to the concerns raised by producers. The Red Tape Challenge has been effective at converting the problems raised into legislative change.”

Read more about the Waste Electrical And Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013.