Brief introduction of
directive 2002/96/EC of 27 January 2003
on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
The purpose of the WEEE Directive is, as a first priority, the prevention
of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and
in addition, the reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery of
such wastes so as to reduce the disposal of waste. It also seeks
to improve the environmental performance of all operators
involved in the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment,
e.g. producers, distributors and consumers and in particular
those operators directly involved in the treatment of waste electrical
and electronic equipment.
1. The WEEE Directive shall apply to electrical and electronic
equipment falling under the categories set out in Annex IA
provided that the equipment concerned is not part of another
type of equipment that does not fall within the scope of this
Directive. Annex IB contains a list of products which fall under
the categories set out in Annex IA.
2. This Directive shall apply without prejudice to Community
legislation on safety and health requirements and specific
Community waste management legislation.
3. Equipment which is connected with the protection of the
essential interests of the security of Member States, arms, munitions
and war material shall be excluded from this Directive.
This does not, however, apply to products which are not
intended for specifically military purposes.
For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) ‘electrical and electronic equipment’ or ‘EEE’ means equipment
which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic
fields in order to work properly and equipment
for the generation, transfer and measurement of such
currents and fields falling under the categories set out in
Annex IA and designed for use with a voltage rating not
exceeding 1000 Volt for alternating current and 1500
Volt for direct current;
(b) ‘waste electrical and electronic equipment’ or ‘WEEE’
means electrical or electronic equipment which is waste
within the meaning of Article 1(a) of Directive 75/442/
EEC, including all components, subassemblies and consumables
which are part of the product at the time of
(c) ‘prevention’ means measures aimed at reducing the quantity
and the harmfulness to the environment of WEEE and
materials and substances contained therein;
(d) ‘reuse’ means any operation by which WEEE or components
thereof are used for the same purpose for which they
were conceived, including the continued use of the equipment
or components thereof which are returned to collection
points, distributors, recyclers or manufacturers;
(e) ‘recycling’ means the reprocessing in a production process
of the waste materials for the original purpose or for other
purposes, but excluding energy recovery which means the
use of combustible waste as a means of generating energy
through direct incineration with or without other waste
but with recovery of the heat;
(f) ‘recovery’ means any of the applicable operations provided
for in Annex IIB to Directive 75/442/EEC;
(g) ‘disposal’ means any of the applicable operations provided
for in Annex IIA to Directive 75/442/EEC;
(h) ‘treatment’ means any activity after the WEEE has been
handed over to a facility for depollution, disassembly,
shredding, recovery or preparation for disposal and any
other operation carried out for the recovery and/or the
disposal of the WEEE;
(i) ‘producer’ means any person who, irrespective of the
selling technique used, including by means of distance
communication in accordance with Directive 97/7/EC of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May
1997 on the protection of consumers in respect of
1.manufactures and sells electrical and electronic equipment
under his own brand,
2.resells under his own brand equipment produced by
other suppliers, a reseller not being regarded as the
‘producer’ if the brand of the producer appears on the
equipment, as provided for in subpoint (1), or
3.imports or exports electrical and electronic equipment
on a professional basis into a Member State.
Whoever exclusively provides financing under or pursuant
to any finance agreement shall not be deemed a ‘producer’
unless he also acts as a producer within the meaning of
subpoints (1) to (3);
(j) ‘distributor’ means any person who provides electrical or
electronic equipment on a commercial basis to the party
who is going to use it;
(k) ‘WEEE from private households’ means WEEE which
comes from private households and from commercial,
industrial, institutional and other sources which, because
of its nature and quantity, is similar to that from private
(l) ‘dangerous substance or preparation’ means any substance
or preparation which has to be considered dangerous
under Council Directive 67/548/EEC (2) or Directive 1999/
45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (3).
(m) ‘finance agreement’ means any loan, lease, hiring or
deferred sale agreement or arrangement relating to any
equipment whether or not the terms of that agreement or
arrangement or any collateral agreement or arrangement
provide that a transfer of ownership of that equipment will
or may take place.
Information and reporting
Member States shall draw up a register of producers and
collect information, including substantiated estimates, on an
annual basis on the quantities and categories of electrical and
electronic equipment put on their market, collected through all
routes, reused, recycled and recovered within the Member
States, and on collected waste exported, by weight or, if this is
not possible, by numbers.
Member States shall ensure that producers supplying electrical
and electronic equipment by means of distance communication
provide information on the compliance with the requirements
of Article 8(4) and on the quantities and categories of electrical
and electronic equipment put on the market of the Member
State where the purchaser of that equipment resides.
Member States shall ensure that the information required is
transmitted to the Commission on a two-yearly basis within 18
months after the end of the period covered. The first set of
information shall cover the years 2005 and 2006. The information
shall be provided in a format which shall be established
within one year after the entry into force of this Directive in
accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 14(2) with
a view to establishing databases on WEEE and its treatment.
Member States shall provide for adequate information exchange
in order to comply with this paragraph, in particular for treatment
operations as referred to in Article 6(5).
Obligations of producers (manufacturers)
The WEEE symbol must be placed on an EEE product if the product falls in one of the 10 categories and is placed onto the EU market after the 13th August 2005. The product is treated as "new" WEEE. Producers must provide refurbishment, treatment and reuse information for each "new" WEEE.
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FAQ- frequently asked questions on:
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