This blog discusses the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives and how they affect the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of products sold in the European Community member states and North America.
These directives govern the registration, collection, disposal, and recycling of electrical and electronic products produced within and outside the countries concerned. The European Parliament is in the process of final review for the most recent amendments to the directives, and each individual member state is working to identify governing bodies that will be responsible for the practical aspects required for full compliance. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the governing body for the United States, and electronic waste is covered under Title 40 Part 261 (Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste).
In this blog I will discuss all the various elements of these environmental regulations and name all the players manufacturers must be aware of to assure compliance. The regulations are many and the enforcers similarly numerous, but your company needs to be aware of all these participants to avoid getting caught in a legal mess. As noted in the headline, this is an updated primer on the various parties involved. The details would be too intense for those already familiar with the regulations and the implications for their businesses, but for anyone that is just getting started, this may just be what the doctor ordered.
First, I'll identify all of the departments and government agencies you need to know about in Europe — plus all of the acronyms. In part two of the report to be posted next week, we'll discuss details of the laws and how they impact the electronics market. Please chime in with comments and suggestions.
- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) leads the EU negotiations on European Directives, all of RoHS implementation, and on most aspects of UK implementation of WEEE. The Environment Agency (SEPA in Scotland and EHS in Northern Island) are the enforcement agencies for WEEE. Responsibility for enforcement of the RoHS directive has yet to be allocated by the DTI.
- Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs UK (DEFRA)
- The EC member states
leads on certain aspects of domestic implementation, including drawing up guidance on how WEEE must be treated, waste permitting, and assessing producers’ compliance with the collection, recycling, and recovery targets. The Environment Agency (SEPA in Scotland, EHS in Northern Island) enforce these aspects.
are reporting progress towards implementation and enforcement of the WEEE and RoHS directives. Because of the organizational, resource, legal, and implementation challenges, the effective details for registration, collection, and enforcement vary considerably. The “Perchards Report” is monitoring and reporting individual state progress. The DTI commissioned this to provide a series of short factual reports on existing WEEE-related measures and the types of transposition plans that were developing in other member states. The last report was filed in November 2005.