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EU WEEE Directive-


WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

In the European Union, the WEEE directive was voted on July 4th, 2012.  It is the Directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Europe RoHS is dedicated to product design while WEEE takes care of the waste. Every Member State in the European Union has voted its regulation on a national level for the implementation of the WEEE Directive.

Other countries worldwide also adopted WEEE-like regulations, such as India, provinces of Canada, and many states of the USA.

Why WEEE Regulations ?

  • WEEE exclusively focuses on the negative impacts of electrical and electronic waste. 
  • WEEE aims at reducing or avoiding such impacts, via a more efficient collection and recycling.
  • Tens of millions of metric tons of electronic waste are generated annually worldwide.
  • Due to its complex nature and diversity of materials, it is very hard to recycle electronic waste properly.
  • On top of containing various hazardous substances despite the RoHS, REACH SVHC, and Persistent Organic Pollutants efforts, the quantities of electronic waste tend to increase year after year.  This tendency is caused by the mass consumption of devices.
  • Still, in our days, the vast majority of electronic waste collection methods are not even documented.
  • Too many quantities of e-waste end up in landfills, are illegally exported, and are not safely recycled.

What does it mean to be WEEE compliant ?

The WEEE approach follows the extended producer responsibility (EPR) principle.

1. Provide WEEE Management Information

First-of-all, article 15, section 1 of the European WEEE directive requires producers to provide information on re-use, and treatment for recycling of their products, identifying sub-assemblies as well as hazardous chemicals. Producers must communicate such information to treatment/recycling facilities, in user manuals, electronically, or online.This requirement is part of the eco design compliance of devices.

2. Mark your devices with the Information Crossed-out Wheelie Bin Symbol

You must label your products with the crossed-out wheelie bin symbol, preferably in accordance with the European standard EN 50419.

3. Register as a Stewart and Join a Compliance Scheme

Typically, EEE producers have to register their company with State Agencies as stewards. Examples of State Agencies are:

  • Stifting EAR in Germany

  • ADEME in France

  • EPA in the UK

Unless you have your own approved collection and recycling system, you will also have to adhere to an authorized Compliance Scheme in every European Union member state where you place in-scope equipment. Some states only have one approved Compliance Scheme while others offer various choices.

4. Appoint an Authorized Representative, where Required:- Additionally, you could be required to designate Authorized Representatives (AR) in the member states in several circumstances. This criterion can be applicable if you operate a business without a legal body.Let’s use the scenario of a producer from outside the EU making direct sales there. The international distance seller may then be required to designate an AR. If the vendor is in one of the following states without a local legal entity:

  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Sweden

5. Send Periodical Reports and Pay the Eco-Fees:-You must declare and pay the corresponding fees separately to every national agency in charge of WEEE. What must be declared is the quantities placed (number of units and weight), per product category. This needs to be done annually in most states. However, it can be more frequent in some states, depending on local regulations. You need to make one set of declarations per member state.

6. Archive your Data:- Finally, exported EEE data, and sales, should be kept internally for a minimum of 4 years.

WEEE Scope and Product categories:-

Product Category


Large household appliances

Many everyday products, such as fridges, ovens, fans, ventilators, etc.

Small household appliances

Many everyday products, such as electric razors, toasters, vacuums, electronic gadgets, etc.

IT and telecommunications equipment

Household or professional computers, printers, hard drives, cellphones, laptops, screens, etc.

Consumer equipment and photovoltaic panels

Electric keyboards, speakers, TVs, solar panels, etc.

Lighting equipment

Lamps of various types, light dimmers, etc.

Electrical and electronic tools

Household or professional electric mowers, drills, saws, etc.

Toys, leisure, and sports equipment

Slot machines, electric stationary bikes, electronic games, robot toys, etc.

Medical devices

Electroencephalograms, respirators, ventilators, defibrillators, dialysis machines, etc.

Monitoring and control instruments

Household or professional control panels, sensors, motion detectors, etc.

Automatic dispensers

Vending machines, automated ticket or cash dispensers, etc.

Since August 2018, the EEE are classified according to these six categories instead:-

Product Category


Temperature exchange equipment

Fridges, ovens, radiators, air conditioning units, etc.

Screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm2

Household or professional computers, TV screens, etc.


Household or professional flashlights, lights, etc.

Large equipment (any external dimension more than 50 cm)

Luminaires, musical instruments, toys, medical devices, monitoring and control instruments, including professional, etc.

Small equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm)

Same as category 4, of smaller size, etc.

Small IT and telecommunication equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm)

Cell phones, radio, routers, etc.

Is the Registration Mandatory for all Manufacturers of Electronic Devices?

Both household and professional products fall under the scope. As a result, even if you only sell one in-scope product into a specific member state during the year, then you must comply with all of the WEEE applicable requirements.

Packaging, battery waste recycling, and the French Triman requirements follow the same extended producer responsibility principle as WEEE.  Therefore, if you introduce packages and batteries, you must also make declarations and follow the national compliance scheme requirements.

Products under WEEE exemptions:-

  • Military equipment;

  • Aerospace equipment;

  • Automotive industry;

  • Large-scale stationary industrial tools and fixed installations. The definition of large-scale must be carefully examined;

  • R&D equipment, like prototypes;

  • Some medical devices, such as implantable medical devices.