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Take-back obligation of EEE

1.1   What information obligation applies with respect to the take-back obligation? (101000)

The parties involved in the take-back obligation are obliged to inform consumers in compliance with legislation. That is why Recupel launches an annual information campaign in order for points of sale to be able to inform their customers about the Recupel contribution charged with the purchase of a new EEE. This material consists, among others, in posters and leaflets. Further information.

1.2   What other take-back obligations apply in Belgium, for the processing of waste flows? (102000)

There are numerous other take-back obligations for other waste flows in Belgium. There are individual associations aimed at the processing of said waste flows. You will find a few examples at www.recupel.be/links.

1.3   Who is subjected to the take-back obligation? (110000)

The take-back obligation applies to manufacturers, importers, intermediaries and retailers. These concepts are defined in the various regional decrees and ordinances..

1.4   To which products does the take-back obligation apply? (120000)

In the European and regional legislation, various categories of EEE are defined to which the take-back obligation applies. Major categories:

  • Large household appliances,
  • Small household appliances,
  • IT and telecommunication equipment,
  • Consumer equipment,
  • Lighting equipment,
  • Electrical and electronic tools (with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools),
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment,
  • Medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products),
  • Monitoring and control instruments,
  • Automatic dispensers.

These categories, however, are difficult to deal with in practice. That is why Recupel uses, in agreement with the supervisory authorities, more detailed EEE lists for which it fulfils the take-back obligation. Initially, Recupel only applied a take-back obligation for household EEE, i.e., appliances, destined for use in private households or comparable industrial use. In the meantime, however, the take-back obligation has also come to apply to most professional EEE. Recupel provides service in the framework of the take-back obligation:

  • since 1 July 2001 by the BW-Rec, AV, SDA and ICT sectors;
  • since 1 August 2001 by the ET&G sector with regard to garden equipment;
  • since 1 July 2002 by the ET&G sector regarding electrical equipment;
  • since 1 July 2004 by the Light-Rec sector as regards fittings; since 1 July 2005 by the LightRec sector regarding gas discharge lamps;
  • since 1 July 2005 by the MeLaRec sector and
  • since 3 January 2007 for professional and non-household appliances.

Warning! For the latter category, a retroactive administrative declaration applies without invoicing for the period from 1 July 2005 to 2 January 2007. This implies that you as the importer/manufacturer of such appliances are to submit a declaration for this period but that you will receive no invoice. These costs are covered by the collective system. On the website www.recupel.be you will find a full overview of products to which the take-back obligation applies and for which Recupel provides services. Membership in one or more managing bodies implies that you will regularise the situation retroactively up to the time when Recupel initiated its services in the framework of the take-back obligation for the relevant appliances, except if in the meantime prescription has taken place.

1.5   How to comply with the take-back obligation? (130000)

You have two options as an importer or manufacturer: either on the basis of an EPA or by your own individual waste management plan.

1.6   How to comply with the take-back obligation by an EPA? (131000)

If you wish to comply with the take-back obligation by an EPA, you are to submit a mandate to a representative umbrella organisation that has signed an EPA, and affiliate with Recupel.

1.7   How to comply with the take-back obligation through individual waste management plan? (132000)

If you do not wish to become a member of a representative umbrella organisation, this will not prevent you from becoming a Recupel member. But you will have to draw up an individual waste management plan that meets the legal requirements and has to be approved by the supervisory authorities. Recupel can be mandated through this plan. In this plan it can also be proposed that the WEEE is managed by your company. Importers or manufacturers who ignore the take-back obligation or prevent checks by the supervisory authority, run the risk of being sanctioned.

1.8   Is membership to Recupel the only solution for complying with the legal WEEE take-back obligation? (132100)

There is an alternative to membership in Recupel, i.e., the implementation of an individual waste management plan for WEEE, proposing that electrical and electronic waste is managed by the company itself. This plan is to be approved by the regional supervisory authorities.

1.9   What is the individual waste management plan? (132200)

Through an individual waste management plan, either Recupel can be mandated or it can be proposed that EEE are managed by the company itself.

Such a plan must be approved by the regional supervisory authorities.

If a company wishes to have an individual waste plan approved in order to have control over the management of WEEE, this plan must meet several conditions.
It must be able to guarantee, among others, that no appliance outside the recycling process will end up in its own management, and that the WEEE will be sorted, collected and processed in compliance with the imposed standards.

1.10   Legal text regarding the take-back of waste electrical and electronic equipment (132300)

Flanders:

Vlarea Article 3.1.1.2 Par. 3 - 2°

§ 3. The take-back of waste materials, in the meaning of article 3.1.1.2, § 1 and § 2 is free of charge under the following conditions:
2° for waste electrical and electronic equipment:
a) it contains all parts that are necessary for the functioning of the appliance;
b) it contains no waste materials that are foreign to the waste appliance;
c) it contains no pollution that represents a risk for the health and safety of personnel at the collection points, taking into account the safety and health provisions in force.
If the conditions under 1°a), 1°c), 1°d), 1°e) or 2°a) are not fulfilled, costs may be stipulated in proportion to the default.
As long as the conditions under 1°b), 2°b) or 2°c) are not fulfilled, acceptance may be refused.

Brussels:

Art. 11.
-The take-back of waste electrical and electronic equipment can be refused if:
- it does not contain all the parts necessary for the functioning of the appliance;
- it contains waste materials that are foreign to the waste appliance;
- it contains elements that represent a risk for the health and safety of personnel at the collection points, taking into account the safety and health provisions in force.

Wallonia:

Art. 65. § 1. The retailer is bound to take back free of charge from the consumer any waste household electrical or electronic equipment that the consumer consigns to him, provided that said waste corresponds to an appliance that carries out the same functions as that purchased by the said consumer. Exceptions to this article may be provided subject to the Office‘s agreement, provided the take-back is not consequently rendered more difficult for the final holder and provided the system remains free of charge for the final holder;
The distributor is bound to take back from the retailers, at his own expense, in a regular fashion and on site all waste electrical and electronic equipment accepted in application of § 1 and to hand it over to the producer or importer.

1.12   What should be understood by a medical device? (150000)

The electrical equipment falling within the scope of Council Directive 93/42/EEC of 14 June 1993 concerning medical devices and Directive 98/79/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 1998 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices.

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