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Implementation awaits after epic 3-year WEEE recast

Date

19 Jan 2012

Sections

Climate & Environment

Today, a European Parliament plenary vote has brought to an end an epic 3-year parliamentary debate on what was initially designed at ‘tweaking’ the original Waste Electronic and Electrical

Equipment (WEEE) Directive. The European engineering industries represented by Orgalime has mixed feelings to this news. “What was meant to be a minor change to improve the functioning of this directive and offering industry more certainty has turned into a revision “exercise” with areas such as the scope still as unclear as before.” said Adrian Harris, Director General of Orgalime.

Opposed to the recast from the outset, since companies are crying out for regulatory certainty and predictability rather than continuous regulatory change, Orgalime was also concerned about the issue of collection rate. It appears that Member States will remain the addressee of the collection rate target, strengthened with a mandate to involve all actors in achieving the target. “This will be a particularly relevant issue for the forthcoming transposition and implementation stages if the EU wishes to realise its resource efficiency objectives. Only if all channels of WEEE are targeted, can the increased collection targets and the EU’s resource efficiency agenda be reached.” Commented Mr Harris. In other key areas, opportunities to make a business friendly Directive have been missed: greater harmonisation could have been better realised had Regulators decided to introduce an electronic portal for registration, or indeed made a stronger link between producer definition and registration. On a positive note though, the introduction of an ‘authorised representative’ avoids the need of a legal seat of a company in each member state – this evidently reduces the administrative burden.

Adding a final comment, Harris underlined the concerns of companies “Our industries have already made considerable investment ensuring the compliance and success of the existing WEEE take back obligations – it is critical that the measures that are about to become law do not affect the competitiveness of the companies that Orgalime represents (95% of which are SMEs), during these harsh economic and financial times.”

Ends

Notes for Editors:

http://www.orgalime.org/Pdf/PI_WEEE_EP_Plenary_vote_Jan12.pdf

In July 2011, Orgalime participated to a Joint Position Paper, expressing the industry concerns - http://www.orgalime.org/Pdf/Joint_PP_WEEE_recast_2nd_reading_Jul11.pdf

In October 2011, Orgalime issued a Press Information as the EP prepared for political negotiations - http://www.orgalime.org/Pdf/PI_WEEE_EP_oct11_final.pdf

Orgalime, the European Engineering Industries Association, speaks for 34 trade federations representing some 130,000 companies in the mechanical, electrical, electronic, metalworking & metal articles industries of 22 European countries. The industry employs some 9.7 million people in the EU and in 2010 accounted for some €1,510 billion of annual output. The industry not only represents some 28% of the output of manufactured products but also a third of the manufactured exports of the European Union.

Tel: +32 2 706 82 56  |  Fax: +32 2 706 82 50  |  www.orgalime.org

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