WEEE and RoHS Directive
In Feburary 2003, the EC Directive on Waste Electronic & Electric Equipment (WEEE) entered into force and it was designed to encourage and set critiera for the collection, treatment, recyling and recovery of waste electronic and electric equipment. It made producers responsible for financing most of the activity.
The majority of the provisions came into force in January 2007 but marking requirements and information for treatment facilities on new electronic and electric equipment came into force in April 2007.
It is important to note that unlike previous producer responsibility legislation, like Packaging Waste there is no de minimus - an amount under which producers are not obligated to comply -with this legislation all producers are obliged to comply.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) Directive is linked to the WEEE Directive in that it bans the putting on the EU market of new Electrical and Electonic Equipment (EEE) containing more than the permitted levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium and both polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl either (PBDE) flame retardants from 1 July 2006.
Manufacturers need to ensure that their products - and components and sub-assemblies of such products - comply with the requirements of the Regulations in order to put them onto the market in the EU. The Regulations also effect those who import EEE into the EU, those who export to other Members States and those who re-brand others EEE as their own.