Nine Major European compliance schemes have joined together to help organisations dealing with waste electronics operating in more than one EU country.
WEEE Europe AG, a joint venture of a number of major not-for-profit schemes in Europe, was set up in response to the failure of the European WEEE Directive to simplify regulations for the industry on an international scale.
Dr Phil Morton, chief executive officer of REPIC and WEEE Europe board member, told MRW that the Directive has shared goals for all EU member states, but each country is able to use differing methods to achieve them.
For example, he said that Spain has 19 different transpositions of the Directive because there are 19 different regions.
A WEEE Europe statement said that it aims to “bring together the major independent producer led schemes in a way that maintains complete independence yet simultaneously offers additional benefits to any producer partner in the WEEE Europe schemes”.
In order to make the process more cost-effective and efficient, WEEE Europe helps members to:
- Comply with legal obligations and various national laws
- Produce consolidated reports with a centralised input of data
- Reduce potential for error by having only one set of data
Morton said it would not just benefit multinational organisations, but also reasonably sized companies doing business in other EU countries.
He outlined some of the difficulties for smaller traders operating abroad: “For example you could be faced with nine or ten producer compliance schemes in Italy - you don’t understand the law - haven’t got a clue what’s in scope – there are different reporting categories – and you don’t speak the language.”
Now members of a WEEE Europe compliance can join another affiliated compliance scheme in a different country. The member states and compliance schemes that are part of WEEE Europe are:
- UK – Repic
- Denmark – Elretur
- France – Eco-systemes
- Italy – Remedia
- Netherlands – Wecycle
- Norway – Elretur
- Switzerland – Swico
- Switzerland – SENS eRecycling
- Spain – Ecotic Fundacion
WEEE Europe is approaching other member states to join the venture.
From January 2015, the joint venture will start offering its “one-stop-shop service”.
Christian Ludwig, chief executive office at WEEE Europe AG, said: “The administrative cost for all market players is huge – from mid-tier businesses to major corporations. Our aim is to simplify processes and to offer efficient solutions to fulfil the various national WEEE recycling registration and reporting requirements at a competitive price.”