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EA issues dual-use WEEE assessment guide

The Environment Agency (EA) and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) have published guidance for recyclers on whether electrical and electronic equipment is capable for use in the home or at work.

In October BIS announced that a ‘dual-use’ category would come into effect in January 2016.

Under the new rules, which aligns the UK with European WEEE regulations, electrical equipment that can be used in either the household or work environment will count only as ‘home use’ or ‘business-to-consumer’ (B2C).

The guidance said: “You must classify a product either as B2C or B2B. You cannot split your data to record the same product as partly B2C and partly B2B.”

Producer compliance schemes and waste treatment operators will now have to assess each piece of equipment using the guidelines.

They state, for instance, that a non-household display screen may be designed for ‘prolonged daily use (greater than 16 hours), every day’.

As most lamps are ‘designed and capable of dual’, the guidance stipulates they should be classified as B2C.

Nigel Harvey, chief executive of compliance scheme Recolight, told MRW: “It is never possible for guidance to capture every scenario, so there will inevitably be some grey areas. 

“However, the committee that helped BIS prepare the guide did worked to be as unambiguous as possible. Hopefully, the category-specific examples help make the situation clearer.

“If producers can apply the examples to their own products, they should be on the right track.”

The B2B Compliance scheme, which worked with BIS and the EA on the definition of dual use, said: “The impact on some producers who had recorded their products as B2B, or had a B2B/B2C split depending on sales, will mean that, during 2015, they will be required to report the product as B2C and in 2016 will pick up a ‘market share’ obligation based on the products placed on to the B2C market in 2015.”

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