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WEEE evidence issue resolved - COMMENT UPDATE

Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) that export waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can now issue evidence of collection, treatment and reprocessing at the point that metal has completed all necessary treatment processes in the UK.

From today (February 26 2008) the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) has offered an interim solution to the issue for evidence where treated metal, derived from WEEE is destined for reprocessing outside the UK.

This new rule follows concerns expressed by AATFs about the difficulties in issuing evidence of the collection, treatment and reprocessing of WEEE when the derived material is destined for reprocessing outside the UK.

A source closely involved with AATFs told MRW: This idea sounds sensible and much easier. Metal derived from WEEE is no different from other metal given that the metals are going to be recycled. Similar difficulties occurred within the packaging waste streams, who had difficulties tracking materials throughout the system and are looking to modify it in a similar way.

The source explained some of the concerns expressed by AATFs about the difficulties in issuing evidence of WEEE. For example, say AATFs were selling 150 tonnes of WEEE metal to a metal recycler in the UK, that metal recycler would then mix up the WEEE metal with his other metals and sell it onto a bigger metal recycler. That big metal recycler would then mix that metal with his other metal and sell it in batches to a Turkey plant or Malaysia plant. With this system you could not tell which batch of deliveries had WEEE in it. So, it was difficult for AATFs to issue evidence notes to determine the amount of WEEE metal cleared at customs for export.

BERR said that the interim arrangement for export of WEEE derived metals will not be applied to whole appliances or other WEEE derived materials for export nor will it apply to metals or other materials to be reprocessesd within the UK.  It only applies to evidence for WEEE collected and treated between July 1 2007 and December 31 2007 and treated between January 1 2008 and December 31 2008.

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