EC4P news

Increase in penalties for non-compliance ahead

Increase in penalties for non-compliance ahead

Lisa Dean Profile Image
by Bob Watling, September 2019
Bob Watling is a Senior Consultant in thinkstep's Recycling Compliance business unit and supports thinkstep’s substance declarations web database system, BOMcheck.
Recently, EC4P reported that non-compliant (‘free-riding’) companies selling electronic products online are having a huge impact on how producer responsibility regulations can manage waste.  Companies that fail to register and finance the collection and recycling of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) according to their market share, are forcing the costs up for their compliant counterparts.

EC4P has also reported on the insufficient enforcement of RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliance for e-commerce sales and that large numbers of unsafe products were being sold in Europe every day as a result.

Subsequent to these two news items, Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on market surveillance and compliance of products has been published and will come into effect on 16 July 2021 with the aim of bringing a more streamlined, integrated and hardened approach to enforcement of the RoHS and WEEE Directives. Existing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Directives like the WEEE, Batteries and Packaging Directives are not to be replaced by the new Regulation but reinforced and complemented by it.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 will have a direct impact on your business’ exposure to enforcement action

The new Regulation will affect all companies subject to the requirements of the WEEE & RoHS Directives, as well as other harmonised EU legislation. For example, if your company is not complying with the WEEE, Batteries and Packaging Directives, you face increased penalty risks with more stringent enforcement actions including fines, stop sells and even prison sentencing.

The Regulation will be particularly hard-hitting for companies selling electronic products online via e-commerce platforms.  Provisions specifically target these companies to close compliance gaps that until now, could be ignored with lower likelihood of consequence.

Enhanced cooperation practices between individual EU Member State market surveillance authorities and powers given to these authorities will make it far less likely for free-riding WEEE producers to go unnoticed and for companies to include restricted substances in their products.

How to avoid penalties and ensure your company complies with WEEE (plus Batteries and Packaging) legislation

Your company needs to make sure that compliance gaps are closed to remove exposure to new tougher enforcement activities and hard enforcement action.

EC4P has helped many companies, including companies specifically targeted by this new Regulation, to protect their product sales from enforcement by implementing legally robust compliance arrangements for WEEE, Batteries and Packaging. Read case studies here or contact us to find out how we can help.