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Singapore takes ‘big stride’ in waste management

Singapore takes ‘big stride’ in waste management

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by Sam Smith, October 2019
Sam is an EC4P Compliance Consultant helping companies identify their legal exposure to WEEE, Batteries and Packaging legislation and providing cost-effective and legally-robust recommendations for compliance.
On 4th Sept 2019 Singapore's parliament passed the ‘Resource Sustainability Bill’ (RSB) as the legal framework to implement the Zero Waste Masterplan, as previously reported by EC4P.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Amy Khor, called the Act a "big stride" to catalyse waste reduction and the mandatory requirements noticeably follow the EU’s WEEE Directive (as Recast). 

What does this mean for EEE producers?

From 2021, producers of regulated EEE (including batteries) will be responsible for collecting and recycling e-waste through an “extended producer responsibility" framework, with the following requirements:

  • Registration Requirements: Producers of regulated products required to register with the National Environment Agency (NEA)
  • Producer Responsibility Schemes: Producers exceeding the threshold required to join a licenced Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS)
  • Collection and disposal of regulated non-consumer (B2B) products: Producers of non-consumer products are not required to join a PRS but must to collect and dispose regulated equipment
  • Retailers Take Back Obligations: all EEE retailers are to take-back, on request, WEEE being replaced on a 1:1 basis free-of-charge; EEE retailers with a total floor area of >300 sqm are required to take-back WEEE of the same type, free-of-charge and on a 0:1 basis

The RSB is not clear if the requirements will apply to overseas producers and the list of regulated products and Di minimis thresholds are not confirmed. It is likely that they will follow those outlined in the original release.

What does this mean for packaging producers?

From 2020, producers of packaged products which exceed the threshold (the Zero Waste management plan stipulates SGD 10 million (EUR 6.5 million)) are obligated to report POM and to submit waste management plans (3R plans) to the NEA.

An EPR regime for waste packaging is planned to be implemented by 2025 but the RSB provides no further details.

Enforcement

The RSB provides significant basis for enforcement for WEEE and Packaging offences throughout. For example, if an unregistered producer is found guilty of supplying a regulated product in Singapore, they may face a fine up to SGD 10,000 (EUR 6,600) and/or imprisonment for up to 3 months. Thinkstep will continue to monitor how this new law is enforced and report any notable examples.

How EC4P can help

EC4P will identify whether you are obligated under the RSB based your sales arrangements and the types of products you sell in Singapore. If you are obligated under the new regulation, we can help you meet necessary requirements. Please contact us if you would like more information on our services.