Background: The Three Directives
The EU Directives on WEEE, Batteries and Packaging and Packaging Waste are standalone articles of European law which individually set collection, recycling and recovery targets for either electrical goods, batteries or packaging. Most EU member states have developed separate organisations to facilitate compliance to each Directive, usually with different national registers for WEEE, batteries and packaging producers.
Even though manufacturers selling into Europe are often obligated as WEEE, batteries and packaging producers at the same time, many register only as a WEEE producer when prompted to do so by the WEEE regulatory authorities. The fact that the majority of enforcement action relates to non-compliance with the WEEE regulations may account for some of the short fall of batteries and packaging registrations; however, as discussed in more detail below, the ability of producers to register only for WEEE and avoid any batteries and packaging registrations may be changing.
Increasing Pressure on Batteries and Packaging Producers?
EC4P works closely with regulatory authorities and compliance organisations to implement appropriate compliance arrangements for WEEE, batteries and packaging producers across the EU and around the world and an increasingly common request upon registering as a WEEE producer is to show how/if the registrant also meets any batteries and packaging producer obligations. This is already the case in Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Romania where a WEEE producer cannot register without also addressing their batteries/packaging producer obligations. This is expected to become a more common requirement.
Looking to the future
Currently, WEEE, batteries and packaging compliance arrangements are implemented separately in most EU member states, however, producers should be aware that under more holistic initiatives such as the Circular Economy Package, their WEEE, batteries and packaging obligations will be treated with equal importance and registration for one may put extra pressure on registrations for the others.
To stay up-to-date with any regulatory changes when registering as a WEEE, batteries or packaging producer, you can join the EC4P newsletter using the form below. To learn how EC4P can help your company meet producer obligations, see here