Manufacturers and retailers placing electrical goods on the market in Germany must be aware of the changes of scope to German electronics legislation which will come in force later this year to ensure their environmental compliance.
Companies operating in this market will be legally required to sign up to the Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte Register, the ‘common body of manufacturers’ which registers the manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment in an update to the German WEEE Act ElektrogG. From 15th August 2018, all electrical and electronic equipment will fall under the scope of WEEE legislation, unless it is specifically excluded.
Companies which are launching products onto the German market for the first time are able to apply for registration from 1st May 2018. Due to lengthy processing times, it is important that companies that bring devices into the market check in good time before applications open on 1st May and regulations apply from 15th August.
Existing registrations will be transferred to the new WEEE categories from 26th October, but brands must take responsibility for checking the registration is correct and informing Stiftung EAR if it needs to be changed. The legislator has granted a transitional period until 31st December 2018. By this time, companies must have the correct new registrations.
The updates to WEEE legislation are EU-wide and will apply from 15th August. Under the changes, the ten previous WEEE categories into which electronics items are placed have been reduced to six. All EU countries have been given the autonomy to implement their own sub-categories. Countries such as Finland and Germany have already implemented the legislative changes. Others have delayed announcing what these will be until the August deadline or even, in some cases, until January 2019.
“Registration of EEE in Germany can be a lengthy process, so ensure your goods are registered in the correct category in plenty of time. Any work required will need to be done well in advance of the deadlines,” said Michelle Carvell, COO of Lorax Compliance, a company that helps businesses with compliance.