UNU recommendation paper offers new harmonised WEEE classification

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Source: Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT)

The change in WEEE categories  from the Directive 2002/96/EC to the recast Directive 2012/19/EU may lead to a non-harmonised approach to classification of WEEE, according to the Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CIWT) Project. In order to avoid inconsistencies in reporting, harmonisation of the classification systems is required. Harmonised data will allow analysis of comparable reports and provide insight into real differences in the markets’ performance.

The United Nations University (UNU) has prepared a paper to be shared with parties like governments, recyclers, producers and compliance schemes. This document outlines a conceptual classification reflecting differences in functions and end-of-life characteristics. The paper entitled „Recommendation paper to actors“ offers a proposed classification, the UNU-KEYS,  clusters appliances according to functionality and end-of-life characteristics.

The Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT) Project will use this classification system to avoid inconsistencies throughout the project. By using these codes, the following possibilities arise:

  1. The UNU classification system can be connected to other classifications, such as the 10 categories in the WEEE Directive, the six categories in the recast of the WEEE Directive, the WEEE Forum Key Figures and the harmonized combined nomenclature (CN) that is used by customs organisations in Europe.
  2. Harmonized aggregates can be constructed from the data from Eurostat (the 10 WEEE categories and the six WEEE II categories), and the Key Figures from the WEEE-Forum with the UNU-KEYS can be used as intermediate classification. Thus, the UNU approach leads to higher quality data, where data ifferences cannot be attributed to data or scope inconsistencies.
  3. The UNU-KEYS can be grouped and split according to the existing data formats. This enables data that was originally structured in different ways to comparable. Consequently, total market and WEEE systems data will be more comparable and detailed than the current available data. This will greatly improve policy analysis under the WEEE Directive.
  4. The UNU-KEYS enable data collection from importers and producers using the PRODCOM and CN classifications from sources such as Eurostat, national statistical institutes or directly from importers and producers.
  5. The products within a UNU category are homogeneous in weight, and they display uniform market behaviour. This allows very detailed assessments on future WEEE arising and future potential to collect and recycle WEEE.
  6. The use of the UNU classification will refine the calculation of return ratios by category.

The full recommendation paper can be downloaded from cwitproject.eu.

Source: Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT) Project / United Nations University (UNU)