E-waste: Council adopts amendments to clarify who pays for management costs

The European Council has adopted amendments to the EU law on waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) which includes a range of products such as computers, fridges and photovoltaic panels.

The amendments aim to bring the WEEE directive into line with a 2022 EU Court of Justice judgment on the partial invalidity of the directive owing to unjustified retroactive application of extended producer responsibility to waste from photovoltaic panels placed on the market between 13 August 2005 and 13 August 2012.

The amendments clarify that:

  • the costs of the management and disposal of waste from photovoltaic panels placed on the market after 13 August 2012 rest with the producer of the EEE;
  • extended producer responsibility for EEE products that were added to the scope of the directive in 2018 should apply to those e-products that were put on the market after that date.

The amendments also introduce a review clause by which the Commission must assess, no later than 2026, the need for a revision of the directive.

Background and next steps

The Commission adopted its proposal for a targeted amendment to the WEEE Directive on 7 February 2023. Following the adoption of their negotiating positions in June (Council) and October (European Parliament) 2023, the co-legislators reached a provisional political agreement in November 2023. The agreement was formally voted by the European Parliament on 6 February 2024.

Today’s vote by the Council closes the adoption procedure. The text of the amendments will now be signed by the co-legislators. It will then be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. Member states will have up to 18 months to transpose the amended directive into national law.

Source: European Council




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