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European Council adopts amendments to clarify who pays for management costs

published: 2024-03-15 15:41

On March 4, 2024, the Council has approved changes to the EU legislation concerning waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), covering items like computers, refrigerators, and solar panels.

These adjustments align the WEEE directive with a 2022 EU Court of Justice ruling that found part of the directive invalid due to unjustified retroactive application of extended producer responsibility for waste from solar module sold between August 13, 2005, and August 13, 2012.

The revisions specify that:

- Producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are responsible for managing and disposing of waste from s sold after August 13, 2012.

- Extended producer responsibility applies to EEE products added to the directive in 2018 and sold after that date.

Additionally, the amendments include a review provision mandating the Commission to evaluate the directive's need for revision by 2026.

Background and next steps

On February 7, 2023, the Commission proposed a focused amendment to the WEEE Directive. After establishing their negotiation stances in June (Council) and October (European Parliament) 2023, the co-legislators reached a preliminary political agreement in November 2023. The European Parliament officially ratified the agreement on February 6, 2024.

On March 4, 2024, the Council's vote concludes the adoption process. The revised amendments will be signed by the co-legislators, published in the EU's Official Journal, and become effective after 20 days. Member states will have a maximum of 18 months to transpose the updated directive into their national legislation.

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