The WEEE Forum has continued its drive to eradicate online freeriding in a response to the European Commission’s request to input on its Blue Guide which, according to the EC “explains EU product rules and helps businesses and national inspectors apply these rules”. The response, made jointly with EucoLight, ETRMA, EUCOBAT and Expra, representing the lamps & lighting, tyre & rubber, battery, and packaging industries respectively, emphasises the increasing significance of online providers in the marketplace and the importance of ensuring that they are formally recognised as ‘economic operators’ and are subject to the legal responsibilities this entails, such as those associated with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
The response notes that online operators across a wide range of product groups do not fulfill their financial obligations for EPR meaning the sale of non-compliant products through online marketplaces is very high. It is estimated that this affects 5-10% of all products within the scope of the WEEE legislation and, since this is an average, it is likely to be a greater proportion for smaller electrical products that are easier to store and ship. It is acknowledged that this situation is difficult to address since >80% of the non-compliant producers for EEE are based outside of the EU meaning prosecution of them is virtually impossible.
The response goes on to make a number of recommendations including that online retail platforms are important parts of the supply chain and should be considered as taking part in the supply of a product meaning they become “full economic operators in the Blue Guide, identifying and harmonising their responsiblities on product rules and EPR.”
See the full response here.
The WEEE Forum a.i.s.b.l. is an international association speaking for 40 not-for-profit e-waste producer responsibility organisations (PROs). Our mission is to help the PROs succeed operationally, take back and report e-waste efficiently and be known as members of the world’s foremost e-waste competence centre and as promoters of a circular economy. We engage in the general debate on e-waste policy matters, in Europe and globally.
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