EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) aims to minimise the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment, by increasing re-use and recycling and reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill. It seeks to achieve this by making producers responsible for financing the collection, treatment, and recovery of waste electrical equipment, and by obliging distributors to allow consumers to return their waste equipment free of charge.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive was agreed on 13 February 2003, along with the related Directive on Restrictions of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).

The implementation of the WEEE Directive in the UK has been delayed. It was due to be transposed into Member State legislation by 13 August 2004 and come into force by 13 August 2005.

The UK Regulations implementing the WEEE Directive were laid before Parliament on 12 December 2006 and enter into force on 2 January 2007. Non-Statutory Guidance was published on 28 February 2007




- DTI is responsible for transposing the WEEE Directive into UK law, working in partnership with the Devolved Administrations.

- DEFRA is responsible for ensuring the permitting of Authorised Treatment Facilities for the WEEE Directive.

- The Environment Agency (SEPA in Scotland and EHS in NI) will be the enforcement agency for the WEEE Directive.

The WEEE Regulations apply to electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) which falls within the 10 product categories listed in the WEEE Directive:-

  1. Large household appliances
  2. Small household appliances
  3. IT & Telecommunications equipment
  4. Consumer equipment
  5. Lighting equipment
  6. Electrical and electronic tools
  7. Toys leisure and sports equipment
  8. Medical devices
  9. Monitoring and control instruments
  10. Automatic dispensers

The WEEE Regulations will apply to the following groups :

  • Producers (any business that manufactures, imports or rebrands electrical and electronic products)
  • Retailers and Distributors (any business that sells electrical and electronic equipment to end users)
  • Local authorities
  • Waste management industry
  • Exporters and reprocessors
  • Businesses and other non-household users of EEE

Latest Developments

1) The DTI is establishing a new independent body to advise Government on the WEEE Directive and Regulations.  We are looking for applicants for the Chair and Members of the WEEE Advisory Body - closing date for applications 13 July.



2) Appointment of the VCA as the distributor enforcement body for WEEE


1) Further WEEE guidance to local authorities, producer compliance schemes and distributors about their role under the WEEE Regulations 2006

Role of Local Authorities under WEEE: letter to Waste Disposal Authorities in England 

Letter on the role of Producer Compliance Schemes (PCS) under the WEEE Regulations 2006

Letter on the role of Distributors under the WEEE Regulations 2006

2) DTI Government Guidance Notes has now been published (last revised 26/03/2007)

WEEE regulations: Government guidance notes

3) Code of Practice is also available

Code of Practice for collection of WEEE from designated collection facilities


1) The DTI has produced a WEEE: Distributor Factsheet on the new rules for distributors of electrical and electronic equipment

2) A Factsheet on new rules for exporters of EEE

3) A Factsheet on new rules for producers of electrical and electronic equipment

4) Environment Agency has a list of approved producer compliance schemes 

5) Valpak Retail WEEE Services Ltd is the operator of the Distributor Take-back Scheme. For further information email or call 08450 682572.

6) On 12 December Malcolm Wicks announced new regulations transposing the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives ( 2002/96/EC) and 2003/108/EC in the UK – the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006. For further information please see the press notice

7) A summary of responses to the consultation on draft WEEE regulations and the Government response was also published on 12 December.

WEEE consultation response - summary of responses and government response to fourth consultation on implementation of Directives 2002/96/EC and 2003/108/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment

8) The final regulatory impact assessment implementing the WEEE Directive has also been published.

WEEE consultation - final regulatory impact assessment for the WEEE regulations 2006

9) Defra has published The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Waste Management Licensing)(England and Wales) Regulations 2006 together with Guidance on Best Available Treatment Recovery and Recycling Techinques (BATTRT) and treatment of WEEE


For further information on the WEEE Directive, please contact:

Envirowise offers practical help on both the WEEE and RoHS Directives, as well as other environmental issues free of charge.