Frequently asked questions
- When did Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 enter into force?
Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 came into force on 12 April 2014 and replaced Legislative Decree No. 151/2005. The decree governs the WEEE system, which has been active since 18 February 2008.
- What is the decree’s purpose?
The decree establishes measures and provides procedures to protect environmental and human health by avoiding and reducing negative impacts arising from the development and production of EEE and related WEEE.
- What are the minimum national recovery targets?
Producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), through individual or compliance schemes must achieve minimum targets for collection and recycling set by the European Directive which includes:
- 80% and 75% for large appliances and vending machines
- 75% and 65%, for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) equipment and consumer electronics
- 70% and 50%, for small appliances, lighting fixtures, electrical tools, toys, monitoring and control equipment
- 80% for light sources
Until 31 December 2015, the EU Directive set a target to achieve a WEEE separate waste collection average rate from private households of at least 4 kg per inhabitant per year.
- What is "WEEE"?
According to art. 4, letter. e) of the Legislative Decree No. 49/2014, WEEE is:
“Waste electrical and electronic equipment” or “WEEE”, which means electrical and electronic equipment which is waste according to Article 183, paragraph 1, letter a) of Legislative Decree of 3 April 2006, No. 152. It includes all components, subassemblies and consumables which are part of the product which the owner discards, or has the intention or requirement to discard.
- What types of equipment are subject to the new WEEE provisions?
Until 14 August 2018, all electrical and electronic equipment belonging to the following categories:
- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Consumer equipment and solar panels
- Lighting equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools (except large fixed industrial tools)
- Toys and equipment for leisure and sports
- Medical devices (with the exception of implanted or infected products)
- Monitoring and control equipment
- Vending Machines
- Who is obligated?
The producer, the individual or legal entity, whatever their method of selling including distance communication:
- established in the country and manufactures EEE under their own name or brand, or commissions the design or manufacture of EEE and sells it on the national market under their name or brand;
- established in the country and sells equipment produced by other suppliers on the national market under their name or brand; the retailer is not considered as the “producer” if the equipment carries the brand belonging to the producer in number 1);
- established in the country and places EEE from another EU member state or non-EU country on the market during normal business;
- established in another EU member state or non-EU country and sells EEE on the national market via distance selling techniques directly to domestic customers or other users.
Distributors (including retailers), i.e. the individual or legal entity who makes EEE available in the market through a supply chain.
The distributors’ obligation of free product pick-up “one to one” is governed by Article 11 of Legislative Decree No. 49/2014.
- Must Electrical and Electronic Equipment be marked?
According to Art. 28 of Legislative Decree No. 49/2014, producers must label electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market. The marking must unequivocally identify the EEE producer.
- What are the penalties for failing to comply with Legislative Decree No. 49/2014?
Article 38 of Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 lists the following main administrative sanctions for the Producer who does not:
- Register with the National Register (www.registroaee.it): from €2,000 to €20,000;
- Organise a system of separate waste collection of WEEE from €30,000 to €100,000;
- Report sales volumes to the National Register: from €5,000 to €20,000;
- Provide information on the WEEE system in product instructions: from €2,000 to €5,000;
- Mark upon the equipment the “crossed bin” symbol: from €100 to €500 for each device;
- Provide a financial warranty for any new equipment placed on the market: from €200 to €1,000 for each device.
A distributor who does not pick-up, free of charge, a WEEE product, (and if the act is not a criminal offence), can be fined from €150 to €400 for each uncollected device or collected in return for payment.
- What are the system costs?
Household appliance producers should share, in proportion to their market share, the actual costs incurred for the management of household waste (B2C WEEE). Typically, this is waste delivered to municipal collection points by domestic users.
- Is participation in a compliance scheme mandatory?
According to paragraph 2 of art. 8 of Legislative Decree No. 49/2014, the companies fulfil their obligations under the provisions of this Legislative Decree through the management of individual or compliance schemes, operating consistently throughout the country.
- Who can act as a legal representative for producers outside Italy?
Producers with registered office in another EU Member State may, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4, paragraph 1, letter g) of numbers from 1) to 3), appoint an authorised representative. They may appoint, with written authorisation, a legal entity established within Italy or an individual as the legal representative of a company established within Italy, who shall be responsible for fulfilling the producer’s obligations, according to this decree.
ERP Italy offers an authorised legal representation service to all foreign producers who do not have a legal representative in Italy. It fulfils several services, including:
- EEE Register Registration;
- Provision of information required in Attachment X of the Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 and its update (annual statements of products placed on the Italian market);
- The authorised representative is responsible for organising the collection of equivalent one-to-one WEEE for Producers who are classified as online sellers (distance sellers) all over the country.
- What are the institutions involved?
Legislative Decree No. 151/2005 lists the following institutions:
The National Register of entities obliged to finance the WEEE management systems was established and made operational under Regulation of 25 September 2007 No. 185, and guarantees the collection and maintenance of information necessary to verify compliance with the requirements set out in the Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 and the proper treatment of WEEE.
Before they begin operations within the domestic market, producers have to enrol with the National Register. After registration, an identification number from the registry entry will be issued by the National Register and should be used on all commercial documents within 30 days.
The Coordination Centre (CdC RAEE), functions as a consortium and a legal identity under private law. The consortium is made up of all WEEE management compliance schemes serving private households and two appointees from the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea and the Ministry of Economic Development.
The Coordination Centre (CdC RAEE) is funded and managed by Compliance Schemes, and is responsible for coordinating them to:
- Ensure a consistent service for collection and the treatment of WEEE throughout the country;
- Fairly assign WEEE generated by the Collection Points to compliance schemes, so that they can manage their own WEEE share under similar operating conditions;
- To be a single operator for collection points so that they have access to an Internet portal for registration, collection of applications and a dedicated call centre;
- Represent compliance schemes to stakeholders (Ministry, ANCI, and Distribution Associations).
For more information visit www.cdcraee.it
The Supervisory and Control Committee is an institution created by Article 15 of Legislative Decree No. 151/05. Its main functions are:
- Prepare and update the National Register based on Chambers of Commerce communications;
- Collect data on products placed on the market and the financial warranty that producers are required to report to the National Register;
- Calculate the producers’ market shares;
- Plan and arrange inspections of producers that do not supply the required information;
- Ensure that equipment placed on the market after 13 August 2005 carries the producer’s ID and the symbol referred to in Attachment IX (..);
- Ensure the monitoring of the enforcement of this decree.
The Steering Committee supports the Supervision and Control Committee. Its duties are to:
- Monitor the operation, logistics functionality and cost-effectiveness of the WEEE management system;
- Act as a reference point for stakeholders’ interests;
- Coordinate between the stakeholders’ interests (…);
- Report annually to the Ministry of the Environment about compliance scheme trends for WEEE recovery and recycling.
Batteries and Accumulators
- What is the Italian Battery and Accumulator Decree?
Since 2009, with the enactment of Legislative Decree No. 188/08, which implemented the European Directive No. 1006/66, a legislation similar to that of WEEE applies to all types of Waste from portable, automotive and industrial Batteries and Accumulators.
- What is the Battery Directive?
The EU Battery Directive obliges battery producers to fund the collection and recycling of exhausted batteries.
- What is the batteries compliance scheme?
Producers must use a compliance scheme to manage battery recycling. All schemes are registered with relevant authorities in each Member State.
- Who are "Battery Producers "?
The term “Battery Producer” refers not only to battery producers but includes any company that imports batteries or products containing them. Even retailers who import batteries under their brand or products containing batteries are classified as producers of batteries.
- Should all producers join a compliance scheme?
All producers must join a compliance scheme to contribute to the financing of recycling and recovery of their products placed on the national market.
- How are the batteries collected?
Compliance schemes agree to take batteries from authorised collection points, such as stores or local collection points, often using existing collection journeys, to minimise costs and CO2 emissions.
- Who finances battery recycling?
If the batteries are disposed of together with household waste, the cost of collection and disposal is borne by the local authorities. Landfills are an increasingly expensive method of disposal because they tend to get saturated and their tax costs increase. Recycling allows the cost of disposal to be shifted to producers of batteries. Producers are obliged to collect and treat batteries proportionally to the number of batteries annually sold. The law has set a 45 percent target by the end of 2016.
- What does this Directive mean for local authorities?
The Directive applies to battery producers and retailers. There is no legal obligation for local authorities according to the terms of this Directive, but most are willing to collect waste batteries at their recycling points once the national recycling programme has started. The compliance schemes will take care of collecting batteries from these points free of charge, sort and treat them. There will be no costs for local authorities or effects on municipal taxes, as battery producers will finance the service.
- What will be the impact on consumers?
Consumers can take their used batteries to any collection point, such as local recycling points or stores that sell batteries. Exhausted batteries will be collected at workplaces, libraries and schools.
- What will be the impact on retailers?
If they sell more than 32 kg annually (a pack of four AA batteries daily) retailers must collect batteries. Retailers are required to collect batteries of a similar type to that supplied by them, even if the person who returns them does not buy a new battery. The compliance schemes will equip stores with special containers which will be collected free-of-charge once they are full.
- Why did the EU introduce the Battery Directive?
Battery recycling is good for the environment. Most batteries contain toxic metals (such as nickel, cadmium or mercury) that cause pollution if they end up in landfills or incinerators. Battery recycling makes it possible to reuse precious metals and save energy by reducing the need for raw materials.
- Is it possible to recycle all batteries?
Yes. All disposable and rechargeable batteries can be recycled. The only batteries exempt from the Directive are those used in equipment related to national security interests, weapons, munitions and war material.
- How many batteries make a ton?
One ton is made up of about 43,500 AA alkaline batteries.
- How are photovoltaic panels recycled?
The two main types of photovoltaic panels (silicon and non-silicon based) available today on the European market can be almost completely recycled.
The technology for treating photovoltaic panels makes rapid progress thus allowing a higher recovery rate.
The silicon panels are subjected to manual disassembly that strips them of the aluminium structure, and crushes them to recover other components, including glass and ferrous, non-ferrous materials and semiconductors. The other types of panels require different processes, including chemical baths that separate the semiconductor materials.
- What should producers do to fulfil their obligations?
The producers of PV panels may delegate to a compliance scheme all the duties and taxes derived from WEEE legislation on the organisation of product management at end of life and the related producer responsibility obligations.
ERP Italia offers complete services for the compliance of photovoltaic panel producers and manages its members’ products at the end of life. These services include the registration of the Producer and the product, the collection, treatment and disposal of WEEE and exhausted batteries in certified facilities. This includes all necessary declarations and a wide range of other services.
- What are the legal obligations for waste management of Photovoltaic Panels?
The amendment of the European Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), implemented in Italy by Legislative Decree No. 49/2014, introduced the obligation to recycle PV panels at European level (Directive 2012/19/EU). The new legislation extends its scope to photovoltaic panels, which fall within the producer’s responsibilities. Producers are now obliged to finance the proper collection and treatment of exhausted PV panels.
Before this amendment and only at a national level, the 5 May 2011 (IV Conto Energia) and 5 July 2012 (V Conto Energia) Italian Inter-ministerial Decrees established that any photovoltaic panel plants that come into operation from 1 July 2012 must join a Scheme/Consortium that guarantees recycling at the end of life.
- What are the obligations for producers of photovoltaic panels?
PV panel producers are legally required to recover and recycle photovoltaic panels.
Their obligations include adequate and environmentally friendly collection and recycling, registration of the producer and product with national authorities, reporting of sales volumes and financing of the entire waste management process.
- When did photovoltaic panel producers take responsibility?
The producer’s responsibility was immediately extended to the photovoltaic panels when the Italian Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 entered into force on 12 April 2014.
The 5 May 2011 Decree (IV Conto Energia) and 5 July 2012 Decree (V Conto Energia) entered into force in 2013.
- Which photovoltaic panels are the producer’s responsibility?
The producer’s responsibility is applied not only to photovoltaic panels but to all other photovoltaic system components, such as inverters and batteries. Under the EEE* definition, solar thermal panels are not included.
The provisions of the IV and V Conto Energia apply to PV panels installed from 1 July 2012.
*Electrical and Electronic Equipment are devices that for correct operation depend on electric currents or electromagnetic fields, and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields.
- Who is affected by the legislation?
The new legislation concerns all photovoltaic panel “Producers”.
According to the amendment, the term “Producers” includes producers, distributors, retailers, importers and distance/online sellers who have placed the product on the Italian market.
- When will Open Scope enter into force?
Open Scope takes effect from 15 August 2018.
- What products are excluded from the Directive?
Not all EEE will fall within the scope, since the set of exclusions provided for by the Directive and by Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 must be safeguarded.
The Directive and Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 apply only to finished products and NOT to components, unless the components have an independent function.
- Equipment necessary for the protection of the essential interests of the security of Member States, including weapons, munitions and war material, and intended for military purposes;
- Equipment which is specifically designed and installed as part of another type of equipment, which is excluded from this directive scope and which can fulfil its function only if it is part of that equipment;
- Incandescent bulbs;
- Equipment intended to be sent into space;
- Large fixed industrial tools;
- Large fixed installations, except for equipment which is not specifically designed and installed to be part of those installations;
- Means of transport of persons or goods, excluding non-approved two-wheeled electric vehicles;
- Non-road mobile machinery for professional use;
- Equipment specially designed for research and development purposes, available only for business-to-business relations;
- Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices, if these are suspected to be infected before the end of their life cycle, and active implantable medical devices.
- What is a direct function?
A “direct function” is any finished product or component’s function that fulfils the use intended by the producer in the end-user instructions. This function must be available without further adaptations or connections other than the simple ones that can be done by anyone.