WEEE Germany: Obligation to take back on delivery! Check your logistics if you sell electrical appliances >50 cm

With the impending amendment to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act as of 1 January, 2022, an actually minor tightening for “obliged distributors” has fallen somewhat under the radar, but it certainly has a major impact on existing practice: When selling appliances with an edge length of more than 50 cm (this can already apply to commercially available microwave ovens), as well as when selling television sets and refrigerators, the purchaser must be actively asked whether he/she wishes to return a corresponding old appliance completely free of charge.

With the impending amendment to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG = German WEEE conversion) as of 1 January, 2022, an actually minor tightening for “obliged distributors” has fallen somewhat under the radar, but it has a major impact on existing practice: When selling appliances with an edge length of more than 50 cm (this can already apply to commercially available microwave ovens), as well as when selling television sets and refrigerators, the purchaser must be actively asked whether he/she wishes to return a corresponding old appliance completely free of charge.

So please check urgently whether your logistics or those of your service provider are capable of doing this if the customer also expresses this wish.

Here are a few practical examples:

A 32” TV set is shipped by parcel service. Can the parcel carrier also take back an old appliance (for example, a valve TV set) from the customer?

You deliver a new stove to the customer’s curb by a freight forwarding service. Can the forwarding agent take back an old stove from there, too?

Apart from the logistical challenge (Is there enough space for old equipment inside the delivery vehicle? How many people are needed to carry this old equipment?), the legal aspect must also be taken into consideration. At least a notification according to Section 53 or permission under Section 54 of the German Circular Economy Act (KrWG) is necessary as well as unfolding the so-called “A sign” (A for “Abfall” = waste in German) when transporting such equipment.

If you have any questions or need support for your logistics, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Wolfgang Obermeyer from take-e-way will be glad to assist you. Please send an e-mail message to take-e-back@take-e-way.de or call +49/40/750687-146.

Incidentally: For electrical appliances with an edge length of less than 50 cm, operators of online shops with a storage floor space of >400 sqm are required to continue offering a return option at a reasonable distance from the customer. This is where our nationwide system www.take-e-back.de provides a practicable and cost-effective solution for affected distributors.

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