take-e-way had recently informed that Amazon will suspend your non-compliant offers under the WEEE on 1 January 2023 if you cannot prove to Amazon that you comply with the EPR.
As EUWID now reports, an amendment to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG = German WEEE conversion) is intended to provide a longer transitional period for the newly introduced inspection obligation for operators of electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers. These would have had to check from the beginning of next year whether manufacturers have properly registered their electrical and electronic equipment with the EAR Foundation (German WEEE & battery registration board). Otherwise, they are no longer allowed to offer them on their portals or provide services for the manufacturers concerned. Due to the high volume of applications for the appointment of authorised representatives and the limited processing capacities on the part of the EAR Foundation, this deadline is now to be extended by a further six months. “The Environment Committee in Germany’s upper house (the ‘Bundesrat’) has no objections to the planned extension of the deadline for online marketplaces and fulfilment service providers. The Economic Committee even recommends that the federal government’s draft bill be adopted entirely unchanged.
It remains to be seen whether this will change the deadline set by Amazon itself for the delivery of the EPR evidence within the scope of the WEEE by 1 January 2023.
In this connection, take-e-way received indications from resellers of electrical appliances that Amazon asks for the registration number(s) of the pre-suppliers in their case: “We source 90% of our goods from [...] distributors who are offering the products on a commercial scale on the German market for the first time. Amazon nevertheless requires us to provide evidence that our products meet EPR regulations, so we will probably have to ask every single one of our suppliers for the evidence in question.”
Lawyer Johannes Richard from the law firm Internetrecht Rostock comments on this in response to an enquiry by take-e-way: “What I find interesting is Amazon's correct view that it is sufficient for resellers to enter the register number of the previous supplier. In practice, there is also the problem that in the supply chain it is sometimes not clear whether and who has registered. In particular, it is my impression that the relevant trade marks are often not registered correctly.”
It is important to bear in mind that it has always been the duty of a prudent businessman within the meaning of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act to ensure that his suppliers are registered. However, many internet traders are now dealing with the – basically not new – obligations for the very first time. Accordingly, lawyer Richard also recommends dealing with this at short notice, if necessary.
The take-e-way consultancy team will be pleased to assist you. Please call +49/40/750687-0 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may have on the ElektroG and the EPR rules and we will help you with the registration.