As attorney Johannes Richard writes on anwalt.de, the manufacturer must be registered for all electrical products in accordance with the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG), with the “manufacturer” not only being the person or entity that actually produces the product. The term “manufacturer” also means the one who imports products from abroad and offers them for the first time in Germany. Accordingly, any seller who imports electrical equipment from Asia or even from an EU country is also considered a manufacturer. Please note: even those who offer or sell devices of non-registered manufacturers are considered to be manufacturers. Anyone can easily find out who is registered and who is not in the List of manufacturers of the Elektro-Altgeräte Register (EAR) foundation (German WEEE and battery registration board).
The Federal Environment Agency is responsible for prosecuting violations of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act or the Batteries Act, and often initiates administrative offence proceedings as a result of an anonymous report. Then a hearing takes place (in the case of a legal entity such as a limited liability company, a hearing as a secondary party), in which the place of the crime, the time thereof and the offence in question are explained. As a rule, the products offered on the Internet are listed along with the website and the product name. The hearing form attached to the hearing document asks for information, such as how many electrical appliances or batteries were sold, that can have a significant impact on the extent of the fine.
Attorney Richard advises against completing the hearing form without legal advice and returning it yourself: “A violation of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act may incur a fine of up to 100,000,00 euros. From my consulting practice, I know that the amount of the fine imposed also depends on how much was earned with the individual products. In principle, a fine is not limited to maximum amount, but if the profit was very much higher, then the fine may turn out very much higher, too. […] What is decisive for the amount of the fine is the question of what profit was made from the sale of the electrical equipment or batteries and what the financial circumstances are.”
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 Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act.