As early as 21 May 2021 and on 1 June 2021, take-e-way reported that the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) initiates proceedings against online retailers who ship electrical appliances to other EU countries.
As lawyer Mark Schomaker now reports on anwalt.de, UBA was informed by a foreign supervisory authority that a German manufacturer was offering electrical appliances abroad via an .eu domain. The UBA viewed the domain and determined through its own investigations that the manufacturer maintained other domains in the respective national languages of various EU member states. After further research by UBA into existing registrations of the manufacturer or its authorised representatives in the national registers of the EU member states concerned, UBA sent the manufacturer concerned a hearing questionnaire with the opportunity to make a statement. The manufacturer then contacted lawyer Schomaker.
The position of an authorised representative in the respective member states was initiated without delay. Thanks to the opinion of the lawyer Schomaker, the fine imposed per member state was limited to an amount that made an appeal or further legal action against the penalty notice unnecessary.
“What is remarkable about this procedure is the approach of the Federal Environment Agency. Based on a foreign submission, the Federal Environment Agency conducted extensive research in the respective member states and also requested evidence of actual distribution from the competent foreign public authorities. […] This case likewise impressively shows the meanwhile existing networking of public authorities in the field of WEEE. Against this backdrop, every pan-European manufacturer should be aware that the shipping options of its web shop can already lead to conclusions about the shipment of electrical appliances to other European countries,” says lawyer Schomaker, who predicts that the frequency of such proceedings will increase. Attention should be paid without fail to legal conformity outside Germany.
Background: On 15 April 2021, take-e-way had reported that each EU member state has its own national WEEE implementation. This is linked to the fact that electrical equipment has to be registered and subsequently managed separately in each EU Member State. A WEEE registration in Germany is therefore not equivalent to an EU-wide registration and thus applies only to Germany. If you sell electrical equipment to other EU Member States and you are not registered there or you need an authorised local representative, you are advised to take appropriate measures without delay.
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