Podium discussion, Tipi am Kanzleramt Berlin
2022 - The Future of Product Responsibility - 8. November 2022

Manufacturer information according to § 18 Para. 4 ElektroG3

The information obligations of manufacturers towards private households under Section 18 ElektroG were noticeably extended by the amending Act of 20 May 2021. The most significant change is that the information mentioned in Section 18 (4) ElektroG is to be enclosed with the equipment in written form (Section 18 (4) sentence 2 ElektroG). This means that manufacturers must include written information with the goods, e.g., in the form of a separate slip of paper, an annex to the operating instructions, a sticker on the packaging, etc. A link to a location at which the information can be found on the Internet is not sufficient.

In addition, there are the content-related adjustments of Section 18 (4) ElektroG, i.e., even if you already enclose the information in writing with your goods, are required to update it where necessary. The new Section 18 (4) clarifies, inter alia, that the manufacturer is required to notify end-users that they are obliged according to Section 10 (1) sentence 2 ElektroG to remove batteries not enclosed by the appliance and lamps that can be removed non-destructively. Moreover, in future, manufacturers will have to inform private households that distributors i.e., (in particular dealers) are obliged to take back waste equipment free of charge. It has now been clarified that the information obligations have to be fulfilled from the moment electrical equipment is offered for sale (Section 18 (4) sentence 1 ElektroG).

The obligations to include this written information – like most of the new provisions of the amending Act – apply from 1 January 2022. This raises the question of applicability to equipment produced before that date (“stock-in-trade”). As the manufacturer is the addressee of the information obligation, its applicability from 1 January 2022 must be determined according to whether the manufacturer still has the goods in its possession. If they are no longer in the possession (warehouse) of a distributor or end-user after it has been supplied, the obligation to include written information will be null and void. However, the information obligation is applicable to devices in the possession of the manufacturer from 1 January 2022 even if they are already completely packaged, which means that the affixing of an information sticker may be recommended, at least for the time being. In summary: All appliances for use in private households covered by the Act, which a manufacturer has in its possession and offers for sale from 1 January 2022 must be issued with written information in accordance with the new Section 18 (4) ElektroG.

Information on the collection and recovery rates achieved (Section 18 (4) sentence 3 ElektroG) does not need to be enclosed with the goods in writing. In this case, a reference to the information page on reporting and information obligations provided by us is still sufficient.

take-e-way makes manufacturer information available to its customers pursuant to Section 18 (4) ElektroG3. A corresponding template is available for download here: https://www.take-e-way.de/formulare/user_upload/Hersteller-Informationen-gemaess-18-Abs-4-ElektroG3.pdf

The consultancy team from take-e-way will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Please call +49/40/750687-0 or send an e-mail to beratung@take-e-way.de.

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