WEEE: The German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG)

The WEEE is the regulation of the European parliament and the council over electric and electronic devices. Amongst others, they say that the manufacturers and quasi manufacturers of electric and electronic devices have to take back old devices in the scope of product responsibility and carry out disposal or recycling of them.

The return and recycling responsibility of the manufacturers are carried out through the national conversion, the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) of the EU regulation (WEEE) which are controlled and steered through a central coordination centre. The taking over of the end users old equipment will probably be carried out through a communal collection of electronic scrap by the respective public waste disposal authorities. The collected old equipment is then prepared for collection by the manufacturers at a certain transfer location, which is determined by the communities. Herewith, the manufacturers are informed of the transfer location for the old devices (collecting point of the community) through the coordination centre (EAR), according to a system which still has to be described and is undefined (probably the coincidence principle). All other organisational interests are obligations of the manufacturers.

The scale of frequency for the collection and disposal contracts for the individual market placement of electric and electronic devices is based on the share of the inner German market. For example, if the manufacturer has a market share of 2 % , then he/she becomes an assignment relationship of 2 % collection and disposal contracts inside the Federal Republic of Germany.

Additionally, every individual manufacturer is obliged to take back a certain amount of old and orphan* devices according to their market share independent on whether the device originates from their production or import.

*One speaks of orphan devices if the manufacturer does not exist any more or is not able to be identified.


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