Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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BERR invites industry views on European Commission proposals to revise the WEEE and ROHS directives

BERR invites industry views on European Commission proposals to revise the WEEE and ROHS directives

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2009/105) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 9 April 2009

The Department for Business has published a consultation on European Commission proposals to recast the Directives on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and the Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment.

The proposals follow the Commission's review of both the Directives. On WEEE, a major proposal is to increase the amounts of electric and electronic waste that are separately collected and recycled, while the proposals on RoHS aim for a higher level of environmental protection by revising the scope of the restrictions and the substances they apply to.

Commenting on the proposals a BERR spokesperson said:

"The UK welcomes the Commission's intention to strengthen the Directives, with further steps to limit the environmental impact of waste equipment. However, we are concerned that the WEEE proposals in particular do present some significant challenges for British businesses.

"Our consultation paper will give the electronics and ICT industries, the waste management sector, consumers and other interested parties the opportunity to inform the UK government's understanding of the impact the changes will have, ahead of the formal negotiations in Brussels."

Responses to the consultation are sought by 13 May 2009.

Notes To Editors:

1. The Consultation document is available at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/sustainability/weee/page30269.html

2. The European Commission's proposed revisions were published on 3 December 2008 and arise from obligations contained within the original WEEE and RoHS Directive texts. European Council negotiations on the proposals have already started and are expected to commence in the European Parliament from September

3. The WEEE Directive and RoHS Directives were both adopted by the European Commission in January 2003 and published in the Official Journal on 13 February that year

4. The WEEE Directive aims to minimise the environmental impact of electrical and electronic equipment by encouraging its reuse, recycling and recovery when it is discarded at end of life. The UK WEEE Regulations 2006 came into force on 2 January 2007

5. The RoHS Directive ensures that all Member States observe similar restrictions on the levels of six hazardous substances in the same range of electrical and electronic equipment in order to minimise its environmental impact. The UK Regulations came into force on 1 July 2006

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