National WEEE regulations come into force – major changes ahead for photovoltaic industry

Official 18-month transposition period for the revised Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) ends today

Brussels, February 14th, 2014 – As of today the official 18-month transition period for transposing the revised WEEE Directive into national law ended.

Originally launched in 2003, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) regulates the treatment of electrical and electronic waste at the end of their life cycle. The directive has been amended twice in 2008 and 2012, resulting in an enlarged scope to include many new additional products. Photovoltaic (PV) modules were introduced in the latest revision of 2012.

“Waste management has been a reality for a vast majority of the European PV market since 2007. Including PV modules in the enlarged scope of the recast WEEE Directive has simply created a mandatory framework for every PV actor putting PV modules on an EU market for the very first time”, explained Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of Europe’s leading take-back and recycling scheme for PV module waste.

With entry into force on January 1, 2014, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria were the first countries to transpose the new text into national law. So far, no other EU Member State has implemented their national version of the European directive. Although some key PV markets like Germany, Italy, France and Spain have not yet incorporated it into their national laws, WEEE will remain relevant to the PV sector in 2014 and beyond.

“Under WEEE, PV companies will not only have to ensure the collection and recycling of their discarded end-of-life products but are required to also guarantee the financial future of PV waste management”, said Jan Clyncke. “Making sure that those in the PV value-chain affected by WEEE could prepare in advance has been our main focus for the last months”, he further explained.

Today, PV CYCLE is represented in all major PV markets, allowing for a better WEEE compliance service at national level. The system offers its numerous European and international members a fully operational, PV-focused take-back and recycling service.

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