Implementation of the WEEE Directive



Project description and aims

Waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU, with some 9 million tonnes generated in 2005, and expected to grow to more than 12 million tonnes by 2020. WEEE contains a complex mixture of materials and components, which are also partly hazardous. Not properly managed WEEE can cause major environmental and health problems. Also, the production of electronics requires the use of scarce and expensive resources.

To address these problems two pieces of legislation have been put in place by the European Union: The Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE Directive) and the Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive). The first WEEE Directive (Directive 2002/96/EC) entered into force in February 2003. The Directive provided for the creation of collection schemes where consumers return their WEEE free of charge. These schemes aim to increase the recycling of WEEE and/or re-use.
In December 2008, the European Commission proposed to revise the Directive in order to tackle the fast increasing waste stream. The new WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU entered into force on 13 August 2012 and became effective on 14 February 2014.

Project aims

  1. To improve the detection of illegal shipments of WEEE to countries with poor treatment facilities (African countries) by creating a guideline for a more uniform interpretation and enforcement of Annex VI of the WEEE Directive.
  2. To carry out a desk study on the implementation of the WEEE Directive in national legislation concerning treatment of waste plastic containing brominated flame retardants (BFR). Furthermore, improving the monitoring of waste plastics of WEEE containing BFR, stimulate enforcement actions in this field by exchanging information, working methods, case studies. The main aim is to prevent next generation of hazardous wastes by using waste plastics contaminated with PBDEs and PBBs for new plastic products (see requirements of the POP-Regulation and ROHS.
  3. To share experience, best practices and the possibilities and impossibilities on how enforcement can benefit a more accurate reporting but also a positive contribution to more and better collection and recycling of WEEE, and on how to deal with the hazardous substances in WEEE.


  • To work towards an adequate level of inspections in all Member States and a consistent level of enforcement regarding Annex VI of the WEEE Directive
  • To work towards an adequate level of inspections in all Member States and a consistent level of enforcement regarding hazardous substances (BFR)in WEEE
  • Providing feedback to the Commission on the difficulties regarding implementation and enforcement difficulties
  • More uniform system of classification.


Number: 2018/06, 2017/07 – Status: Completed – Period: 2017 – Topic: Waste and TFS - Tags:

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