The WEEE compliance regulations apply to all organizations and businesses regardless of size, that either sell or manufacture EEE. These products are simply defined as ones which either would ordinarily require a battery or a plug to fulfill their primary function. Both producers and manufacturers of household and non-household commodities may find themselves having to follow WEEE recycling guidelines. This article will be focused on businesses that produce household appliances.
WEEE regulations: Household appliances
If you are producing, manufacturing or selling EEE goods the question you need to be asking yourself is do the products fall into any one of the 13 categories laid out by the directive? It should be noted that only products with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000v AC and 1500v DC is included in the WEEE compliance directive.
• Small household appliances such as irons, toasters, vacuum cleaners
• Large household appliances for instance freezers, cookers, microwaves, washing machines
• Consumer equipment for example radios, hi-fi, TVs, video recorders, musical instruments
• Lighting equipment such as fluorescent tubes, sodium lamps
• IT and telecoms equipment such as PCs, printers, copiers, phones, fax machines
• Toys, leisure and sports equipment for example electric trains, running machines
• Electrical electronic tools for instance drills, saws, sewing machines, electric lawnmower
• Medical services for instance analysers, radiotherapy equipment, dialysis
• Monitoring and control equipment for instance smoke detectors, thermostats, scales
• Automatic dispensers such as hot drinks dispensers, dispensers for money
• Cooling equipment such as refrigeration equipment
• Display equipment such as TVs and monitors
• Gas discharge lamps
Exemptions to WEEE regulations
However also take into account that there are products currently on the market which are exempted from the above 13 categories. They are Products which are intended primarily for military purposes; household luminaries; implanted or infected medical equipment, or EEE components that are not in themselves the final end saleable product. It should also be remembered that WEEE compliance only applies to products whose primary function requires the electrical component. An example of this would be a singing birthday card. It would in fact be exempt from the directive because the products primary function is a birthday card - the singing is a musical accompaniment.