WEEE regulations

In Italy, the 27 January 2003 Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and Council on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, was implemented under Legislative Decree No. 151/05. The 2005 WEEE Decree was replaced by the 14 March 2014 Legislative Decree No. 49 which reinforces the extended producer responsibility (EPR) principle.

Due to regulatory updates, some important decrees have been issued implementing Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 which set the objective of giving an operational application to some of the regulatory framework’s fundamental principles, such as the promotion of eco-compatible products and small WEEE collections. For the first time since the launch of the WEEE system, the fees to cover the operating costs of the Supervisory and Control Committee have been set. This allows the institutional body to effectively and continuously carry out its activity and guarantee regulatory compliance by all stakeholders.

To complete the WEEE system regulatory framework, further implementing Decrees are expected to be published, which are important for making Legislative Decree No. 49/2014 fully operational. This includes the rules relating to minimum treatment standards, the standard articles of association for Compliance schemes and the financial guarantees decree.

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Why a WEEE Directive?

  • waste produced by electrical and electronic equipment is the fastest growing category of waste: 2.5-2.7 percent growth annually in 28 EU countries;
  • before the WEEE Directive, 90 percent of WEEE was sent to landfill, incinerated or recovered without pre-treatment;
  • this type of waste is rich in substances and materials which can be reused but are harmful to the environment if not properly treated;
  • the illegal export of WEEE in developing countries causes a negative impact on the environment.

Implementing decrees issued during 2016

  • Ministerial Decree of 12 October 2016 No. 27, Approval of the WEEE Coordination Centre’s articles of association — Implementation of article 33, paragraph 4, of Legislative Decree No. 49/2014.
  • Environmental Ministerial Decree of 25 July 2016, Measures aimed at promoting the development of new technologies for the treatment and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) — Implementation of article 19, paragraph 10, of Legislative Decree No. 49/2014.
  • Environmental Ministerial Decree 10 June 2016, No. 140, Criteria and methods for promoting environmentally friendly design and production of EEE — Implementation of article 5, Legislative Decree No. 49/2014.
  • Environmental Ministerial Decree of 31 May 2016, No. 121 – Simplified procedures for carrying out free collection activities of small WEEE (so-called “one to zero”) — Implementation of article 11, Legislative Decree No. 49/2014.
  • Environmental Ministerial Decree of 17 June 2016 – Fees to cover charges deriving from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management system — Implementation of article 41, Legislative Decree No 49/2014.

Batteries and Accumulators Regulations

The Italian regulatory framework governing batteries and accumulators and related waste is Legislative Decree No. 188/08, which implemented Directive 2006/66/EC. In 2016 Legislative Decree No. 188/08 has undergone changes with the enactment of Legislative Decree No. 27/2016.

The new features are limited to a formal replacement of WEEE legislation references contained in Legislative Decree No. 188/08 (reference is now made to Legislative Decree 49/2014 instead of the old Legislative Decree 151/05), the elimination of the exemption for the placing on the national market of nickel-cadmium batteries for cordless electric tools (from 1 January 2017), and the exemption relating to mercury in button batteries, and the inclusion of new obligations for Producers regarding instructions that must be provided on the correct removal of waste batteries and accumulators from equipment.

Preparatory work for the drafting and publication of a new Directive on Batteries and Accumulators is in progress at EU level, and has to take account of a market that has changed radically compared to 10 years ago, when the historic Directive 2006/66/EC was issued.

Why a Batteries Directive?

  • waste produced by batteries is constantly increasing and driven by the growing demand for miniaturised components;
  • to promote a less polluted environment by minimising the harmful substances contained in batteries;
  • batteries that do not meet the limits of harmful content are banned on the European market;
  • to promote research and provide economic incentives to improve the environmental performance of batteries during their entire life cycle;
  • revenue from recycling is sufficient to cover all collection and reprocessing costs in the sector;
  • in Italy the European Directive has been implemented with Legislative Decree No. 188/2008.

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