02 July 2018

WEEE Open Scope comes into effect in Germany, affecting even „smart“ clothing and furniture

On August 15th, the German law on waste of electronic and electric equipment (ElektroG) will be amended to follow the corresponding European directive: the list of products that are subject of extended producer responsibility and hence reporting and take-back obligations will be extended. Products from this added, so called "open scope" include goods that are not electronic or electric products by nature but have relevant components such as built-in chips or sensors.

From this, it follows that in future the same obligations are imposed on heatable gloves or sensor-equipped gulf clubs like they have been to coffee machines and laptops for years. Considering previous law suits in the same matter, legal experts like the Cologne based law firm Pauly see no reason to expect them to be excluded or excepted (see EUWID 16/2018).

Producers and importers of relevant goods are thus required to immediately register their products together with the relevant German authority "Stiftung EAR" and contract a take-back scheme like CCR's RELECTRA. For internationally selling organizations it is helpful to establish a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Management to gain overview and transparency on obligations and activities in all (EU) countries and with this assure compliance.