The WEEE Waste Directive is about to undergo a major change. The EU Council has adopted changes.

26. 3. 2024

On 4 March 2024, the EU Council adopted changes to the WEEE legislation 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment (e.g. computer, washing machine, photovoltaic panels). The reason for the change to the WEEE Directive is the 2022 CJEU ruling on the partial invalidity of the Directive due to the unjustified retroactive application of extended producer responsibility for waste from photovoltaic  panels placed on the market from 13 August 2005 and 13 August 2012.

The amendments clarify that the costs of the management and disposal of waste photovoltaic panels placed on the market after 13 August 2012 shall be defused by the manufacturer. It also clarifies that the extended producer responsibility for electronic or electrical products added to the scope of the Directive in 2018 should apply to all electrical products placed on the market after that date.

In order to be able to define the date of placing on the market of WEEE, Member States must ensure that the EEE label contains information that the electrical or electronic equipment was placed on the market after 13 August 2005. For this purpose, EU standard EN 50419:2022  applies.

The changes to the Directive also introduce a review clause, which requires the EU Commission to assess by the end of 2026 whether the Directive needs to be further revised. On this basis, the Commission will consider in particular the need to create a new WEEE category for photovoltaic panels.

Next steps:

The Commission has adopted a draft for a targeted revision of the WEEE Directive on 7 February 2023. After the co-legislators adopted their negotiating positions (Council in June and European Parliament in October 2023), they managed to reach a preliminary political agreement in November 2023. The European Parliament formally voted on the agreement on 6 February 2024.

The Council vote on 4 March completed the admission process. The text of the amendments to the directive will now be signed by both institutions. Afterwards it will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and will take effect 20 days later. Member states will have 18 months to transpose the amended directive into national law.

You can see the changes to the Directive here.