1. Home
  2. Regulations
  3. WEEE Directive

WEEE Directive

The Electrical and Electronical Equipments (EEE) are divided into ten categories of equipment as follows:

  • Category 1: Large household appliances cold and non cold (LHA)
  • Category 2: Small household appliances (SHA)
  • Category 3: IT Equipment and Telecommunications
  • Category 4: Consumer equipment
  • Category 5: Lighting Equipment
  • Category 6: Electrical and electronic tools
  • Category 7: Toys, leisure and sports
  • Category 8: Medical devices
  • Category 9: Monitoring instruments and control
  • Category 10 : Automatic dispencers

The following types of equipments are excluded from these categories:

  • The electrical and electronic equipment related to the protection of essential security interests of the state, weapons and munitions and other war materials, if they are related exclusively military purposes.
  • The electrical and electronic equipment as part of another type of equipment that is not itself an electrical or electronic equipment within the meaning of the various categories listed above.

Figure 1: Distribution of tonnage of household and professional EEE placed on the market in 2010 (1,609 kt) by categories of equipment. ADEME Data 2010

Definition of WEEE

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment are a category of waste, consisting of equipment at the end of life, powered by electricity or through electromagnetic fields and designed for use in a voltage not exceeding 1000 volts AC and 1500 volts DC. Each product is stamped from 13 August 2005 to identify its manufacturer and a pictogram showing that this product is the subject of a separate collection (standard EN 50419).

Waste is legally defined by the Act of July 15, 1975 as « any residue of a process of production, processing or use, any substance, material, product or more generally, any object abandoned or intended to be discarded by its owner ».

During collection, we talk about collection stream of WEEE. In France this stream is divided into five categories:

Figure 2 : Large household appliance non cold Figure 3 : Large household appliance cold
Figure 4: Small household appliance
Figure 5: Screens Figure 6: Lamps

The WEEE Directive (Directive 2002/96/EC) has undergone a recast that will apply after transposition from 2014 (Directive 2012/19/EC). This new Directive’s main objective is to strengthen the collection rate of WEEE (85% of EEE produced and 65% of EEE placed on the market). Its scope will be expanded to include products that are not currently collected.

Case of household WEEE

Case of professional WEEE

Producers of professional electrical and electronic equipment must collect and process at their own expense:

  • waste from business equipment placed on the market after 13th August 2005;
  • waste from business equipment placed on the market until that time when they replace them with equivalent equipment or performing the same function.

Apart from these two cases, the end of life WEEE professionals is the responsibility of the user.

As part of a direct sale of a producer to a user, however, producers can agree on other methods of removal and treatment of professionals electrical and electronic waste in consultation with users, by providing in the contract of sale equipment conditions in which the user provides all or part of the management of waste from these equipments.

« In France, the Environmental Code, through articles R543 to R543-205-206, regulates the penalties incurred by a producer who does not comply with the WEEE regulations. »

So producers can be given a criminal fine of 450€ per EEE if they:

  • place on the market electrical and electronic equipment without the required markings and logos
  • do not inform buyers by a statement in the sales invoices of any new electrical and electronic household, the unit cost for disposal of waste electrical and electronic household on the market before 13 August 2005
  • do not communicate the information on quantities of EEE they put on the market and how they plan for elimination of these EEE

The fine can be up to 1500€ per device when the producer puts EEE on the market that do not meet the limitation of pollutants and when it does not contribute to the collection and processing of WEEE.

Distributors may be imposed a fine of up to 450€ per EEE if they do not provide « one for one » recovery scheme with electrical and electronic equipment and if they do not inform buyers of the cost disposal of WEEE put on the market before 13 August 2005″.

Producer responsibility organizations

The removal, sorting, decontamination and recycling of separately collected at pickup points (retailers and wholesalers, local governments, waste collectors, installators, etc.) are organized on behalf of producers by four Producer responsibility organizations (created at the initiative of some producers) approved by the government. The houshold WEEE Authorized Coordinator Agency (OCAD3E), a subsidiary of the four eco-organizations, aims to connect local authorities with producer responsibility organizations for houshold WEEE collection (one-stop scheme).

Producers responsibility organizations in charge of household WEEE are :

Concerned categoriesProducer responsibility organizations
Category 1 to 4, 6 and 7ecologic
Category 5recylum
Category 11recylum

For information, producers responsibility organizations in charge of professionals WEEE are :

CategoriesProducer responsibility organizations
Category 1Ecologic
Category 2Ecologic
Category 3Ecologic
Category 4Ecologic
Category 5Récylum
Category 6Ecologic
Category 7Ecologic
Category 8Récylum
Category 9Eco-systèmes
Category 10Ecologic

These organizations have contracts with logistics and processing facilities to ensure pollution control and treatment of WEEE environmentally friendly and health, in accordance with the regulations.


Results of the chain during the period 2006-2009 and news challenges for 2010-2014 – Chantal Jouano (Governmental secretary in charge of ecology) – french
– French department of ecology, Decree 2005-829 of july 20th 2005 concerning composition of electrical and electronic equipments and disposal of dangerous wastes from theses equipments – french
– ADEME. Annual report« Electrical and electronic equipments ». Data 2010
– European parliament and European council. Eruopean directive 2002/96/EC.
– European parliament and European council. Eruopean directive 2012/19/EC. (recast of WEEE directive)
– Actu-Environnement. Florence Roussel « WEEE regulation ». http://www.actu-environnement.comfrench
– Environmental code on Legifrance: http://www.legifrance.gouv.frfrench

– law n° 75-633 of july 15th 1975 concerning waste disposal and materials recovery

Updated on novembre 27, 2016

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles