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Electronics Production | May 07, 2008

Manufacturers must play catch-up

New research unveiled this week by the UK Environment Agency has revealed that 76% of import businesses are aware of the WEEE Regulations.
However, a significant number of companies have failed to join an approved Producer Compliance Scheme – a fundamental requirement of the regulations. 45% of the companies claim that this is because they believe that the regulations do not apply to them.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations apply to all buisinesses who import, rebrand or manufacture electrical and electronic equipment.

The research also reveals misconceptions around the regulations, which leads to many companies breaching the rules. The UK Environment Agency is now increasing enforcement activities, after allowing for a period to register with a compliance scheme, to ensure everyone understands their obligations.

However, over 30% of the companies think that small companies are exempt from the WEEE regulations. In fact all businesses that make or assemble products which require electricity for their main purpose and sell them under their own brand name; companies who rebrand or import products have to comply, regardless of their size. This also applies to companies who's office is not located in the UK.

Another common misconception is that regulations affect manufacturers more than importers, but the reality shows that the regulations apply equally to both. All companies that are part of the EEE supply chain - from manufacturer to distributor.

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