October 5, 2015, the President of the Republic of Poland signed a new act on waste electrical and electronic equipment.
This act implements the provisions of EU Directive 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment into the Polish law. The changes which are introduced may not be revolutionary, but they are essential for Producers placing electrical and electronic equipment on the territory of Poland. Below, we present some of them.
- Extending the responsibility of the Producer: fulfilling the obligations arising from the act through the electrical and electronic equipment recovery organization, does not exempt the producer of the equipment from responsibility for the fulfillment of these obligations (art. 11 paragraph 2). The legislator introduced this change to make the entrepreneur aware of the fact that when they choose the recovery organization whom they decide to transfer the obligations, they are responsible for that choice.
- Beginning from 2016, the minimum WEEE collection rates will increase. In 2016 they shall be respectively: 40% of the annual average weight of equipment placed on the market (for the whole equipment, excluding sources of light, specified in Appendix 6 of the act) and not less than 50% of annual average weight of the equipment placed on the market (for sources of light), and in 2018 they shall be: 65% of annual average weight of the equipment placed on the market.
- According to the act, the waste equipment collection rate is specified on the basis of the annual average weight of the equipment placed on the market. Until now, the collection rate was calculated in relation to the weight of equipment placed on the market in the previous year. The annual average equipment weight is understood as average weight of equipment placed on the market in the three preceding calendar years by a given distributor.
- From 2016, the obligation to achieve minimum collection rates applies to all producers placing the equipment on the market, regardless of the determination of the equipment (both B2C and B2B equipment) (art. 20 and 112).
- Change of the definition of WEEE collector: Collector refers only to entities that perform business activities within the scope of the collection and that have appropriate environmental decisions to perform these activities (Art. 4 point 23 of the act).
- The introduction of internal audit of electrical and electronic equipment recovery organizations and organizations, which run treatment facilities should be considered significant, new solutions.
- The obligation of free reception of the equipment intended for households by the retailer, who sells the equipment in the shops with an area of at least 400 square meters, without the necessity to purchase the new equipment by the buyer.