Italian legislation

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The Legislative Decree 49/2014 arises from the transposition of Directive 2012/19/EU which, in order to protect the environment and human health, defines the measures and procedures necessary for the improvement, prevention and reduction of the negative impacts deriving from the production of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and associated waste, both from households and businesses.

Related to the Decree there are some Ministerial Decrees which define its implementation aspects. Below are listed the most significant ones for Producers of professional EEE:

  • Rates Decree – Ministerial Decree of 17 June 2016
    The Ministerial Decree “Rates for covering the charges deriving from the waste management system for electrical and electronic equipment” establishes the charges and payment methods for covering the operating costs of the Supervisory and Control Committee, of the WEEE Steering Committee, of the activities performed by ISPRA for monitoring the WEEE collection rates and recovery targets, as well as for the keeping of the WEEE Register and the inspections activities by the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police).
  • Ministerial Decree No. 65 of 8 March 2010
    Ministerial Decree 65/2010 provides for simplified procedures for the management of professional WEEE by distributors, installers and service centres operators, in order to facilitate the organisation of adequate separate collection systems for such waste. They may collect professional WEEE only in the name and on behalf of Producers of professional EEE and only if formally appointed by them.

Obligations for Producers of professional EEE

The current legislation requires professional EEE Producer to organise and finance the collection of WEEE when the end user request it in having decided to dispose of it.

The Producer’s responsibility for the end-of-life of professional EEE must be distinguished as follows:

  • for historical professional WEEE, i.e. deriving from EEE placed on the market up to 31 December 2010, the responsibility lies with the Producer only in the case of supply of a new EEE to replace an equivalent one; If the Producer does not supply the new EEE, the disposal costs must be borne by its holder;
  • for new professional WEEE, i.e. deriving from EEE placed on the market from 1 January 2011, the responsibility for the EEE it has placed on the market lies with the Producer who will be required to ensure its management. This also applies if the Producer does not supply a new EEE.

In so far as applicable, Producers organise and manage differentiated collection systems of professional WEEE and bear the related costs, according to the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

The EEE Producer can choose whether to join a collective system or set up an individual system.

In fact, the law provides for the possibility of companies to create a so-called ‘individual system’. This means that each Producer can organise itself in order to be able to provide certain guarantees, including the independent collection of WEEE. From a practical point of view, the Producer must draw up a precise plan for the collection of this WEEE throughout the national territory and obtain the approval of the Ministry of the Environment, which shall examine whether the Producer’s plan is valid or not.

Collective systems, on the other hand, are specifically set up for providing concrete answers to companies that must meet this requirement: they have a precise collection plan, special agreements, certifications, approvals and authorisations and are present throughout Italy. And not just that. By managing the WEEE collection for a large number of Producers, bigger collective systems are able to achieve economies of scale that make the process advantageous also from an economic point of view.

The reputation on the market of the organisation to which rely on is also of fundamental importance, as the responsibility for the inadequate recycling and poor management of the waste always falls also on the company that produced it and its directors.

Open scope

As from 15 August 2018, Legislative Decree 49/2014 has introduces a wider scope of application (open scope) that significantly expands the categories of products subject to the EEE legislation.

Before 15 August 2018, the scope was considered ‘closed’, or limited to specific categories expressly indicated by the legislation.

With the open scope approach, any electrical and electronic equipment, corresponding to the definition given in the Decree, is to be considered subject to the legislation, except for explicit exclusions.

The open scope also introduces a new classification of equipment, according to which products are no longer identified on the basis of their type, but according to size.

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