WEEE Directive is transposed into Estonian legislation through:
- Waste Act (definition of producer and product of concern, general obligations for producer);
- Regulation of Government No 65, 20.04.2009 (list of categories of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), targets for recycling and recovery and deadlines for achievement of these targets, requirements for returning WEEE to the producer);
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No 9, 09.02.2005 (requirements for treatment of WEEE);
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No 21, 27.04.2009 (requirements for labelling);
- Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009 (Register of Product of Concern and registration of producers);
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No 12, 16.02.2011 (registration and reporting forms for Register of Register of Products of Concern);
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 57, 22.07.2013 (information for users and requirements for national public campaigns).
Producer of electrical and electronic equipments (EEE) is a person who regardless of the method of sale
- manufactures products under person's brand or has EEE designed or manufactured and markets it under person's name or brand in Estonia;
- resells under person's own name or brand products manufactured by others;
- imports products from third countries or another Member States on a professional basis into Estonia;
- sells EEE by means of distance communicaton directly to private households or to users other than private households in Estonia and is established in another Member State or in a third country.
Producer is not a person who finances under or pursuant to any finance agreement unless person also acts as a producer.
Retailer is a person who provides EEE on a commercial basis to the party who going to use it.
Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.
Products of concern are: batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres, EEE and their parts and agricultural plastic.
Electrical and electronic equipment is an equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000 V for alternating current and 1500 V for direct current.
Place on the market: Product is placed on the market if that product is made available for a first time in the Estonian market for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. For example if product is brought from some Member State, then that product is placed on the market after all procedures are done (user's manual translated etc). If that product is brought for example from China or USA, then after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it's possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse, that product is not placed on the market yet.
By Waste Act, producer is required to ensure the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of waste resulting from products of concern placed to the market (which are placed to the market after 12 August 2005) and shall have a sufficient guarantee for these obligations. Guarantee can be:
1) participation in collective schemes,
2) recycling insurance or
3) closed bank account.
Producer must bear all costs of collection and treatment of WEEE. Producers have also obligation to collect and treat all WEEE resulting from EEE placed on the market before 13 August 2005 (so called "historical waste"). Costs of such waste shall be divided between these producers who are in market now in proportion to their market share (by categories).
Producer shall set out the following information on electrical and electronic equipment intended for distribution:
- data which identify the producer;
- a separate collection mark by standard EVS-EN 50419 (to these equipments which are placed to the market after 12.08.2005);
That information must be clearly legible, indelible and visible until the equipment turns into waste.
Producer must provide information for users of electric and electronic equipment:
- return facilities (locations and telephone numbers where relevant information can be obtained);
- the potential effects on the environment and human health as a result of the presence of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment;
- the meaning of the separate collection mark.
Producers shall make available to the facilities engaged in the treatment of WEEE all information related to the reuse and processing of each new type of EEE that is placed to the market not later than one year after such equipment is placed on the market, indicating the components and materials of such equipment and specifying the location if hazardous substances and preparations contained therein.
Producers of EEE intended for household use shall be responsible for ensuring that such waste can be returned to the retailer free of charge on a one-to-one basis as long as the equipment is of equivalent type and has fulfilled the same functions as the supplied equipment. If there are no facilities for collection of WEEE within the radius of 10 km, producers shall be responsible for ensuring that such waste can be returned to the retailer free of charge on more than one-to-one basis as long as the equipment is of equivalent type and has fulfilled the same functions as the supplied equipment.
Producer has requirement to register with Register of Product of Concern and report according to the Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009 and Regulation of Minister of Environment No 30, 09.05.2011. Requirement to register entered into force on 13 February 2006. In the Register of Product of Concern must register all persons who manufacture, import or resell EEE ("producers").
There is 2 ways to submit application:
- through Internet (online) or
- digitally signed file via e-mail (possible only for persons having Estonian ID-card).
There is no fee for registration and reporting.
For registration producer must besides introducing data what kind of brands (s)he represents give affirmation about (financial) guarantee and affirmation that products do not contain certain restricted hazardous substances (according to RoHS Directive), description of national public information campaigns (for users of EEE) and waste management plan in which (s)he describes how (s)he collects WEEE and handles waste onward. Producer must also report amounts and quantities how much EEE (s)he manufactures, imports and/or place on the Estonian market and/or exports to another EU country or outside EU. Data have to be reported quarterly. Producer has to introduce every year a waste report (it has to be introduced quarterly).
With Register can only register these producers who have registered in Estonian Central Commercial Register. When producer is located permanently outside Estonia then (s)he can not register directly in Register.
Foreign producer has 2 options:
- found branch office or subsidiary in Estonia or
- appoint authorised representative.
Such solution solves the problem where we have to guarantee to foreign producers possibility to register and in the same time it forecloses necessity in case of infringement to turn to Court of that Member State where that producer is permanently located. If producer from outside Estonia (for example from Germany) do not fulfil some of his/her obligations (proportionally with his/her market share) then that Estonian producer who has some claims (for example financial) do not have to go to the Court of other Member State where that producer is located. And other reason is that Estonian enforcement authorities can not supervise these producers who have responsibilities in Estonia but are located in other location outside Estonia.
All the data in Register are public according to Public Information Act. It means data are attainable with restrictions for everyone in form of request for information. For example, it is not possible to get an information about market shares and guarantees or contracts or other information which contains commercial secret. Public are general data about amounts placed on the market and waste handling (summary of all data reported by all producers), description of national public information campaigns and waste management plans (except parts which contain commercial secret).
In Estonia, there is no Clearing House System. Producers have to divide the costs themselves and communicate with each other. For example if someone has collected more WEEE than (s)he place on the market, then it means that someone collected less than his/her market share is. And that producer who collected more presents a bill for payment to that one that collected less. If they do not get an agreement then the Court solves the problem.
Requirements for collection and treatment sites
For place of WEEE treatment, including collecting site are settled on certain requirements. Collection site must have weatherproof covering, impermeable surfaces and spillage collection facilities and, where appropriate, decanters and cleanser-degreasers. In addition, site of treatment must have balances, storage facility for disassembled spare parts and hazardous waste, containers for storage of batteries, PCBs and PCTs containing capacitors and other hazardous waste and radioactive waste and equipment for the treatment of waste water. Treatment facility ought to have waste permit or IPPC permit and hazardous waste handling licence.
- Producer responsibility and products of concern (in Estonian)
- Waste Act (in English)
- Requirements for Treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Regulation of Government No. 65, 20.04.2009 (in Estonian)
- Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009 (in Estonian)
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 21, 27.04.2009 (in Estonian)
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No 12, 16.02.2011 (in Estonian)
- Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 57, 22.07.2013 (in Estonian)»