Updated: 03/04/2024

Waste from electrical and electronic equipment: The revised Directive to align with Court ruling is published

The matter dates back to 2012, when the then new WEEE directive entered into force, bringing photovoltaic panels into the scope of the previous directive. It also implemented an ‘open scope’ as of 15 August 2018, meaning that all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) products were considered to be within the directive’s scope unless specifically excluded. In its judgment in case C-181/20 of 25 January 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared some parts of the WEEE directive as being partially invalid owing to non-justified retroactive effects. The Court held that, according to the new directive, the financing of waste collection, treatment, recovery and disposal costs (extended producer responsibility) retroactively applied to photovoltaic panels placed on the market since 13 August 2005. The conclusion to be drawn from the judgement was that extended producer responsibility also applied retroactively to products which were added to the scope in 2018. The Court therefore found the new directive to be liable to violate the principle of legal certainty.

The amendments made on the directive clarify that:

  • the costs of the management and disposal of waste from photovoltaic panels placed on the market after 13 August 2012 rest with the producer of the EEE
  • extended producer responsibility for EEE products that were added to the scope of the directive in 2018 should apply to those e-products that were put on the market after that date

In this context, the draft Directive Proposal submitted by the European Commission on 7 February 2023, in order to revise the Directive taking into account the aforementioned Court of Justice decision was accepted on 16 June 2023. This time, Directive No. 2024/884/EU dated 13 March 2024, which amended Articles 12, 13, 14 and 15 of Directive 2012/19/EU and stipulated that member states should make the necessary regulations until 9 October 2025, was adopted and published in the EU Official Journal on 19 March 2024.

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Updated: 03/04/2024 / Hit: 1,344