When electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) becomes waste, we refer to it as “WEEE” (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment). For this waste, particular regulations apply, which have been brought together in the directive 2012/19/EU, better known as the WEEE directive. The majority of these obligations are regional material:
• For the Flemish Region: the decree of December 20th, 2011 regarding the sustainable management of material cycles and waste of the Flemish Government or the website of Public Waste Agency of Flanders ('OVAM')
• For the Walloon Region: the decrees of March 10th, 2005 and September 23rd, 2010 of the Walloon Government or the website of the Service Publique Wallonie ('SPW')
• For the Brussels Capital Region: the decree of the Brussels Capital Government of June 3rd, 2004 or the website of the Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment (IBGE-BIM)
Coordination between the regions and the federal government in this sphere is handled by the Waste Steering Group and the Sustainable Production and Consumption Steering Group of the Coordinating Committee for International Environmental Policy (CCIEP).
The federal elements in the WEEE directive were transformed, together with the RoHS directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS stands for “Restriction of Hazardous Substances”) into the Royal Decree of the 12th of October, 2004 concerning the prevention of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, known as the “RD RoHS”.
Marking (EN50419 standard)
As of 13 August 2005, all EEE must bear a particular symbol: a waste bin behind an X-cross, illustrated in annex IV to the afore-mentioned RD October 12, 2004. If necessary, because of the dimensions or function of the product, the symbol is printed on the packaging, the operating instructions and the warranty certificate.
The other required information is the identity of the producer and the explicit mention that the EEE was put onto the market after August 13, 2005. At the request of the Commission, the industry itself issued standard EN50419 for this purpose. This voluntary technical standard ensures that the label information is as uniform as possible. In Belgium, producers can request this standard, for a fee, from the Belgian Standards Bureau (Bureau de normalisation – NBN). Exactly which information must be provided, you will find in article 5 §11 of the afore-mentioned RD RoHS.
This information must also be available, free of charge, to potential buyers at every point of sale.