RAEE: Importance and implementation of the WEEE directive in Spain
Regardless of whether you export your electrical or electronic equipment to Spain in the conventional way or sell it via an online shop – in any case, you are subject to the country-specific regulations for the implementation of the WEEE directive in Spain. As in Germany, the principle of extended producer responsibility applies here, too. You are not only responsible for the professional distribution of your goods, but also for the subsequent disposal and recycling. In this article, you will learn what to consider when exporting electronic devices to Spain.
The WEEE-EU-Directive in Spain is implemented in the form of the “Royal Decree” (Decreto Real II). Even as an exporter of electrical appliances, you must comply with your producer responsibility. Insolvency-proof- or financial guarantees are just as obligatory in Spain as they are in Germany. You can either do this individually or join a business association (SCRAP).
RAEE 2: The WEEE-Directive in Spain
The international WEEE-Directive aims to ensure the proper distribution and disposal of electrical and electronic equipment within the EU. However, the concrete implementation of the EU framework into national law lies in the responsibility of the respective member state. In Spain, it is based on the “Royal Decree on the Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment” – the so-called Real Decreto sobre residuos de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos (abbreviated: RD RAEE). With the reform of the EU-Directive on 15 August 2018, the 10 original product categories were reduced to 6 more generalized categories. Since then, almost all types of electrical appliances can now be assigned to one category – and thus fall into the WEEE scope. In Spain the current law was revised and adapted accordingly to the new directive as well (RAEE 2).
RAEE 2: What obligations do manufacturers have?
Although Spain is one of the five largest manufacturers of electrical appliances and produces about 930 thousand tons of electronic waste annually (as of 2017) according to the Global E-waste Monitor, in 2017 only about one fifth was properly returned to the relevant collection points. In this case, according to the principle of the extended producer responsibility, every person who puts electronic devices on the Spanish market is also obliged to ensure that the old electrical appliances (e-waste) that are put into circulation are properly recycled and disposed. Similar to Germany, as a trader you have to fulfill certain obligations:
- Obligation to register: As a manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment you must first register in the state industrial register (Registro Integrado Industrial). This central database, maintained by the Spanish Ministry of Industry (Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo), records the data of all companies operating in Spain.
- Take-back obligation: As a dealer, you must give your customers the option of returning their old device free of charge when purchasing a new electrical device – provided that it is a similar device with the same functions.
- Insolvency Guarantees: A type of “finance contract” ensures that the costs of disposing of WEEE are actually borne by those who put it into circulation. Without the annual status of such a Insolvency Guarantee, no manufacturer or distributor is authorized to distribute electronic equipment within Spain. These guarantees have only an annual scope and therefore need to be updated regularly.
According to the Spanish Environmental Liability Act, three different forms of insolvency-proof guarantees are accepted:
- Insurance contracts, provided that the contract has been concluded with an insurance company recognized in Spain
- Guarantees / to stand surety, provided they have been granted by a financial institution.
It is also possible to join one of the associations specially created for this purpose, the “Sistemas Colectivos de responsabilidad ampliada del productor (SCRAP)”. The guarantees are administered at the state level. Accordingly, in the 19 Regiones Autónomas different rules and regulations may apply.
Important deadlines acc. RAEE / WEEE in Spain and the financial guarantee:
The financial guarantee shall ensure the financing of the disposal of WEEE from equipment placed on the market by the manufacturer or by the manufacturers affected in order to meet the minimum objectives of the extended liability regime. The implementation of the Directive has established a prioritization of economic activities, which in turn involves deadlines for the implementation of the financial guarantee. These must be deposited by the given date.
You have questions or need help with the legal compliance of the directive in Spain? Contact us! Deutsche Recycling as a full-service partner is happy to assist you.