1. What is the core business of Deutsche Recycling, and what services are offered?

In general, Deutsche Recycling is a specialist for Europe-wide and worldwide licensing solutions. Regardless of what country you export your products to, we know all applicable environmental regulations and requirements. We are your point of contact and service provider for the optimised licensing of product packaging, waste electrical equipment (WEEE) and batteries, for instance, offering you customised, cross-industry full service. We advise you, analyse the applicable framework conditions, develop a strategy that is ideal for your business and take up operational implementation.

Our services:

  • Individual consulting
  • Analysis and strategy
  • Full licensing service
  • Provision of authorised representatives in the framework
    of the WEEE legislation in the EU
  • Complete administrative processing and handling
  • Registration
  • Correspondence
  • Contract design
  • Quantity reports
  • Reporting
  • Auditing

2. What are the European regulations I must comply with?

Three directives have been passed in the European Union (EU) up to now that govern the licensing regarding waste disposal and recycling in the context of merchandise export. These directives have been implemented in the national legislation of the Member States – hence there are more than 80 individual regulations in the EU, which must be complied with by merchandise exporters. Worldwide, a large number of other comparable, country-specific laws and regulations apply.

The following constitute the legal implementation in the EU Member States:

  • European Packaging Directive
  • European Battery Directive
  • European WEEE Directive (waste electrical and electronic equipment)

3. What are the resultant obligations? Who must get a license?

Put simply: Everybody who is legally obligated to do so. Whether your company is obligated can be answered only on a case-by-case basis, because it depends on various factors such as the company and sales structure as well as on the respective country-specific regulations, of course. It can be finally clarified only by means of an individual analysis. This analysis then constitutes the basis for a licensing strategy, which aims at optimising costs.

4. What do I have to get a licence for? Are there any special features?

Everybody putting packaging, electrical equipment and batteries on the market within the European Union must comply with the aforementioned directives, namely in the form of their respective national implementation. In the framework of the superordinate European idea of product responsibility, corresponding licensing regulations are in place in each Member State. They differ from country to country, however – there are more than 80 individual arrangements in the EU.

5. What are the consequences if a licence is not acquired, or has not been acquired up to now?

This depends on the individual case. Again, there are country-specific regulations – the penalties differ from country to country. In some cases, the penalties are quite drastic, e.g. in Germany. Financially, it can mean a sum in the five-digit range. In addition, CEOs are personally liable in some cases. Bans on operating and selling are possible in some countries. Based on an in-depth analysis, we assess the respective risks entailed on an individual basis.

6. What information is necessary in order to ensure that Deutsche Recycling can analyse individual obligations?

The licensing regulations that apply to you depend on the form in which you operate in the respective country. In order to clarify this, we need various detailed data from you. The customer and sales structure, for example, as well as the sales channels are relevant. It is important, for instance, whether you operate your own branches, supply end customers directly from online shops or collaborate with dealers and importers.

7. What do I still have to do as part of the operational implementation by Deutsche Recycling?

Once we have established what licenses we implement for you operationally, we take up the complete administrative processing and handling – including registration, correspondence, contractual matters, quantity reports, reporting and auditing. All you have to do is report the quantities destined for the respective countries at certain deadlines. We take care of the rest!

8. What is legal monitoring?

Legal monitoring means constant observation of the legislation in our service areas, e.g. WEEE/ElektroG (law that implements the WEEE Directive in Germany), BatterieG (law that implements the Battery Directive in Germany) and the Packaging law. Through legal monitoring, we keep track of (new) laws for our clients and we know all local obligations in all relevant countries for you as a producer.

This way, we are able to provide you with information on the requirements for access to specific markets as early as in the planning phase. Product-specific and company-specific questions can be clarified (e.g. standards, certifications, labelling obligations).

9. What is the "ear" foundation?

The National Register for waste electric equipment (stiftung ear) in Germany is the “Clearing House of Producers”, in the meaning of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG). Entrusted with sovereign rights by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), stiftung ear registers the producers of electrical and electronic equipment and coordinates the provision of containers and the pick-up of electrical and electronic waste equipment at the örE (public waste disposal authorities) in the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany.

10. What does „producer/distributor“ mean?

Producer/distributor within the meaning of the law

is anyone who

  • produces equipment under his name and brand and puts them on the market for the first time (producer)
  • offers equipment of other producers under his name or own brand
  • offers foreign equipment for the first time (importer)
  • is established outside the country and offers equipment by distance selling communication

11. What is an authorised representative, and who needs him?

Representative in Germany (Section 3 No. 10 ElektroG)

Since the amendment of the ElektroG, only those producers (Section 3 No. 9 ElektroG) who are established in Germany can register with stiftung ear. Producers without an establishment in Germany must engage an authorised representative. The representative then applies for the required registrations on behalf of the actual producer. Only a legal person established in Germany can be an authorised representative (cf. Section 3 No. 10 ElektroG).).

Deutsche Recycling is entered in the register of stiftung ear as an authorised representative


Authorised representative in other countries (WEEE Recast 2012)

The international statutes prescribe registration through an authorised representative if the producer/distributor is selling electric/electronic equipment by distance selling to private persons in other EU countries without having an establishment in the country.

Example (Section 8 Paragraph 5 ElektroG 2):
Distance selling dealers established in the Federal Republic of Germany are obligated to engage authorised representatives in other Member States if they deliver directly to end users.

12. How do I know if my electrical appliance is subject to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act and needs to be registered?

Since February 2014 (implementation of the revised WEEE Directive (Directive 2012/19/EU) into national law), almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment have been subject to the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) and are therefore subject to registration. The probability that a device is one of those that must be registered with the stiftung ear (stiftung elektroaltgeräteregister) is therefore high. However, there are exceptions here as well. For example, there is still no obligation to register certain devices, such as used and repaired products, provided they were manufactured in Germany. The same also applies to equipment that has been produced or imported exclusively for personal use. In addition, certain types of equipment are still exempt from the obligation to register. These include stationary (i.e. non-movable) industrial machines or military equipment. If you still have justified doubts about this or do not know exactly whether registration is really necessary in your case, you can find out by means of a so-called “Feststellungsantrag” (individual examination request), which you submit to the stiftung ear together with a detailed product description and a short explanation. You will then receive a written confirmation of your existing or non-existing registration obligation.

13. Which WEEE regulations apply to me if I sell my products abroad?

If, as a German supplier, you wish to sell products with electrical and electronic functions abroad, you must comply with the regulations of the respective target country. The WEEE directive for electrical appliances has been converted into national laws within the EU. This means that you must expect different regulations depending on the country. If you sell directly to private or business customers in other EU countries, you will be considered the manufacturer and become responsible yourself for disposing of old appliances correctly. For example, depending on the country, you may have to appoint an authorized representative (e.g. local recycling service provider). You will also have to register locally for each country separately and regularly report your sales figures towards the authorities of that country. How the requirements of the WEEE Directive have been implemented depends largely on the country. Example: The reporting requirement varies widely in terms of deadlines and reporting intervals. We will be happy to provide you with detailed information on the obligations and costs you expect in each case.

14. Which WEEE regulations apply if I sell my products within Germany?

If you sell electrical and electronic equipment in Germany, you must ensure that these goods have been registered by the manufacturer with the stiftung ear in accordance with the current German ElektroG. Only products duly registered in Germany may be sold. The latest ElektroG version from 15th of August 2018 is binding for all products with electrical or electronic functions. The ElektroG does now also apply to electrically adjustable furniture. The ElektroG obliges you to take back old appliances free of charge and at the same time to inform customers about the take-back options. However, this only applies if you have storage and shipping space of at least 400 square meters which is expressly intended for electrical and electronic equipment. Small appliances (edge length up to 50 cm, e.g. smartphones) must always be taken back, larger appliances only if the customer buys a comparable new product from you. You must provide take-back options for your customers. You can also outsource this, for example by joining a collective take-back system that maintains a nationwide network with suitable collection points throughout Germany.

15. Are there special regulations if I want to sell my products from abroad in Germany?

The Directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has been implemented into national law with the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) as the current version from the 15th of August 2018.

If you sell electrical or electronic equipment from abroad in Germany, you are generally regarded as a manufacturer in accordance with § 3 No. 9 a – c ElektroG, regardless of the sales method, if you export the products to Germany under your name or brand or if you have a branch here. According to § 3 No. 9 d ElektroG, this also applies if you supply directly to end consumers from abroad via the Internet.

As a manufacturer within the meaning of § 3 nos. a – c ElektroG, you must appoint an authorized representative if you do not have a branch in Germany. You may only appoint one authorized representative for your company in Germany. The authorized representative must be appointed in German and in writing, acc. to § 8 subs. 1, 2 ElektroG. If you deliver directly to end users exclusively by means of remote communication, the authorized representative is mandatory.

As a manufacturer who sells from abroad in Germany, you must immediately name the authorized representative of the competent authority in accordance with § 8 Para. 3 ElektroG. Immediately means without culpable delay.

As authorized representative, you can commission any natural or legal person or partnership established in Germany. The authorized representative carries out all tasks in his own name which are necessary to fulfil your manufacturer obligations according to the ElektroG. The necessary expert knowledge is a prerequisite for this.

Deutsche Recycling will also be pleased to take over your domestic tasks in accordance with the ElektroG, the Battery Act (BattG) and the Packaging Act (VerpackG) which newest version has come into effect on 01.01.2019. Please don’t hesitate contacting us for questions, help and concerns.