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France rescinds waste status of products for reuse

January 23, 2019

In December 2018, the country’s environment ministry published a new decree which means that “objects and chemicals that have been prepared for reuse” will no longer be categorised as waste.

As explained on LegiFrance, this decree “sets the criteria which […] allows the operator of a facility to remove from the waste status” any objects or chemicals which have been prepared for reuse and “consists of control, repair or cleaning of waste”.

There are 8 Articles included in this decree containing the various criteria for compliance, and two Annexes.

In Annex 1, Section 1, among the waste items “accepted in the preparation process for reuse” are “waste ink containing dangerous substances”, “Waste toner containing dangerous substances”, “Printing toner waste” and “waste electrical and electronic equipment covered by one of the codes 16 02 13”.

This new decree is a significant development for the remanufacturing industry, as it means that empty printer cartridges which are prepared for reuse will no longer be subject to waste regulations.

Section 2 of the Annex covers the preparation for reuse and the required characteristics of the products which enable them to be eligible for “the withdrawal of the waste status”.

This section states that “The preparation for reuse necessarily includes a technical control (visual control, tactile, leak tests, electrical tests for example) and administrative control (checking the coherence between documents accompanying the waste and the waste for example)”. It goes on to say that these checks “ensure that the waste resulting from an object has the technical characteristics that allow it to perform the same functions as the object from which it is derived, in the state or after repair.”

Section 3 of Annex 1 concerns the quality of the objects or chemicals which have been slated for reuse, and among its tenets, states that “The objects or chemicals that have been prepared for reuse are conditioned or reconditioned and stored in a manner that preserves their integrity and quality”.

It also states that the objects and chemicals must comply with the requirements of the Consumer Code “for the placing on the market of products and the existing regulatory obligations for this type of product.”

Now that France has published this decree, the eyes of the remanufacturing industry will surely be fixed on other EU countries to see if they follow suit; if so, remanufacturers could find their procurement of empty printer cartridges much easier, as well as the possibility of finding their costs reduced – a welcome development.

To see the full decree, click here.

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