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Reseller survey raises questions about compliance

July 5, 2018

A new OECD report exploring extended producer responsibility online has revealed the “large scale” of WEEE non-compliance – an issue the aftermarket printing consumables industry should be seriously taking into consideration?

The OECD report, entitled Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the impact of online sales, was put together with contributions from members of Eucolight. Its findings indicate that “online WEEE non-compliance is hindering the efficiency of WEEE systems, affecting around 5 to 10 percent of the total OECD Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE) market.”

EucoLight Secretary General, Marc Guiraud, explains ‘WEEE schemes, which aim to make producers responsible for the environmental impact of the products they sell, have been key in increasing recycling and collection rates. When producers selling online avoid their obligations, they impose an unfair burden in the rest of the system and on compliant producers.  Non -declared products prevent correct calculation of collection rates, and therefore achievement of the collection targets.

Nigel Harvey, EucoLight Vice President and Recolight CEO, said “The OECD report confirms the large scale of WEEE non-compliance through online marketplaces and fulfilment houses.  There is an urgent need for regulatory change.  The VAT system has been amended to make online fulfilment houses jointly liable for VAT payments for any product they hold in stock in the UK.  A similar approach is now needed for WEEE.”

While the report focused on LED light bulbs, its troubling findings cannot help but raise questions about online cartridge sales, and how many resellers of cartridges are compliant with the WEEE legislation.

With the new WEEE directive, which is due to be implemented from next month, requiring printer cartridges to meet its stringent obligations, producers and online sellers of cartridges may need to closely examine the directive in order to avoid the “strong consequences” of non-compliance.


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