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The French impact of WEEE compliance

May 3, 2018

With the WEEE compliancy date for printer cartridges fast approaching (15 August 2018), French organisation Ecologic has hosted a meeting to demonstrate how it would integrate cartridges into “the scope of WEEE”.

As WEEElogic explains, once 15 August 2018 arrives, “printer cartridges containing electrical parts such as a chip will have to be reported and compliant with WEEE legislation in each EU member state.”

National authorities in each country will be responsible for deciding how they will be classified, i.e., whether they will continue to use the former categories laid down by EU law, or implement the new ones.

As part of the WEEE compliance legislation, consumers and businesses will have a variety of options which it comes to returning their empty cartridges. They can either be taken back to the OEMs, to the service providers, to the distributors, or to remanufacturers in the case of remanufactured cartridges.

In most countries, “compliance will be easily handled and delegated to collective take back and recycling schemes”, but in some nations “individual compliance will be made available to producers at least theoretically.”

In France, the country’s WEEElogic partner, Ecologic, hosted a meeting in April “to present how Ecologic plans to address the introduction of printer cartridges into the scope of WEEE from August 2018 and the solutions offered to the entire industry stakeholders.”

French authorities have made the decision to “integrate consumer cartridges within the current category 3 of the directive […] although professional cartridges will be classified in a new specific category”.

As a result, cartridge producers will need to decide whether their cartridges are Consumer or Professional “based on the type of hardware”; and if this is not “sufficient”, they must then “use further relevant criteria such as type of selling contract, yield, etc., enabling them to justify their choice.”

Depending on the classification of their product they will need to take the following steps:

  • For consumer cartridges, they can use the current Ecologic service to setup, manage and maintain registrations and compliance
  • For professional cartridges a choice will have to be made:
    • Producers organize their compliance individually facing an increased complexity to setup registrations and financial guarantees, operations and audits protocols, and meet administrative requirements
    • Producers rely on Ecologic to manage administrative, financial and operational requirements.




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