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WEEE – SMEs discuss aspirations and reality with political representatives
On October 10th over 100 small and medium sized companies met on Hohenkammer Castle to discuss the real problems of the implementation of the WEEE directive with representatives of the European Commission and German Environmental Protection Agency
The fact that this event was fully booked by members of the VERE Association and customers of the take-e-way GmbH within short, shows how important this topic is, especially to SMEs.
The event concluded with the following results:
1. The future collection rates can only be met if citizens and retailers will be involved by lawmakers in a sufficient manner without being deterred by a detrimental bureaucracy.
2. Well-known online platforms convey the impression of legitimacy and facilitate commercial direct imports of unregistered, unchecked and possibly hazardous products at dumping costs, due to avoidance of compliance charges and even to tax evasion. An effective protection of law-abiding companies against this illegal competition is not in sight.
3. Due to diverse implementations of the WEEE directive and due to huge discrepancies with regard to legal execution, considerable business hurdles arise for companies who operate on a European scale.
4. Whole business sectors or sections thereof completely ignore the ElektroG (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act = German WEEE conversion), while small producers get prosecuted even for the slightest transgressions. This certainly leads to warped proportionalities.
5. Several new features resulting from the revision of the ElektroG did not get implemented in a practical manner, e.g. the authorized legal representative provision. Related adjustments are urgently called for.
6. Constructive criticism relating to the circumstances described above has been met with exclusion and ignorance by some administrative agencies.
7. A most gratifying willingness to cooperate in improving the overall circumstances has been shown by the European Commission and the German Federal Environmental Protection Agency.
It is our sincere hope that this event only forms the prelude to a continued betterment of the circumstances for the implementation of the WEEE directive by retailers and SMEs and we will continue to advocate the concerns of the SMEs, so that these cannot be ignored any further. The original goal of the ElektroG, e.g. guaranteeing higher collection amounts of partly hazardous electronic waste devices and their reuse and recycling, in our opinion has been neglected for the benefit of an unconstructive bureaucracy.
You can download the presentations of the speakers here.
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