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This article applies to selling in: Germany

EPR Requirements: WEEE in Germany

Which EPR categories are relevant when selling in Germany?

In Germany, Amazon will be obliged to check if you are compliant with your EPR obligations in two product categories: (1) Packaging and (2) Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

This page focuses on WEEE. For more information on your requirements for packaging, go to EPR Requirements: Packaging in Germany.

For WEEE, in the coming months, you will need to prove your compliance to Amazon by submitting a registration number (WEEE-Reg.-Nr.) on the Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The deadline to register and submit your number for WEEE is January 01, 2023.

Note: At this stage, you can only add a LUCID number for packaging on the EPR Compliance Portal. While you must be registered if you sell WEEE, you cannot submit other registration numbers to Amazon yet. We will keep you updated in 2022 on when you can submit additional registration number(s) for other categories. In the meantime, we encourage you to read the detailed instructions for WEEE below.

Where can I find more information on EPR for Germany?

For more information, we encourage you to get familiar with the German Electronic Waste Management Act (ElektroG). In addition, refer to the information below and the website of the German government authority.

What is changing and what do I need to do?

Starting January 01, 2023, Amazon will be legally required to check if you comply with your obligations for Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in Germany and, if you do not, to suspend your non-compliant listings. To prove your compliance to Amazon, go to Compliance Information for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and submit your WEEE-Reg.-Nr. We will update you when the portal opens later in 2022. In addition, you may be required to take action to comply with take-back requirements. For details, go through the FAQs on take-back below

What happens if you cannot prove your compliance to Amazon?

Amazon will be legally obliged to check if you comply with your obligations in Germany and, if you do not, suspend your non-compliant listings. From January 01, 2023, this applies to all listings falling under WEEE (including registrations for brands and device types).

What do I need to do to comply for WEEE in Germany?

For an overview of what you need to do, go to information materials provided by the Foundation EAR (Stiftung Elektroaltgeräte Register – EAR). If you are a producer, you can decide to appoint an authorized representative. An authorized representative is responsible for fulfilling your legal obligations as a producer in Germany. To do this, you can:

  • Contact one of our approved service providers in our Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Service Provider Network and request that they to become your authorized representative.
  • Negotiate the contract’s terms and conditions with your selected service provider, covering, for example, payments for pick-up notifications, an insolvency safe guarantee and take-back solutions.

Note: If you are a producer and do not have a branch in Germany, you are obliged to appoint an authorized representative. For details on how to appoint an authorized representative, refer to the information provided by EAR following this link.

Alternatively, you can decide to fulfill all obligations on your own. However, this solution is often more complex and time-consuming. Your obligations include, but are not limited to:

  • Register as a “producer” in Stiftung EAR by clicking on this link to obtain your WEEE-Reg.-Nr.
  • Register all of your brand and type of equipment combinations with Stiftung EAR before selling them in Germany.
  • Ensure that all products you have sold are taken back at the end of their life – either through Germany’s municipal collection system or through your own take-back solutions.
  • Report the amounts of products sold, pay for pick-up notifications from EAR and provide insolvency safe guarantees for products sold in Germany.

For more information on your obligations as producer, go to this description by EAR.

How do I determine if I am a producer?

In the context of the German WEEE law, you are considered a producer if you meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • You are the manufacturer, meaning the entity who manufactures WEEE and offer them under your own trade name or brand in Germany or
  • You offer WEEE from other manufacturers under your own trade name or brand in Germany, or resell them commercially. In this case, the manufacturer is not considered the producer because your trade name or brand appears on the WEEE or
  • You offer WEEE that does not originate from Germany for the first time on the German market on a commercial basis. That is, it includes importing WEEE into Germany from abroad or
  • You offer WEEE through online sales directly to German end users and you are not established Germany.

You may also have obligations equivalent to those of a producer if you (negligently or intentionally) offer WEEE from non-registered or incorrectly registered producers. For more detailed guidance, refer to the information provided by EAR following this link.

What products are in scope of the German WEEE law?

The German WEEE law applies to all WEEE unless explicitly excluded by a legal exception. Your products are considered WEEE if they are designed for use with alternating current of maximum 1,000 volt or direct current of maximum 1,500 volt and

  • depend on electrical currents or electromagnetic fields to be operated properly or
  • are used for the generation, transfer and measurement of electric currents and electromagnetic fields.

For more information on the scope of products covered by the German WEEE law, go to this information by EAR.

How do I identify the right brand and type of equipment?

Before selling WEEE in Germany, you need to ensure that the products you sell are registered with EAR under the right brand and type of equipment.

A brand does not need to be a registered brand according to trademark laws. You can use your company name, if there is no registered brand. It is not permissible to register with names such as ‘no brand’, ‘no name’, pure type designations, device descriptions (that is ‘measuring device’, ‘Sudoku’, ‘calculator’, ‘USB stick’) or with the WEEE-Reg.-Nr. Please note that the brand used for the registration procedure must be on the WEEE itself.

Depending on where it is used, the type of equipment either falls into the scope of b2c (business to consumer) or b2b (business to business) equipment:

  • b2c equipment is WEEE that can be used in private households. These generally are places of private lifestyle, especially apartments and their respective plots or building parts
  • b2b equipment is WEEE that can exclusively be used in other than private households, or that usually are not used in private households
  • dual-use equipment is WEEE that can be used both in private households, as well as commercially. In principle, dual-use equipment is categorized as b2c WEEE.

The decision whether the character of the WEEE should be considered b2b versus b2c is not based on the distribution channel (for example only sold to commercial intermediaries), but on the location of its possible use. An overview of types of equipment is shown below:

Category Type of equipment
Category 1: Temperature exchange equipment b2c: Temperature exchange equipment, that can be used in private households
b2b: Temperature exchange equipment for use in other than private households only
Category 2: Screens, monitors and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm² b2c: Screens, that can be used in private households
b2b: Screens for use in other than private households only
Category 3: Lamps b2c: Gas discharge lamps, that can be used in private households
b2c: Lamps except gas discharge lamps, that can be used in private households
b2b: Lamps for use in other than private households only
Category 4: Equipment with any external dimension more than 50 cm (Large equipment) b2c: Large equipment, that can be used in private households
b2c: Large photovoltaic panels, that can be used in private households
b2b: Large equipment for use in other than private households only
b2b: Large photovoltaic panels for use in other than private households only
Category 5: Equipment with no external dimension more than 50 cm (Small equipment) b2c: Small equipment, that can be used in private households
b2c: Small photovoltaic panels, that can be used in private households
b2b: Small equipment for use in other than private households only
b2b: Small photovoltaic panels for use in other than private households only
Category 6: Small IT and telecommunication equipment with no external dimension more than 50 cm b2c: Small IT and telecommunication equipment, that can be used in private households
b2b: Small IT and telecommunication equipment for use in other than private households only

For more information on how to correctly classify WEEE, go to EAR’s website. EAR also provides detailed guidance for allocating WEEE by type of equipment under this link. More information about the definition of “brands” can be found here.

What is take-back and what has changed?

Offering a take-back service is part of the EPR requirements in the German WEEE law. If you sell EEE in Germany, you must provide your customers with the possibility to return their old similar type of EEE for recycling, at the customers’ doorstep, and free of charge.

As of January 1, 2022, you need to display take-back information when selling EEE on amazon.de.

What are the types of take-back obligations?

There are two types of take-back obligations that result from the German WEEE law:

  • 1:1 obligation: taking back used EEE from a customer on the condition that the customer has purchased a new product of the same type.
  • 1:0 obligation: taking back small EEE (not exceeding 25 cm in any of its external dimensions) used products even if the customer has not purchased a new product.

You are subject to 1:1 take-back obligation by default if you commercially offer EEE to end-users in Germany. Whether a 1:0 take-back obligation applies to you depends on the characteristics of your physical stores or fulfillment centers. We recommend you to do your own legal assessment to find out if you are subject to a 1:0 take-back obligation.

Am I subject to take-back requirements and what do I need to do?

If you commercially offer WEEE in Germany, you are obliged to provide the customers with take-back services free of charge. Since January 01, 2022, you also need to display take-back information when selling on amazon.de. Amazon will display the following question on the product detail page of the respective categories: “Want to recycle your electrical or electronic appliance for free? Learn more”. After clicking on the link, customers can either submit a take-back request to Amazon or will be directed to contact you via the seller storefront page. We therefore recommend that you display your take-back information on your seller storefront page and that you consider using the following wording:

“To recycle your old waste electrical and electronic equipment, please notify the seller using the “Ask a question” button on the top right-hand corner. XXX (seller name) is registered with Stiftung ear for Electrical and Electronic Equipment sold in Germany. The registration number is DEXXXXXXXX (WEEE registration number). XXX’s (seller name) authorized representative is XXX (authorized representative’s name, if any). For more information about recycling with Amazon, visit Recycling at Amazon”.

Do I need to make changes to my product detail page?

No, you need to make changes to your seller storefront page. You can follow the above wording (under "What do I need to do for take-back?") to include to your storefront.

To edit your seller store front page in Seller Central go to Your Information & Policies under Settings, in About Seller, edit the free form text field "About Seller Help Content".

Frequently asked questions – general requirements

1. How can I become compliant for WEEE in Germany?

Refer to the information above and consult the materials developed by EAR.

2. How does Amazon validate my WEEE-Reg.-Nr.?

Amazon will validate this number with EAR. Note that you cannot submit your WEEE-Reg.-Nr. on Seller Central yet. We will inform you when you are able to submit your WEEE-Reg.-Nr. on the EPR Compliance Portal. This will be in Q4 2022.

3. Do I need to appoint an authorized representative to fulfill obligations on my behalf?

If you are a producer of WEEE and you do not have a branch in Germany, you are obliged to appoint an authorized representative. For information on how to appoint an authorized representative, go to information provided by EAR. To choose an authorized representative and receive additional guidance by Amazon-approved service providers, visit our Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Service Provider Network.

Frequently asked questions – take-back requirements

1. If I don't offer a take-back service, what will happen?

It means that you are not compliant with the applicable regulation

2. I am a reseller. Do take-back requirements apply to me?

Yes, if you offer the product categories subject to take-back, you need to provide customers with take-back free of charge.

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