Notification Obligation for Retailers and Online Stores in Electronic Waste Management: A Comprehensive Overview
Under Estonia’s Waste Act, all shops and online stores selling electronic devices, including batteries and accumulators, are mandated to publicly inform customers about the possibilities for returning old electronic equipment.
The Estonian Environment Agency has initiated extensive checks to ensure compliance with legal requirements. The checks determine whether shops and online stores selling electronic devices fulfill their statutory notification obligations.
The Agency systematically monitors the adequacy and compliance of the electronic waste collection network and conducts spot checks on the return of electronic waste, batteries, and accumulators at sales points. During upcoming checks, the Agency will also observe how consumers are informed about waste return opportunities.
What a Retail Store Must Do
Download an old electronic devices notification poster to your computer, complete it, and place it in a visible location in your sales hall, such as near the entrance or at the cash register.
Here are detailed instructions for retailers selling electronic devices, including batteries and accumulators:
Guidance for Retailers of Electronic Devices
Under the EU’s WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive, retailers, including online stores, are obligated to take back old or malfunctioning electronic devices when a consumer purchases a new similar product. This is known as the “one-to-one” take-back principle, aimed at facilitating proper electronic waste management.
Retail locations with an area of at least 400 m² selling electronic devices must accept devices up to 25 cm in size free of charge. Additionally, the return of batteries and accumulators is mandatory at all sales points where they are sold.
Retailers are responsible for organizing the collection and recycling of electronic waste. Larger devices exceeding 25 cm must be directed to appropriate collection points, which sales locations should inform consumers about. Retailers are also responsible for informing consumers about the correct disposal of electronic waste and their rights and obligations related to device return.
What an Online Store Must Do
Online stores must add relevant information prominently on their website, explaining that old electronic waste, batteries, and accumulators can be returned for free and include information about the collection network.
Instructions for Online Retailers of Electronic Devices
Under the principle of producer responsibility, online stores must ensure the proper handling of sold products after their end-of-life. The WEEE Directive imposes various obligations on online retailers, including take-back and notification requirements.
Online stores must provide information on their websites about consumers’ rights to return old or used devices, how to do so, and location references. A simple notice on the website with a link to collection point locations is sufficient.
Recommended link for reference: https://elektroonikaromu.ee/elektroonikaromude-patareide-ja-vanade-akude-kogumiskohad/
Online stores are required to take back old electronic devices when a customer purchases a new similar product. They must also inform consumers on their website about the right and process of returning old devices. In addition, online stores must organize the proper recycling or recovery of collected devices. Estonia-based online stores importing products must register in the PROTO register and join a producer responsibility organization according to the Waste Act § 25 paragraph 6.
Producer responsibility organizations, such as Eesti Elektroonikaromu, help online retailers comply with WEEE Directive requirements by offering services like waste collection, sorting, and processing.
In case of violations, the Environment Agency may impose fines or consider criminal liability for major infringements. To avoid violations and associated sanctions, it is advisable to join a producer responsibility organization, which helps fulfill responsibilities and ensures compliance with legal and sustainability goals.
If you have additional questions regarding the notification obligation or wish to join a producer responsibility organization, please contact us.
List of products for which the notification obligation arising from WEEE requirements applies when sold in retail stores or online shops.
Join a PRO – A Producer Responsibility
Organisation in Estonia
For companies selling electronic equipment in Estonia, joining a
PRO like Eesti Elektroonikaromu is not just a matter of choice but a legal requirement.
- Notification Obligation for Retailers and Online Stores in Electronic Waste Management
- Extended Producer Responsibility
- Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
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- Eesti Elektroonikaromu: Leading the Way in Electronic Waste Management in Estonia
- Join a PRO – A Producer Responsibility Organisation in Estonia