The "Act on the Reorganisation of the Law on the Placing on the Market, the Taking Back and the Environmentally Sound Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment" (ElektroG) entered into force on 24 October 2015.
The ElektroG regulates the placing on the market of new electrical and electronic equipment and its disposal. Distributors of electrical and electronic equipment are therefore obliged to take back old equipment free of charge. A distributor is any natural or legal person or partnership who offers electrical or electronic equipment or makes it available on the market. The term "making available" is understood to mean any supply of electrical or electronic equipment for sale, consumption or use in the course of a business activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge.
According to the new regulations of the ElektroG, online retailers who have a shipping and storage area of at least 400 square metres are also obliged to take back old electrical appliances. The explanatory memorandum to the law explicitly states that all storage and shipping areas for electrical and electronic equipment must be included in the calculation of the sales area.
However, the take-back obligation does not apply immediately. Online retailers who voluntarily took back WEEE under the previous legal situation must notify the competent authorities of the establishment of take-back points within three months of the law coming into force (24.10.2015). Online retailers who are only obliged to take back WEEE after the new legal regulation must set up take-back points for WEEE within nine months after the law comes into force (24.10.2015) and report this to the competent authorities.
The ElektroG also imposes numerous other obligations on the online traders concerned, which must be observed. Violations of the ElektroG regulations can result in fines of up to €100,000. Furthermore, in the case of violations, there is also the threat of competition law warnings by associations and competitors.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Goldberg Attorneys at Law 2015