Legal recommendation on law enforcement of WEEE recycling system

The missing enforcement of the legislation is a crucial issue, which in many contexts impede the proper development of an e-waste system. The following paragraphs focus on the way inspections are perpetrated in some European member states and what tools are to put in place to ensure obligors do comply with the law. However, it should be highlighted that, into a developing contexts, on a first step, the system of incentives should be preferred to the mechanism of financial punishment in case of no or slow alignment with the law.

EU legal framework requires from the member states inspections and law enforcement measures implementation. Such a type of regulation is valuable to consider also in the African contexts to ensure that introduced WEEE legislation is implemented and would deliver desired results.

If voluntary WEEE projects are to be carried out, the projects should establish environmental performance; and health and safety standard and those should be verified/audited by the third party auditor.

Legislation in EU

Directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) – WEEE Directive

Inspections activities

Member States are requested to ensure that inspection and monitoring activities are put in place to enable the proper implementation of the WEEE (Art. 23). Particularly, inspections must cover:

  • Information reported in the register of producers;
  • Flows of WEEE imported and exported (see Annex VI);
  • The operations of WEEE treatment and the compliance of WEEE treatment facilities;
  • The costs of inspections should be charged to the producers, their authorized representatives or third parties eventually responsible of shipment of non-compliant appliances like used EEE suspected to be WEEE;


 Member states should set rules on penalties applicable to those who infringe the national provisions. Penalties should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive (Art. 22).
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