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EucoLight webinar

EPR non-compliance through online marketplaces: the state of play

held on 09 March 2022

The webinar includes presentations from member states that have implemented new legislation to control the problem. A number of different approaches are being adopted – the webinar gives an opportunity to compare the different strategies adopted. It also summarises initiatives at a European level that may tackle the problem and concludes with a marketplaces’ point of view on the topic.

Watch the recording to hear about the state of play from authorities and experts.

EucoLight webinar spotlights the latest developments in Member States to prevent EPR non-compliance

Updated: Mar 11

10th March 2022

On 09 March, over 200 participants attended a webinar organised by EucoLight, the European Association of lighting WEEE compliance schemes. The webinar confirmed that five Member States are now implementing national legislation to prevent EPR non-compliance via online platforms. Speakers from France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Finland explained the national measure put in place to stop the widespread avoidance of WEEE obligations by companies selling through online marketplaces.

According to several studies, the amount of Electrical and Electronic Equipment sold online that is not WEEE compliant is alarmingly high. This means large quantities of equipment is illegally placed on the market in the EU each year by free riders. The same phenomenon is to be observed for packaging and batteries, product categories that are also governed by extended producer responsibility obligations.

Attendees included representatives from the national authorities of fourteen Member States, European institutions, and many other industry and producer responsibility organisations.

Summarizing the discussions, Marc Guiraud, Secretary General of EucoLight, said: “Although we are in favour of a harmonised European approach, we recognise that it will be many years before EU-wide legislation can be implemented. In the meantime, we therefore urge those Member States that have not yet taken action, to do so as soon as possible. Until this happens, compliant European producers will remain at a significant competitive disadvantage, putting companies, and jobs at risk.”

Attendees had also heard from a representative of the Italian Competition Authority who highlighted the importance that solutions to overcome online free riding should avoid market distortion and respect competitive neutrality.

A number of European initiatives were also discussed, including the Digital Services Act and the Sustainable Products Initiative. But the meeting concluded that none of these would tackle the problem. It was therefore particularly interesting to hear the initial results of a study undertaken on behalf of the Commission by Eunomia. EucoLight urges the European Commission to publish the Eunomia proposals for careful consideration by the different stakeholders.

Delegates also had the opportunity to hear the position of some online marketplaces, presented by a representative of DSS+ who highlighted the need to simplify extended produce responsibility compliance and administration.

The event ended with a questions and answer session.

To know more about was presented a link to the video recording is available.

View the recording

Agenda

  • Introduction
    Mr Fabrizio D’Amico, Ecolamp, Chairman of EucoLight

  • Update on the implementation of the AGEC Law in France
    Mr Jean-Paul Auberger, Ecosystem, France

  • The compulsory verification in the German ElektroG
    Ms Anne Sachse, German Environment Agency, Germany

  • How effective is the compulsory verification model in protecting the environment & consumers?
    Mr Philipp Sommer, Environmental Action Germany, Germany

  • Spanish measures against freeriding

       Ms Raquel Gomez Rodriguez, Spanish Environment Ministry, Spain​

  • How SOIVRE service of inspection can help tackle free-riders

       Mr Angel Gerardo Meléndez Hernández, Spanish Ministry of industry, trade and tourism, Spain

  • The new Finnish Waste law and authorities’ actions for compliance monitoring

       Ms Tiina Vermaete, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Finland

  • Simplified Compliance Models and Competition Neutrality
    Mr Carlo Bardini, Italian Competition Authority, Italy

  • EPR non-compliance through online marketplaces: New regulation in Austria

        Ms Mag. Brigitte Reich, UFH, Austria

  • European Measures to Address the Online Free Riding Issue

       Ms Star Molteno, Eunomia Research and Consulting, United Kingdom

  • Other EU initiatives of potential interest to tackle online free riding

       Mr Marc Guiraud, EucoLight, Belgium

  • Re-thinking EPR compliance in a Digital Economy & SME-friendly world​

       Ms Caroline Heinz, DSS, United Kingdom​​​

  • Q&A session
    Chaired by Ms Natalia Sierra, Ambilamp, Spain, with the support of Mr Nigel Harvey, Recolight, United Kingdom


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