Electric appliances: what Online Retailers need to know

Published on 19.06.2018

When a customer buys a new, equivalent electric appliance, the retailer must take back the customer’s old appliance and dispose of it in a professional manner according to the relevant EU Directive. Originally, only the stationary retailers were affected by this Directive, but in connection with the boom of online shops it has become ever more important to call the latter to account, too. Here you can learn more about the obligations that online retailers must meet today, you will find out what the current status is and what measures are still awaiting implementation.

Online Retailers are also called to account
At the moment, online shops in Austria must either install collection points for waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) themselves or take part in an existing collection and treatment system. Dealers lacking an establishment in Austria are obligated to name an “authorized representative”, who is to take care of the notification and collection on their behalf.

Status quo: extra costs and unfair competition
Many online retailers are already compliant with the regulations and make a financial contribution to the collection and treatment of WEEE. Yet there are still large numbers of online shops and dealers that do not take over their responsibility of the surplus of electric appliances for which they are responsible. This means that the dealers who are complying with their obligations have to bear far higher costs, leading to a considerable competitive disadvantage in the long run. Companies that fail to comply with the WEEE Directive will be faced with an administrative fine.

Improvement through higher awareness for correct disposal
Many operators of online shops are not aware of their obligation to take back old electronic appliances and the costs related to the disposal of WEEE in the EU and in Austria. To ensure a fairer distribution of costs, more information measures need to be taken, and systematic checks need to be made on a cross-border level. UFH is already active in this field together with the WEEE Forum, Eucolight and the EU and is working on a common solution together with other European systems.

Affected companies
Are you an operator of an online shop in Austria or do you sell your products to Austrian customers? We invite you to contact us. We would be pleased to provide you with competent advice and take on the disposal of your WEEE.

Do you sell your products in other European countries, too? Together with our partners we offer tailored solutions.

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