European Commission Takes Sweden to Court

The European Commission says country has failed to comply with WEEE Directive.

October 3, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Electronics Legislation & Regulations

The European Commission (EC) has announced that it is taking Sweden to the European Union (EU) Court of Justice for failing to properly transpose EU legislation on electronic scrap.

The EC, based in Brussels, has expressed concern about the shortcomings in the Swedish transposition of the Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) into national legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, the EC is referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Commissioner Potocnik says, "E-waste is a crucial resource for Europe's future. That's why we need strong legislation in this area, and we need it to apply throughout the union. It's the foundation for a promising industry where Europe can lead the way."

The EC initiated an infringement procedure against Sweden in 2007 for what the EC says is its failure to properly transpose a number of provisions in the WEEE Directive, including Annex III of the directive, which sets the technical requirements for sites storing and treating WEEE.

The EC says electronic scrap is often toxic, and careful storage in impermeable, weatherproof sites is important to prevent potential leaks.

Sweden was sent a Reasoned Opinion on the matter in June 2009. In their reply, Swedish authorities said they would amend their national legislation to properly reflect the requirements specified in Annex III, adding that the amended legislation would enter into force on 1 January, 2010. The commission says that as it has not been notified of the amended legislation, it considers that Annex III has been incorrectly transposed.