Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte Register: “Passive” electronic devices subject to the ElektroG as of 1st May 2019

  •     Antennas, cables and sockets are to be treated like all other electrical and electronic equipment from 1 May 2019 onwards
  •     Manufacturers of such “passive” devices ought to apply for registration in good time

As of 1 May 2019, the manufacturers, sellers and importers of so-called “passive” electronic devices will be expected to have registered such products in line with the requirements of Germany’s legislation on waste electrical and electronic equipment (ElektroG). The aim is to ensure that the products are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. This decision reflects the revised legal assessment reached by the national register for electrical and elec-tronic equipment, Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte Register (stiftung ear). “Passive” electronic devic-es, such as antennas, ready-made extension cords, or sockets, simply pass through electrical currents without modifying them. Components such as bulk wiring continue to remain ex-empt from the ElektroG and therefore do not need to be registered. 

To help manufacturers, who might potentially be affected by such questions to answer them more easily, the European WEEE Registers Network (EWRN) – a consortium of the national registers for electrical and electronic equipment – has published guidelines. These guidelines are an official, consistent EU-wide document, which is meant to facilitate the distinction between electrical devices and components. The guidelines are available for download free of charge on the EWRN website.

“Although the new requirement for so-called ‘passive’ electrical and electronic equipment has been common knowledge since January, many companies are still being taken by surprise,” says Anja Olsok, the managing director of Bitkom Servicegesellschaft. “Anyone who wants to avoid paying fines of up to 100,000 euros and receiving cease-and-desist letters from their competitors ought to register their products with stiftung ear at once.” 

The changes now being introduced are a result of the desire to harmonise the practical implementation of the European WEEE Directive. Stiftung ear wants to bring its practice in line with that of other European countries, where “passive” devices are already covered by the respective national laws. An overview of the products which stiftung ear considers to be “pas-sive” can be found on their website (with pictures but in German only). Companies wanting to know whether they are affected by the ElektroG can also watch the video provided by weee full-service.