WEEE Directive: What do companies need to comply with in Austria?

The public authority responsible for implementing the Directive in Austria is the Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (Bundesministerium für Nachhaltigkeit und Tourismus).  The WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC) came into force in Austria in 2005. The revisions of 2012 (Directive 2012/19/EU) were implemented in Austria back in 2014, and revised in 2016 and 2018.

National legislation that implements the WEEE Directive in Austria:: 

  • Waste Management Act (Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz, AWG 2002)
  • WEEE Ordinance (Elektroaltgeräteverordnung, EAG-VO) 
  • Waste Treatment Obligation Ordinance (Abfallbehandlungspflichtenverordnung)

The WEEE legislation affects the following:

  • Austrian manufacturers, importers and sellers of own brands
  • Foreign companies that sell electrical or electronic equipment directly to end users in Austria with the help of telecommunications technologies and that are based in a different member state or outside the EU – so-called distance sellers.

Legal obligations of those affected:

  • Registration: Manufacturers must register with the Austrian manufacturers registry EDM.
  • Participation in take-back system: There is a legal obligation in Austria to participate in a system for taking back household appliances (B2C). Manufacturers must take part in a compliance scheme designed to collect and recycle equipment. There is no legal obligation in Austria to participate in a system for commercial appliances (B2B). Manufacturers can take part in such a system voluntarily.
  • Disposal and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment in line with Austria’s Waste Treatment Obligation Ordinance.
  • Reporting the quantities of sold products.
  • Marking: Manufacturers must affix the crossed-out wheeled bin and the CE marking to their products permanently and legibly.
  • Authorised representatives: Foreign distance sellers are obliged to appoint an authorised representative who is responsible for meeting their obligations under the EAG-VO. Such representatives must be based in Austria.
  • Retail take-back obligation: Austrian retailers are obliged to take back waste electrical and electronic equipment when a consumer purchases new equipment of similar value. Exceptions are made in the case of retailers having a sales area of less than 150 m².

What types of EEE exist in Austria?

Austria distinguishes the following types of electrical and electronic equipment (applies to both B2C and B2B):

  1. Large electrical appliances - one side longer than 50 cm
  2. Refrigerating Equipment
  3. Screens – displays, monitors or devices with a screen size > 100 cm²
  4. Small electrical appliances - all sides shorter than 50 cm
  5. Lamps – incl. LED lamps
  6. Small ITC devices (from 2020 on)

We can support manufacturers and sellers of electrical and electronic equipment in meeting all their obligations under the WEEE Directive in Austria, and take care of the entire communication with public authorities, compliance schemes and authorised representatives. If you are interested, get in touch with us!