Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Equipment covered by the WEEE Regulations


The goods covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations fall into the following categories:

  • large household appliances - for example fridges, radiators and air conditioning appliances
  • small household appliances - for example sewing machines, toasters and clocks
  • IT and telecommunications equipment - for example computers and their accessories, calculators and phones
  • consumer equipment - for example TVs, radios and musical instruments
  • lighting equipment - for example fluorescent lamps and non-household luminaires
  • electrical and electronic tools - for example drills, welding equipment and lawnmowers
  • toys, leisure and sports equipment - for example electric train sets, video games and slot machines
  • medical devices - for example dialysis machines, ventilators and radiotherapy equipment
  • monitoring and control instruments - for example smoke detectors, thermostats and other instruments used in industrial installations
  • automatic dispensers - for example drinks, food and money dispensers
  • display equipment
  • cooling appliances containing refrigerants
  • gas discharge lamps

WEEE includes equipment that has a wind-up or solar mechanism, or that runs on batteries. However, on their own, solar panels, solar panel systems and batteries are currently not covered by the WEEE Regulations.

To check if you have obligations under the Batteries Directive, see batteries responsibilities for business.

Equipment not covered by the WEEE Regulations

The regulations do not apply to:

  • equipment where electricity is not the main power source through battery or mains supply - for example a gas cooker
  • equipment where the electrical or electronic components are not needed to fulfil its main function - for example a musical birthday card
  • equipment that is part of something that is not EEE - other waste regulations may apply to such equipment - for example the End-of-Life Vehicle Regulations cover the electrical components of vehicles
  • equipment designed exclusively to protect the United Kingdom's national security and intended for specific military purposes
  • filament light bulbs
  • household light fittings of any kind
  • large-scale, stationary industrial tools
  • fixed installations
  • high-voltage equipment that is designed for use with a voltage rating exceeding 1,000 volts AC or 1,500 volts DC
  • implanted and infected medical equipment

The WEEE Regulations apply to finished products. Components, sub-assemblies, consumables and spares are usually exempt. However, accessories, such as headphones, computer keyboards, antennas and connecting cables, are classed as WEEE if they do not have a function by themselves and are only used with another product.