Guide

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, eg fridges, radiators and air conditioning appliances
  • small household appliances, eg sewing machines, toasters and clocks
  • IT and telecommunications equipment, eg computers and their accessories, calculators and phones
  • consumer equipment, eg TVs, radios and musical instruments
  • lighting equipment, eg fluorescent lamps and non-household luminaires
  • electrical and electronic tools, eg drills, welding equipment and lawnmowers
  • toys, leisure and sports equipment, eg electric train sets, video games and slot machines
  • medical devices, eg dialysis machines, ventilators and radiotherapy equipment
  • monitoring and control instruments, eg smoke detectors, thermostats and other instruments used in industrial installations
  • automatic dispensers, eg 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, eg a gas cooker
  • equipment where the electrical or electronic components are not needed to fulfil its main function, eg a musical birthday card
  • equipment that is part of something that is not EEE - other waste regulations may apply to such equipment, eg the End-of-Life Vehicle Regulations cover the electrical components of vehicles
  • equipment designed exclusively to protect the UK'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 - see final products, spares, sub-assemblies and components.