Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is regulated to reduce the amount of waste regarding EEE. EEE producers must help to protect the environment and human health.
Reduction is achieved through various measures in terms of recovery, reuse and recycling of products and components.
For the United Kingdom (UK) 'The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 (as amended)' is the underpinning UK legislation.
Exempted products from this regulations are:
- Items that protect the country’s security such as arms, munitions, and items only for military use.
- A piece of equipment that is designed for and installed in another type of equipment – they can only function within that product, for example a built-in satellite navigation system installed into cars, boats or aeroplanes.
- Filament bulbs apart from LED filament bulbs which are not exempt.
Products that can be used for both military and civil purposes, such as laptops or keyboards, are EEE products.
Excluded products from this regulations are:
- Equipment designed to be sent into space.
- Large scale stationary industrial tools.
- Large scale fixed installations.
- Transport for persons or goods, excluding electric 2 wheeled vehicles which are not type-approved.
- Off-road mobile machinery only for professional use.
- Equipment designed only for research and development use and only available via business to business (B2B).
- Implantable medical devices.
- Medical devices that are expected to be infective at end-of-life.
The aformentioned regulations obliges producers of EEE to help protect natural resources and manage waste of EEE in the best way for people and the environment as well.
EEE is defined as follows:
- which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields to work properly.
- for generating, transferring and measuring these currents and fields.
- designed for use with a voltage rating 1,000 volts or less for alternating current, and 1,500 volts or less for direct current.
‘Dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields to work properly’ means that the equipment needs electric currents or electromagnetic fields (not petrol or gas) to fulfil its basic function. So when the electric current is off, the equipment cannot fulfil its basic function. Where electrical energy is only used for support or control functions, the equipment is not covered by the regulations. Equipment that only needs a spark to start it (electronic ignition) and does not need electricity to fulfil its basic function includes:
- petrol lawn mowers,
- gas stoves.
Products that are not connected to a mains supply may still be EEE. They can be wind-up, battery-powered and solar-powered products. Where a product has several functions and only one needs an electrical current, the product may still be EEE.Information on the disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the United Kingdom:
Within the United Kingdom, the disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) is regulated by national regulations based on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 (as amended) applicable for EEE.
According to this regulation, any devices put on the market after August 13, 2005, in the business-to-business sphere, to which this product is assigned, may no longer be disposed of in municipal or domestic waste.
They are marked with the following symbol to indicate this: