Additional requirements for electrical products: Environmental protection, recycling and disposal
In addition to technical safety, legislators also have environmental aspects in electrical equipment. The obligations for manufacturers, importers and consumers are regulated in the ElektroG. We have summarised here for you important facts.
The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act passed in 2015 regulates the placing on the market, the taking back and recycling as well as the environmentally acceptable disposal of electrical and electronic equipment.
The law must guarantee
The law is applied to the following groups of electrical and electronic devices for the operating voltages up to 1000 V AC and 1500 V DC (§ 2 (1), Annex I):
|Category||Electrical and electronic devices||Examples|
|1||Large household appliances||Refrigerators, freezers, electric hotplates, air conditioners|
|2||Small household appliances||Vacuum cleaner, toaster, fryers, electric knives|
|3||IT- and telecommunication devices||Mainframes, computers, laptops, printers, photocopiers|
|4||Devices of entertainment electronics||Radio devices, TV sets, video cameras, musical instruments|
|5||Lighting fixtures||rod-shaped fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps|
|6||Electrical and electronic tools (except large stationary industrial tools)||Drilling machines, sewing machines, welding and soldering tools|
|7||Toys as well as sports and recreational equipment||Electric railways or patrols, video games, money-playing machines|
|8||Medical equipment (except for all implanted and infected products)||Dialysis machines, respirators, analysers, freezers|
|9||Monitoring and control instruments||Smoke detectors, heating controllers, thermostats|
|10||Automatic dispensers||Automatic hot drink dispensers, cash machines, vending machines for solid products|
This does not include equipment which "serves the preservation of the essential security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or is specifically intended for military purposes".
The manufacturers, importers and resellers are obliged to construct the devices in such a way (§ 4 - product conception) that disassembly, recycling and reuse are facilitated. They must also provide the recovery facilities with information on the exploitation possibilities for each new type of device placed on the market.
It is also required that the products placed on the market for the first time after 13 August 2005 should be permanently marked so that the manufacturer can be clearly identified. It must also be recognised that the device was placed on the market after 13 August 2005. In addition, the equipment must be marked with the symbol "not to be disposed of in the refuse bin" (a stricken-through garbage bin) if the equipment can be used in private households.
Manufacturers and/or importers must (§ 6):
The "Law on the placing on the market, the withdrawal and the environmentally acceptable disposal of electrical and electronic devices" (Act on electrical and electronical devices), implements simultaneously two European directives into German law:
The directives 2002/96/EC and 2002/95/EC have been replaced by the directives 2012/19/EU (WEEE) and 2011/65/EC (RoHS) and at the same time, the ElektroG was amended. The regulations of the RoHS directive were implemented in a separate regulation, the Electrical and electronic equipment substance regulation (ElektroStoffV), based on the future regulatory scope. The corresponding regulations in the ElektroG were abolished.