Hamburg News: Hafen und Logistik - Shipping-Container-Schiff - © HMG Christian Spahrbier
© Christian Spahrbier

New Law on the Export of Used Electric Devices

A reversal of the burden of proof is to prevent the export of scrap mature waste to developing and emerging countries

Effective 24 October 2014, Germany introduced a revised Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (Elektro- und Elektronikgerätegesetz – ElektroG). The revised directive introduces an ambitious new collection target of 45 per cent of electronic equipment sold that will have to be met in 2016 and, as a second step in 2019, a target of 65 per cent of equipment sold. The new rules make registration and reporting easier for Germany, and provides better tools to fight the illegal export of waste more effectively.

Export Hub

Jens Kerstan, Hamburg Minister of Environment and Energy, explained the significance of the new law for the Port of Hamburg. “Hamburg is a hub for the export of used electrical devices. Until now, it was difficult to distinguish functioning and broken equipment. The new rule reverses the burden of proof, making it easier to prevent illegal exports. “This is an important step to ensure proper recycling of electric waster and to reduce the exploitation of old equipment, for example in Africa, which is dangerous for man and the environment.

Verification of Operation

Exporters are now required by law to submit evidence to the purchase of the equipment. The document must confirm that the devices are suitable for direct re-use and are fully functional. They also have to submit documentation on the successful testing of the functionality of each individual device, and make an official declaration that none of the equipment is waste. An adequate packaging must ensure protection against damage. Next to municipal bodies, the Hamburg-based registered association VERE e.V. provides help and advice on the take-back and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment.

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