Two million tons of electronic waste accumulated in Germany in 2019. High time, then, to enshrine higher standards for environmental protection in law and to involve manufacturers in disposal. In Germany, the Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte-Register (ear) is tasked of preventing damage to the environment and health caused by batteries, electrical and electronic equipment. Among other things, it has the power to receive, check and publish registrations, as well as to check guarantees, determine guarantee systems, record the quantities placed on the market, etc.
Why do you have to register?
The Battery Act and the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act require registration with stiftung ear and thus replace the notification to the Federal Environment Agency. The aim of the registration is to ensure compliance with the legal regulations and to be able to punish violations based on the WEEE number which identifies manufacturers and distributors. The legislator thus fulfills its duties in environmental protection and in the implementation of the European Directive 2006/66/EC.
Who is required to register?
You must register at the stiftung ear if you are a manufacturer of portable batteries and industrial and automotive batteries as defined by the BattG, or if you sell or distribute electronics and electronical equipment to German customers, both private as well as professionals. You are considered a manufacturer both if you have the batteries or electronics manufactured in your own company as well as if you only place them on the German market via your own sales. So if you import a battery or electronic product that is not already registered in Germany, you are obliged to register. You can see who has already been registered here.
The Battery Act also applies to batteries installed in electronic or electrical devices. The devices themselves, on the other hand, are subject to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act including the regulations for disposal. You are a manufacturer subject to registration under the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act if you have electrical or electronic equipment manufactured under your own name or brand in Germany or another country and subsequently sell it in Germany. Likewise, you are considered a manufacturer if you affix your name or brand to another producer’s equipment and trade in it in Germany. Similar to the Battery Act, the definition of manufacturer has also been extended to importers who place a product on the market in Germany for the first time.
You need an authorized representative within the meaning of the Battery Act and the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act if you are considered a manufacturer based on the criteria but do not have a branch office in Germany. The so-called authorized representative represents you about your legal obligations as a manufacturer and applies for registrations on your behalf, among other things. For the authorization to be effective, it must comply to several requirements.
What is required for ear registration and how does it work?
The registration procedure is an administrative procedure, which means that it is only initiated when you or your authorized representative submits the application. To submit the application via the stiftung ear portal, you must provide the type and brand of battery or device. If you are uncertain about the type, you must provide product photos and a description. If you meet the requirements for ear registration, you will receive a corresponding notice and a WEEE number by which you can be identified as the distributor of the electrical or electronic product after the individual examination through stiftung ear which takes at least 6 weeks depending on the current occupation at the stiftung ear. Each flaw initiates further examination fees and extends the completion by at least another 6 weeks. So a flawless application is necessary in order to receive the WEEE number and/or battery registration as quick as possible.
The Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte-Register (ear) is a German agency based in Nuremberg, which has been involved in the implementation of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency since 2004. In order to achieve this goal, the agency provides the structures for registration. It also demands registered companies to organize the collection of old appliances and provide appropriate disposal containers.
WEEE and battery registration through CERTIFY
The registrations require expertise and experience but are also costly in both time and fees vise. In addition, as a distributor of products intended for private end users, you must deposit an insolvency proof guarantee at stiftung ear which requires you to participate at an approved guarantee scheme. As part of our full-service offer, we at CERTIFY take care of the entire registration process for you, ensure that your notification obligations are fulfilled and communicate with all authorities and provide disposal services for your products and batteries throughout Germany. In addition, we are an approved guarantee scheme that you can participate in for your registration of electrical and electronic equipment. We are not only active in Germany, but internationally and help you overcome language barriers and legal obstacles so that you can establish your products in various markets in compliance with the law. Contact us now and let our experts advise you!