Countries all over the world are in the process of drafting, enacting and implementing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management legislation, using definitions and terminology that is more or less harmonized.
WEEE in particular has been popularly used in a number of jurisdictions around the globe. National WEEE management legislative instruments are on the rise, however Russian Federation has been a tad slower and more careful with the use of ‘WEEE’ terminology. Although they do recognize the importance of WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU, the Russian Federation has not yet adapted their legislation to EU semantics and schematics.
Consequently, you won’t find much when searching for the term ‘Russian WEEE’. There isn’t one single piece of legislation applicable to waste electrical and electronic equipment exclusively, as is the case in the European Union.
So, how is waste electrical and electronic equipment managed in Russia, you ask? Welcome changes in the Russian legislation which have somewhat clarified this mystery have taken place recently. Effective from January 2015, long awaited amendments to the fundamental piece of legislation relating to waste management in Russian Federation, i.e. Law on Waste Production and Consumption N 89-FZ, 1998, introduced the extended producers responsibility (EPR) principle. This was done through the take back and recycling obligations placed on producers/importers, along with other economic operations which involved marketing activities for certain types of products and packaging.
The amendment provides a number of ways to achieve recycling, recovery and collection targets:
- Creating an individual scheme – obligated parties (manufacturers/importers) to set up their own infrastructure and allocate resources for this purpose
- Entering a collective scheme – manufacturers team up with one another, forming an association of manufacturers/importers/obligated parties
- Paying the Environmental Fee (payable in case neither of the above was set up by a manufacturer/importer on any other obligated party)
- Manufacturers may opt to enter into an agreement with municipal waste removal contractors/regional operators
The Russian WEEE Management conundrum has been resolved further through enactment of Government Order 1886-p, 2015 “approving the list of finished goods and packaging subject to recycling after losing their consumer properties”, to which the EPR principle is applicable. The list contains 36 groups of products and packaging numbered in accordance with the national system of classification of products by economic activity (ОК 034-2014 [КПЕС 2008]). These categories are then further segmented by common product name, code and Eurasian Economic Union Harmonised System of product classification (EAEC HS) Nomeclature. Pertaining to waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are the following groups found on the List:
- Group No. 24 – Computers and peripherals
- Group No. 25 – Communications Equipment
- Group No. 26 – Household Electronics
- Group No. 27 – Optical Instruments and Photographic Equipment
- Group No. 28 – Accumulators
- Group No. 29 – Batteries
- Group No. 30 – Electrical Lighting Equipment
- Group No. 31 – Household electrical appliances
- Group No. 33 – Powered hand tools
- Group No. 34 – Industrial refrigeration and ventilation equipment
- Group No. 35 – General purpose machinery and equipment not included in other product groups
To get the full picture of how WEEE is currently regulated in Russia, instruments outlined above should be read in connection with Resolution No. 2491/2015. It stipulates mandatory collection targets for products contained on the List approved under the Government Order 1886-p, 2015. In particular, it sets recycling targets for computers, peripherals, communication equipment, etc. for 2016 to 5%. In addition to this, obligated parties are required to report to the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) by 1 April 2017 by virtue of Resolution No. 1342/2015.
To summarize, certain waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Russia are subject to recent developments in waste legislation. Extended Producers Responsibility has been embedded in the fundamental Law governing waste in Russia. In turn, discussions on implementing Resolutions ensure the effective execution of principles and aspirations laid down in that Law.
There you have it, mystery solved. Certain types of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Russia are currently regulated through this legislative bundle of joy!