Licensing Service for WEEE and batteries
HOW TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT AND BATTERIES.
You are a producer, wholesaler/retailer, importer or exporter of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and batteries? We take on all obligations you have under the Austrian WEEE Ordinance and Batteries Ordinance. Just sign a Compliance and License Agreement – and let us and our partners ensure the efficient and cost-effective collection, management and recovery of your equipment and batteries.
Meet all legal requirements
A win for our customers
Our expertise at your side
WHY WE OFFER THE BEST POSSIBLE RATES.
Elektro Recycling Austria (ERA) is member-owned and the only non-profit organisation among Austria’s collection and recovery schemes for WEEE and batteries. It is our stated goal to provide you with compliance services for EEE and batteries at the lowest sustainable cost. In addition, as our customer, you benefit from the ongoing optimisation of our collection, sorting, recovery and recycling schemes and from our commitment to economic efficiency.
Committed to the true-cost principle.
The rates reflect the expenses the different e-waste categories (large electrical appliances, cooling and freezing equipment, air conditioning equipment, heat pumps, small electrical appliances, screens, lamps, photovoltaic modules or batteries) cause in the collection and recovery cycle. In line with our non-profit status, we pass on unscheduled surpluses and cost savings to our customers.
To download our list of rates, browse our FAQs on the services we offer and take the fast track to ERA membership, go here. →
OUR COMPLIANCE SERVICES AND BEYOND.
Our services are tailored to your needs to ensure you meet all legal requirements: from the classification of EEE and batteries to the creation of a take-back scheme and the authorised representative service. The ARA hotline and our key account managers provide excellent consulting services and make sure that queries are handled promptly.
Information and downloads
ERA licensing rates
Here you will find everything you need to know about the ERA Compliance Agreement for electrical and electronic equipment and batteries. You can also request and download your agreement from the ARA Online Portal.
Legal basis for WEEE and battery licensing
ERA online reporting
Submit your data reports through the ERA Online Portal. It’s simple and convenient.
Collection sites for e-waste and batteries
We make it easy for you to locate collection sites for e-waste and batteries in you region:
A map and list of collection sites across Austria is available here →
Frequently asked questions
WEEE obligations and compliance
Who has obligations?
The term “producer”, as defined in Art. 13a Austrian Waste Management Act (German), covers not only producers as such, but also importers and own-brand distributors.
The obligations also apply to businesses established in another country. See below for details.
Businesses that sell equipment from Austria to other EU countries are also subject to Austrian law. And they have to comply with the destination country’s applicable provisions.
What obligations do businesses established in another country have?
As a producer based outside Austria (producer as defined above, i.e. including retailers and distributors), you are obligated to join a scheme if you supply household equipment to Austrian end users through distance selling (mail order or online sales).
In this case, you have to appoint an authorised representative in Austria.
We offer both services, the collection service and the authorised representative service. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on +43.1.599 97-0 if you have any question.
What are the obligations?
That depends on the type of equipment you place on the market in Austria: Is it household (B2C) or commercial (B2B) electrical and electronic equipment? Details on how to distinguish between the two are listed below.
The short version is that B2C equipment includes all types of equipment that can be used in a typical household. A computer monitor falls under the definition of B2C equipment, even if it is used in an office.
For B2C equipment, entering a compliance agreement is mandatory:
In Austria, you are obligated to join a collection and recovery scheme like ERA. The scheme fulfils most other obligations on your behalf, e.g. get your company on the national producer register. You have to submit regular data reports on the amount of equipment you place on the Austrian market and pay the fee due.
For B2B equipment, entering a compliance agreement is voluntary:
You can join a collection and recovery scheme on a voluntary basis. If you do not enter a compliance agreement for B2B equipment, you are required to take back old equipment free of charge at the customer’s request (unless explicitly agreed otherwise in the sales contract). Please note that you are still obligated to register as a producer in this case.
Which obligations is ERA unable to take on?
We are unable to take on obligations directly connected to technical aspects and marking of your products.
Cases in point are compliance with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive, CE marking and marking with the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol.
Electrical and electronic equipment
What is electrical and electronic equipment?
Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is equipment that is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly.
EEE also includes equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields, if it is designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1,000 volts for alternating current and 1,500 volts for direct current.
EEE designed for use with a voltage rating exceeding 1,000 volts for alternating current or 1,500 volts for direct current is not subject to the Austrian WEEE Ordinance.
To eliminate any doubt, the Austrian Environment Ministry has published a list of EEE categories. It includes a large number of appliances and devices for which it might be unclear at first sight whether they fall under the EEE definition.
What is not EEE under the Austrian WEEE Ordinance?
- Equipment which is specifically designed and installed as part of another type of equipment and which can fulfil its function only if it is part of that equipment;
- Equipment designed to be sent into space;
- Large-scale stationary industrial tools (i.e. a large size assembly of machines, equipment, and/or components, functioning together for a specific application, permanently installed and de-installed by professionals at a given place, and used and maintained by professionals in an industrial manufacturing facility or research and development facility);
- Large-scale fixed installation, except any equipment which is not specifically designed and installed as part of those installations; large-scale fixed installation means a large-size combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are (i) assembled, installed and de-installed by professionals, (ii) are intended to be used permanently as part of a building or a structure at a pre-defined and dedicated location, and (iii) can only be replaced by the same specifically designed equipment;
- Means of transport for persons or goods, excluding electric two-wheel vehicles which are not type-approved;
- Non-road mobile machinery made available exclusively for professional use;
- Equipment specifically and exclusively designed for the purposes of research and development that is only made available on a business-to-business basis;
- Medical devices including accessories, where such devices are expected to be infective prior to end of life, and active implantable medical devices;
- In vitro diagnostic medical devices including accessories, where such devices are expected to be infective prior to end of life;
- Filament bulbs;
- Equipment intended for specifically military purposes, including arms, munitions and war material.
What is the list of EEE categories?
The Austrian Environment Ministry has published a list of EEE categories in cooperation with numerous stakeholders. The list is intended to help with the classification of electrical and electronic equipment.
Since there are minor differences in this regard between the WEEE Directive and the RoHS Directive, the Ministry has, in fact, published two separate lists.
Click on the links below for the most up-to-date versions of the lists (German):
What is the marking requirement?
Producers are required to mark electrical and electronic equipment with the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol. The marking must be visible, legible and indelible. In exceptional cases, where marking the equipment is not possible because of legal provisions or the size or function of the product, the symbol has to be printed on the packaging, on the instructions for use or on the warranty.
A wide range of products is subject to certain standards for safety, health, electromagnetic compatibility etc. under EU Directives and Regulations. This imposes different obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors, and the CE marking is one of them. The marking must be affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly to the final product or its data plate. If this is impossible, the marking must be affixed to the packaging or to any accompanying documents. In any case, the marking must be affixed before the EEE is placed on the market.
Electrical and electronic equipment categories
What is EEE from households or B2C EEE?
B2C electrical and electronic equipment is equipment intended for use in households. This category also includes equipment from commercial, industrial, institutional and other sources that, because of its nature and quantity, is similar to that used in households and could just as well be used in households.
All types of electrical and electronic equipment that are used by commercial users but could also be used in a typical household (dual-use products) are considered to be EEE from households.
Computer monitors are a good example of dual-use products: Even if they are used in an office environment, they are considered B2C EEE, because they could also be used in a typical household.
What is EEE from commercial sources or B2B EEE?
Electrical and electronic equipment from commercial sources is equipment that, because of its nature and performance, is typically not used in households (e.g. large display refrigerators, special tools).
This category also includes photovoltaic modules.
What are the different EEE categories?
In Austria, the data reports on the amount of domestic EEE you place on the market must be broken down by 5 different categories:
- Large electrical appliances
Appliances whose longest edge length exceeds 50 cm, e.g. washing machines, heat pump tumble dryers, dishwashers (cooling appliances are a separate category);
- Cooling appliances
Appliances with a cooling circuit, which includes air conditioning equipment;
- Display screen equipment
Any display screen equipment such as cathode ray tube screens, LCD and LED screens with a size of more than 100 cm², e.g. computer monitors, TV sets, laptops and tablets with screen diagonal of more than 7 inches;
- Small electrical appliances
Appliances with an edge length of less than 50 cm, e.g. radios, kitchen appliances, musical instruments, tools;
Fluorescent lamps, energy-saving light bulbs and removable LED lamps with a socket.
The data on commercial EEE must be broken down by the same five categories plus photovoltaic modules.
What are own imports?
If you purchase electrical and electronic equipment for your business operations, you are required to hand it over to a licensed waste collection or treatment operator at the end of its life, pay the fee due and keep records of the transaction. Entering a compliance agreement with a collection and recovery organisation like ERA allows you to drop off the equipment at a WEEE collection site free of charge.
Batteries obligations and compliance
What are the marking requirements for batteries?
Batteries, accumulators and battery packs must be marked with the symbol indicating separate collection.
Markings must meet the following criteria:
- at least 3 % of the area of the largest side of the battery,
- a maximum size of 5 × 5 cm,
- if applicable, the heavy metal content must be specified below the symbol,
For details, please refer to Annex 2 of the Austrian Batteries Ordinance (German).
What take-back obligations do retailers and distributors have?
Retailers and distributors who sell batteries must take back spent batteries, even if the consumer does not buy new ones. Most shops have a collection box near the entrance for this purpose.
The Austrian Abfallbehandlungspflichtenverordnung (Waste Treatment Obligations Ordinance), which has been in effect since 2017, has introduced new provisions on lithium batteries. Special safety regulations apply to large lithium batteries (> 500 g or > 100 Wh) and lithium batteries that are evidently damaged or defective.
What are own imports?
If you purchase portable batteries or automotive batteries from abroad for your business operations and those batteries become waste in your business, you are responsible for collecting them, ensuring treatment at your own cost and submitting a report on the collection and treatment through the register.
You can also join a collection and recovery scheme by entering a compliance agreement for your portable or automotive batteries.
What different types of batteries are there?
- Portable batteries
Single-cell batteries (such as AA and AAA batteries), batteries used in mobile telephones, computers, toys, household appliances, gardening equipment etc.
It does not matter whether the equipment is used by consumers or professionals.
- Automotive batteries
Batteries used for automotive starter or ignition power
This category does NOT include batteries that power the vehicle itself (electric vehicle batteries).
- Industrial batteries
Batteries that ensure emergency power supply of hospitals, airports or offices, batteries used as a source of power for propulsion in an electric vehicle (including lift trucks etc.) or backup batteries for photovoltaic systems
Under the Austrian Waste Treatment Obligations Ordinance, waste LITHIUM batteries must be sorted from other batteries, as they require different treatment processes. This is why you have to distinguish between lithium batteries and other batteries for all three types of batteries.
Most small batteries are portable batteries, even if they are used in a commercial or industrial setting (cash registers, headlights, video systems etc.).
E-bike batteries are also portable batteries, not industrial batteries.
If you place automotive or vehicle batteries on the market in Austria, you must join a collection and recovery scheme like ERA.
Scheme membership is voluntary for industrial batteries. If you do not join a scheme, you are responsible for taking back industrial batteries from your customers (unless explicitly agreed otherwise in the sales contract).
For more information on the different types of batteries, please refer to the Austrian Environment Ministry’s fact sheet (German).
Data submission and payment
Is it necessary to detail the ERA fee amount on our invoices?
No – on the contrary: In Austria, manufacturers and distributors may not specify the collection and treatment costs for B2C electrical and electronic equipment when selling a new item to an end user.
How do we determine the amount of EEE or batteries we place on the market?
For electrical and electronic equipment, you typically report data on the tonnage placed on the market, i.e. weight data. In cases where you have to report the number of items, the system uses statistical data to convert this number into kilograms.
Weight refers to the gross weight of the equipment including all accessories with an electrical function (e.g. charging cables).
If a product is supplied with (rechargeable) batteries, the battery weight has no longer been added to the product weight since 1 January 2018. The battery weight must be reported separately (portable battery).
What is an accessory, and do we have to include it in our data reports?
No, packaging is not part of the product weight.
- Documentation (user manuals, warranty documents etc.)
No, such documents are not part of the product weight.
No, since 1 January 2018, batteries have no longer been part of the product weight. Their weight must be reported separately (portable battery).
- Accessories with electrical or electronic components
Yes, for instance chargers, headphones etc.
- Accessories without electrical or electronic components
No, since 1 January 2018, these accessories have no longer been part of the product weight. Nozzles for vacuum cleaners, covers or fixings that do not have an electrical function are all not part of the product weight.
The Austrian Environment Ministry published a fact sheet on the classification of accessories, which you can download here (German).
WEEE collection sites
Where can I drop off old and defective equipment?
Municipal collection centres
Austria has a large network of collection sites where consumers can drop off e-waste and waste batteries free of charge. You can use the waste collection infrastructure you are familiar with (recycling sites, waste centres, etc.) to drop off your e-waste and waste batteries.
Regional ERA bring sites
Manufacturers and distributors can drop off B2C e-waste and batteries (that customers returned to the shop) free of charge at around 100 ERA bring sites.
Dropping off B2B e-waste at our regional bring sites is also free of charge, provided that the equipment is covered by a compliance agreement (which you can enter into on a voluntary basis, unlike for B2C equipment). Business end users who bring e-waste to a bring site have to submit a completed ERA compliance declaration to confirm that the equipment is covered by a compliance agreement with ERA. This form is available at WEEE collection sites and can also be downloaded here:
ERA compliance declaration (German) (submit at regional ERA collection sites).
Equipment that could also be used in a typical household (dual-use equipment) can always be dropped off at collection sites free of charge – no ERA compliance declaration required. Download a fact sheet on how to dispose of B2B waste electrical and electronic equipment here (German).
Consumers can also drop off e-waste and batteries free of charge at these collection sites.
Take-back by retailers and distributors
Consumers can return e-waste to retailers/distributors, but only if they purchase a new, equivalent device which fulfils the same functions as the old one. Shops with a sales area of less than 150 m² are exempt from the take-back obligation, if customers are informed of this fact with a clearly visible sign. You can always return spent batteries, even if you are not buying new ones.