Business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) EEE and WEEE: how to correctly identify

How to assess and report B2C and B2B electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) products.

Producers of EEE must identify and report the weight of EEE they place on the market during a compliance year by category.

See the guidance on how to identify if your electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) product is covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations.

Approved WEEE producer compliance schemes (PCSs), authorised treatment facilities (AATFs) and exporters (AEs) must also report the weight of WEEE they receive during a compliance year by category.

Within each category producers, PCSs and treatment operators must assess and report whether the material is household (B2C) or non-household (B2B).

B2C and B2B EEE and WEEE: how to assess and classify

Use these general principles to assess and classify your EEE and WEEE as B2C or B2B. See the specific examples to demonstrate how these principles have been applied for each category.

General principles

Step 1

Use the product’s design, specification and function to decide whether the product is specifically designed for household or non-household use. Make this assessment for each individual product.

For example, laptop computers are used by households and non-households but where specific models are designed only for non-household use, classify them as B2B.

Report products designed for both household and non-household use (also known as dual use) as B2C.

Step 2

Look at the design attributes that could show if a product is for non-household use, for example, the:

  • durability, construction and material specification
  • performance
  • size and weight
  • power supply and voltage

Your assessment should only consider the product’s normal intended use. In the exceptional circumstance that private household consumers may buy a product specifically designed for non-household use, classify based on ‘reasonably foreseeable consumer behaviour’.

For example, where a private householder purchases a coffee machine designed and intended for commercial use, it’s an exceptional circumstance (ie not consumer behaviour that is reasonably foreseeable) so the product is classed as B2B.

Step 3

Other factors such as the distribution channel, sales contracts and guarantees may support your classification but cannot be used as the only basis for your decision.

For example, if a product is only supplied through distribution channels available to non-households this could support your decision to classify as B2B but you will also need to be able to demonstrate that the product is designed specifically for B2B use to classify the product as B2B.

You must classify a product either as B2C or B2B. You cannot split your data to record the same product as partly B2C and partly B2B.

WEEE treatment operators: how to assess WEEE you receive

When you receive WEEE which could be B2C or B2B, you must:

  • classify all WEEE collected via Local Authority Designated Collection Facilities (DCFs) as B2C
  • for WEEE collected via other routes, decide with the PCS providing the WEEE how to classify it - your assessment should consider the general principles and examples and particular care is needed where:
    • the WEEE has come from a business end user
    • the physical attributes of the WEEE suggest its B2B
    • there are property ownership markings to indicate the WEEE is from a non-household user
    • the WEEE was capable of being used in non-households and/or private households

The PCS and AATF operator do not need to do further assessment if they are satisfied the WEEE is correctly classified and there are no obvious errors (for example large scale commercial refrigeration units being classified as B2C).

Category specific guidance and examples

Category 1: large household appliances

Large domestic appliances are generally straight forward to classify due to their design. Examples of B2B products are large capacity catering and laundry equipment designed specifically for the commercial sector.

Category 2: small household appliances

B2B examples include but are not limited to:

  • industrial sewing machines
  • large multi point coffee machines and ‘conveyor belt’ toasters - the type found in cafes and hotels
  • hairdryers and trouser presses designed specifically for hotels which are fixed to walls and typically don’t have a plug
  • commercial cleaning equipment with features such as impact resistant drum design; constructed from tougher materials with increased motor power, increased cleaning range and parts designed to be easily replaced

Category 3: IT and telecommunications equipment

B2B examples include but are not limited to:

  • IT equipment with specific components designed for business use. (Business specific software loaded onto a laptop, tablet or PC is not sufficient to regard the equipment as B2B unless the hardware is designed to work only with the non-household specific software)
  • IT equipment with bespoke connectors for use in non-household environments
  • IT equipment designed to be integrated into a larger industrial or commercial system
  • large scale printers with a high maximum monthly output or print in sizes larger than A4
  • printers with multiple input/output trays, collating, fastening capabilities
  • commercial data servers and storage systems
  • digital / IP / SIP phones which have no connectivity in a domestic environment or are designed only to function when integrated into a non-household network
  • analogue phones which are switchboard enabled, have multiple line operation and normally would not work on a private household phone line
  • business DECT phones that interface to a PBX designed for non household use

Category 4: consumer equipment

B2B examples include but are not limited to:

  • music systems/components that are designed to be built in to hotels, shops and public places
  • broadcast cameras
  • commercial projection systems

Category 5: lighting equipment

B2C luminaires aren’t currently covered by the WEEE Regulations so dual use luminaires are out of scope until 2019. An example of a dual use luminaire is a downlight designed to take a GU10 or MR16 lamp.

Category 6: electrical and electronic tools

B2B examples include but are not limited to tools:

  • that are designed specifically for non-household tasks
  • powered by electricity sources other than 240v (other than battery operated tools)
  • designed for continued daily usage

Category 7: toys, leisure and sports equipment

Most products are designed for household use but B2B examples include, but are not limited to:

  • leisure and sports equipment designed for continued high volume use (for example in gyms and leisure centres)

Category 8: medical devices

B2B examples include, but are not limited to equipment:

  • designed for use only in medical facilities and/or by the medical profession or intended to prevent workplace illness or injury
  • such as dialysis machines - these are sold solely to health care professionals by a producer, are delivered directly to patients’ homes but are still owned by the healthcare professionals

Medical equipment designed for consumers to use in their own home should normally be classified as B2C, for example non professional heart rate monitors.

Category 9: monitoring and control instruments

Equipment used in business applications that doesn’t differ in design and specification from equipment used by households should be classified as B2C. For example:

  • smoke detectors
  • thermostats

Category 10: automatic dispensers

Classify as B2B because this is normally commercial equipment. Examples of automatic dispensers that are B2C are those used for pet and fish food.

Category 11: display screen equipment

Non household display screen equipment is usually:

  • designed to work off a central signal distribution system instead of individual aerials (eg hotel TVs)
  • designed to be used for prolonged daily use (greater than 16 hours), every day
  • requires a commercial power supply
  • has specific input connections designed for business applications
  • rugged build quality or security/anti-theft features specifically for use in education and public areas
  • requires specialist installation because of their size
  • has levels of ingress protection only needed for commercial use
  • has panel design/resolution for specific business applications (eg graphic designers, the medical industry, professional photographers, CAD and CCTV

Category 12: cooling appliances

Cooling equipment is generally straightforward to classify due it its design.

Category 13: gas discharge lamps and LED light sources

The majority of lamps are designed and capable of dual use so should be classified as B2C. Classify as B2C gas discharge lamps, LED light sources (lamps) and sodium lamps (includes retrofit and non-retrofit lamps). Classify as B2B floodlights for stadiums and lamps used in cinema projectors.

Category 14: photovoltaic panels (PV)

Classify all PV panels as B2C since there is no difference in the design, size or specification of the individual panels used by private households and non householders.

Ancillary equipment (eg inverters) used in a photovoltaic system, fall under Category 9, not 14. Class any inverters used as part of household systems as B2C.

Published 23 February 2015