Apply to become an approved exporter (AE) and operate legally under the approval.
You must apply for approval if you are an exporter and you want to:
- issue evidence notes on whole appliances for reuse overseas received from or on behalf of a producer compliance scheme (PCS)
- export materials extracted from WEEE for treatment, recovery or recycling outside the UK received from an approved authorised treatment facility (AATF) – the AATF issues the evidence on this WEEE
This is known as ‘obligated’ WEEE.
AE: apply for approval
You may need an appropriate exemption or an environmental permit or licence.
You must comply with the Waste Shipments Regulation.
You apply to the environmental regulator of the UK country in which your business is registered or located. These are:
- Environment Agency (England)
- Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Scotland)
- Natural Resources Wales (Wales)
- Northern Ireland Environment Agency (Northern Ireland)
If you want your approval to start on the 1 January you need to apply by 30 September in the previous year. You can apply for approval at any time in the year but you must allow 12 weeks before you want the approval to start. You must apply for approval every year.
You need to download and complete application form WMP6.
With your application form you need to:
- attach a sampling and inspection plan
- tell us about the overseas sites you are exporting the WEEE to
- attach evidence of equivalent standards for overseas facilities outside the EEA
- pay the correct application fee
All supporting documents must be in English or translated into English.
Sampling and inspection plans
Your plan must include details of:
- the weight of the WEEE
- the source of the WEEE
- whether it’s obligated or non-obligated
- the category of the WEEE
- whether it’s household (business to consumer) or non-household (business to business)
- the quantity in tonnes and category of any WEEE that is reused
- your use of nationally agreed protocols
- how the WEEE for reuse overseas is transported and what the market for that WEEE is
If you export to a site located outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) you must provide evidence that the site takes measures to ensure their waste operations will not endanger human health or harm the environment. You can provide:
- copies of permits, licences etc to show that it’s a regulated site operating to equivalent UK standards
- a statement from the competent authority under which the site operates confirming that the site operates to equivalent UK standards
See the guidance on acceptable evidence of broadly equivalent standards.
For AEs in England:
- small AEs that expect to issue evidence on 400 tonnes or less – £600
- large AEs that expect to issue evidence on more than 400 tonnes – £3,500
If you are approved as a small AE and issue evidence for more than 400 tonnes during a compliance year you must pay the balance of the higher charge (£2,900) to the relevant environmental regulator within 28 days.
If you wish to add an extra overseas treatment, recovery or recycling site after you’ve received approval you can apply to have this site added to your approval. Complete and submit Part C of the application form and submit with the charge (£150 for each extra site) and where applicable evidence of equivalent standards.
For AEs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales refer to your environmental regulator for details.
Send the form and fee
Environmental regulator contact details:
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Producer Responsibility Regulatory Services
99 Parkway Avenue
Parkway Business Park
Telephone: 01786 457700
Producer Compliance and Waste Shipment Unit
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Castle Business Park
Telephone: 028 9056 9338
Producer Responsibility Unit
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
Telephone: 0300 065 3000
Producer Responsibility Unit
Natural Resources Wales
St Mellons Business Park, St Mellons
Find out about call charges.
AE: your duties
Comply with other laws
You must only issue evidence notes for the reuse of whole appliances sent overseas received by or on behalf of a PCS.
You must issue evidence notes to a PCS via the Settlement Centre – a secure website that generates evidence notes.
See the WEEE evidence and national WEEE protocols guidance for details on issuing evidence.
Keep records and report
You must complete quarterly returns and send them to the environmental regulator that granted your approval. You must keep a copy of the data used in each return for 4 years.
You must do this through the WEEE online system.
In each quarterly return you must tell your environmental regulator:
- total amount of WEEE exported in tonnes by category, whether household or non-household, and the scheme it was received from
- total amount of WEEE exported for reuse as a whole appliance, treatment, recovery or recycling in tonnes by category, whether household or non-household and the scheme it was received from
- name of each scheme who evidence has been issued to and the total tonnage of evidence issued to that scheme
- total amount of non-obligated WEEE received in tonnes by category
If you have no data to report for a quarter you must still report this. There is an option for you to submit a nil return by confirming that you have no data to report.
You should keep any supporting information such as export paperwork, shipping documents, contract details, weighbridge tickets, photographs and invoices as added proof of your work.
Quarterly reporting dates
The environmental regulator must receive the report by the following dates:
- quarter 1 (January, February, March) by 30 April
- quarter 2 (April, May, June) by 31 July
- quarter 3 (July, August, September) by 31 October
- quarter 4 (October, November, December) by 31 January
Sanctions for non-compliance
Your environmental regulator may suspend or cancel your AE status if you fail, or are likely to fail, any of the conditions in Part 3 (AE), Schedule 11 of the WEEE regulations.
You’ll receive a notice which:
- gives the reasons for the suspension or cancellation
- states the actions to take to lift the suspension or reapply for approval
- describes your right to appeal
Your Settlement Centre account, PCS and public register entry will be updated to reflect your status.
A suspension or cancellation of your approval means you cannot issue evidence notes – only WEEE received during ‘approved’ status can have evidence issued against it.
Other sanctions for non-compliance are:
- warning letters
- formal cautions
- prosecution under criminal law:
- at a magistrates court a fine not exceeding £5,000 for each offence
- at Crown Court an unlimited fine