Guidance

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE): reuse and treatment

Apply to become an approved authorised treatment facility (AATF) and how to operate legally under the approval.

If you operate a WEEE authorised treatment facility (ATF) you can apply for additional approval to become an approved authorised treatment facility (AATF).

AATFs can issue evidence notes for reuse and treatment on the UK WEEE they receive on behalf of producer compliance schemes. This WEEE is known as ‘obligated WEEE’.

See the detail in the WEEE evidence and national protocols guidance.

To apply for approval you must have an exemption, permit or licence to operate a WEEE ATF site and you must:

If you sort, disassemble, shred, or prepare for further recovery you are treating WEEE.

AATF: apply for approval

You must be the operator of the ATF and have the correct exemption, environmental permit or licence.

You apply to the environmental regulator of the UK country in which your facility is located.

You must apply for approval every year. If you want your approval to start on 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 need to download and complete application form WMP5.

With your application form you need to:

Sampling and inspection plan

Your plan must include details of:

If you operate more than one ATF you must apply for approval for each site. You need to send a completed form with the correct fee for each application.

Recovery and recycling rate template

See the guidance on how to complete the template.

Your information is used to report the UK recovery and recycling rates to the European Commission to demonstrate that it meets the minimum percentages set out in the WEEE Directive.

Charges

For AATFs in England:

  • small ATFs that expect to issue evidence on 400 tonnes or less: £500
  • large ATFs that expect to issue evidence on more than 400 tonnes: £2,570

If you are approved as a small AATF and issue evidence for more than 400 tonnes of WEEE during a compliance year you must pay the balance of the higher charge (£2,070) to the relevant environmental regulator within 28 days.

For AATFs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales refer to your environmental regulator for details.

Environmental regulators

Send your application form and fee to:

England

Email: weee@environment-agency.gov.uk

Telephone: 03708 506 506

Producer Responsibility Regulatory Services (PRRS)
Environment Agency
Quadrant 2
99 Parkway Avenue
Parkway Business Park
Sheffield
S9 4WF

Scotland

Email: producer.responsibility@sepa.org.uk

Telephone: 01786 457700

Producer Compliance and Waste Shipment Unit
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
Strathallan House
Castle Business Park
Stirling
FK9 4TZ

Northern Ireland

Email: weee@doeni.gov.uk

Telephone: 028 9056 9454

Producer Responsibility Unit
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
Belfast
BT7 2JA

Wales

Email: weee@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 065 3000

Producer Responsibility Unit
Natural Resources Wales
Rivers House
St Mellons Business Park
St Mellons
Cardiff
CF3 0EY

Find out about call charges.

AATF: your duties

You must follow the duty of care requirements.

Some items of WEEE contain hazardous parts so you will also need to follow the hazardous waste regulations.

You must store and treat all separately collected WEEE using best available treatment, recovery and recycling techniques (BATRRT).

See ‘more information’ for additional advice on collecting and treating WEEE.

Prioritise reuse of whole appliances

AATFs must work with PCSs and designated collection facilities (DCFs) to prioritise reuse of whole appliances and remove these products at the earliest opportunity from the WEEE treatment and recycling chain.

Keep records and report

You must complete a quarterly return and send it to the environmental regulator that granted your approval.

In each quarterly return you must state the:

  • total amount of WEEE received for treatment in tonnes by category, whether household or non-household, and the scheme it was received from
  • total amount of WEEE delivered to another ATF for treatment in tonnes by category, whether household or non-household and the scheme it was received from, including the name and address of the ATF operator and the site address of where the treatment took place if different
  • total amount of WEEE for reuse as a whole appliance in tonnes by category, whether household or non-household and the scheme it was received from, which you will issue evidence on and where WEEE is not received by you but goes direct to another site doing the refurbishment under contract to you, the name and address of the ATF operator
  • name of each scheme that 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
  • total amount of non-obligated WEEE received from DCFs in tonnes by category

You must keep a copy of each return and any supporting information you used to make the return. For example, waste consignment and transfer notes, contract details, weighbridge tickets, photographs and invoices as added proof of your work. You must keep these for 4 years.

Your environmental regulator will check this information when doing compliance audits.

Quarterly reporting dates

The environmental regulator must receive the report for:

  • 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

Issue evidence

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 protocols guidance for details on how to:

  • issue evidence notes
  • meet WEEE recovery and recycling targets
  • apply WEEE protocols (to work out the amount of different categories of WEEE in mixed loads)

WEEE export rules

You must apply to become an approved exporter (AE) or ensure you export via an AE if you want to:

  • issue evidence on whole appliances for reuse overseas received from or on behalf of a PCS
  • export materials extracted from WEEE for treatment, recovery or recycling outside the UK (that have been received from an AATF who issues the evidence on this WEEE)

See the guidance on how to apply to become an approved exporter.

Sanctions for non-compliance

Your environmental regulator may suspend or cancel your AATF status if you fail, or are likely to fail, to comply with any of the conditions in Part 2 (AATF), or Part 3 (AE) of Schedule 11 of the WEEE regulations or supply misleading information.

You’ll receive a notice which:

  • gives the reasons for the suspension or cancellation
  • states the actions you need 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 can’t 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

More information

For more information on collecting and treating WEEE see:

Follow the BS EN 50574:2012 standard for collection, logistics and treatment requirements for end-of-life household appliances containing volatile fluorocarbons or volatile hydrocarbons. This standard is available to buy on the BSI website.

For the legislation see WEEE Regulations 2013, WEEE recast directive and Waste Shipments Regulation.

Future look

The WEEE directive requires the development of European WEEE treatment standards. CENELEC is currently working to develop these.

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 25 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Added guidance on completing the recovery and recycling rate template.
  2. Updated to include both Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and regulator guidance.
  3. First published.