What is ElektroG?

The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) implements the European WEEE directive in German law and regulates the sale, return and environmentally friendly disposal of electrical and electronic equipment.

Its main purpose is the prevention of waste from electrical and electronic equipment, its reuse and recycling. Moreover, the use of harmful substances in the devices shall be reduced. The act makes a significant contribution to the conservation of natural resources and the reduction of pollutant emissions.

Properly dispose of waste electrical and electronic equipment. Why?

Why should you dispose of your WEEE correctly and not just throw it in the dustbin? Quite simply, annually millions of old electrical and electronic devices or so-called electronic waste, which hold many valuable raw materials, but also pollutants, are produced.

Which products are affected?

Affected are electrical and electronic devices that need electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly. These include, for example, TVs, computers, toasters and smartphones.


Who must act?

Manufacturers, distributors and importers of electrical and electronic equipment

Distributors of electrical and electronic equipment

Citizens as consumers of EEE

örE (public waste management authorities)

Waste management companies for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)

What is the difference between b2b and b2c devices?

b2b devices (business-to-business devices) are electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that the manufacturer or the authorised agents can demonstrate that they will only be used in establishments other than private households (actual use) or that such electrical and electronic equipment are not usually used in private households (intended use).

b2c devices (business-to-consumer devices) are electrical and electronic equipment that can be used in private households. The deciding factor is what the customary use of the product is and not whether it can theoretical be used in a private household.

Unlike b2c devices, b2b devices with their containers may not be delivered to collection centres of public waste management authorities, which manufacturers or their authorised agents can collect for free. Accordingly manufacturers or their authorised agents are under no obligation to collect b2b WEEE at the transfer stations.

What is dual-use equipment?

Dual-use devices are electrical and electronic equipment, which can be used both in private households and businesses. Because these devices, provided that the quality and quantity are comparable to the WEEE generated in the private households, are also delivered (may be delivered) to the public waste management authorities, the same obligations have to be fulfilled here as in b2c devices.

As an exception, dual-use devices are considered b2b devices if it can be substantiated that the devices are not actually delivered to households or equivalent areas of origin.

Which costs arise?

The different obligations arising from the ElektroG can mean considerable effort for those involved and costs to be incurred. These include the costs of registering with the stiftung ear as well as the return and proper disposal of waste. The acceptance and disposal of electrical and electronic equipment is free for citizens. A fee may, for example, only be charged by a pick-up service.

You can download the current Fees Regulation here


What penalties exist for violations?

The Federal Environmental Agency has been given the responsibility to prosecute and punish such offenses with effect from 14 July 2006.

In particular, not registering or improper registration with the stiftung ear can be punished with a fine up to 100,000 Euros. Furthermore, manufacturers and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment run the risk of competition law warnings, interlocutory procedures and injunctions in case of violations of the ElektroG.

To ensure a transparent market, the list of registered manufacturers will be published on the website of the register of waste electrical and electronic equipment (stiftung ear) and continuously updated.

Updates to the ElektroG

The treatment regulation
The Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) plans a treatment regulation for electrical and electronic equipment on the basis of § 25 ElektroG. To this end, a working committee with 6 working groups was set up by the Federal Environment Agency. The treatment regulation should define specific requirements for the treatment of WEEE. Particular attention is given to printed circuit boards, visual display screens and monitors, refrigerators, PV modules and plastics, for example. A draft could be published by the end of 2017.

The LAGA (federal/state waste working group) M31 data sheet - requirements for disposal of electrical and electronic equipment
The LAGA M31 notification defines the necessary requirements for waste prevention, for the separate capture of WEEE from collection, storage and treatment to the safe recycling according to the state of the art (§ 11 Para. 2 ElektroG in conjunction with § 3 Para. 12 of the Recycling and Waste Management Act (KrW-/AbfG)) with the objective of a uniform implementation in the different German states. Due to the amendment to the ElektroG, the LAGA M31 data sheet has been revised. The draft is currently being coordinated in the technical committees. (As of June 2016)

The backgrounds of www.ElektroG.de

The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) funded information campaign "All just (e)scrap?" aims at educating consumers of electrical and electronic Equipment about the backgrounds of and incentives for the proper disposal of waste electrical appliances with a traveling exhibition at electronic stores.

The public information platform www.ElektroG.de (short for The Waste Electric and electronical equipment Act in Germany) was developed as a further project objective to inform all relevant parties to promote the proper disposal of old electrical appliances, to increase collection rates and to conserve natural resources.

Do something good for the environment and spread awareness about the proper handling of waste electric and electrical equipment. You can do that by using the www.ElektroG.de logo. Download it here. You can use the logo only for free by mentioning the link www.ElektroG.de

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