SME Chamber

Malta singled out as the only Member State that has not implemented the WEEE Directive

 GRTU’s representative at the European Economic and Social Committee, Ms Sylvia Gauci, was invited to give the highlights the initiative paper entitled: “Meeting the challenges of WEEE Management in the EU” drawn up by her and her expert Christinna Papazahariou.

Sylvia explained that this initiative comes at a very appropriate time because we are at a stage where the Commission is reviewing the WEEE Directive and Member states are expected to communicate to the Commission what stage of implementation they are in.

So far, the Directive has been transposed in all EU countries; there is one Member State (MS) however where the Directive is not applied yet. To GRTU’s disappointment this MS is Malta.

Through this own member initiative Sylvia Gauci pointed out a few of the limitations that the environment legislation can cause to the smooth functioning of the internal market since a number of WEEE directive provisions have an effect on the free movement of electronic and electrical goods in the Internal Market. Sylvia Gauci explained that unfortunately on insisting on minimum provisions the Commission is investing on greater disparities in the execution of WEEE waste management schemes in different MS.

A typical example is the entire labelling idea contained in the WEEE Directive. The crossed wheelie bin is a minimum requirement set by the Directive itself, however almost all MS have added extra labelling requirements in addition to indicating the crossed wheelie bin, like the date of putting on the market and the weight of the product.

Divergent labelling requirements imply a labelling policy per national market.  This is an extra cost for market operators. Extra costs never encourage operators to introduce themselves to new markets.

What GRTU finds alarming is that it transpired that Malta is the only MS who has not yet implemented the Directive.

As both our members and the Government are aware GRTU has already made all the necessary arrangements to help the Government transpose the Directive in way that the burden is carried by GRTU’s fully owned subsidiary company, Green MT, and businesses are left to do what they exist to do, business.

GRTU insists that Government should start off private sector initiative which was started by GRTU. This so that Malta can also be part of the EU lead campaign to have effective WEEE waste management scheme functioning in all member States.

Sylvia Gauci’s initiative at EESC is a further step by GRTU to get things moving.

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