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WEEE/RoHS: Norway

Update as of June 20, 2005

Norwegian legislation on WEEE was enacted by the Ministry of the Environment on March 16, 1998, pursuant to Section 33 of the Act of March 13, 1981, No. 6 regarding Protection against Pollution and regarding Waste.

The Norwegian legislation is said to have been a model for Directive 2002/96/EU WEEE, and goes beyond the EU-directive by opening up for all types of electronics and machinery, not only consumer electronics. Through this, Norway complies with the main elements of the EU directives, but is in the process of harmonizing the national legislation on a few items. The Ministry of the Environment is currently working on a few amendments and expects to have the legislation ready by July 1, 2006. Today, Norway formally complies with Directive 2002/96/EU WEEE.

The following main rules apply for the system in Norway:

  • Consumers can deliver WEEE free of charge to dealers selling the same types of products, without having to make a new purchase
  • Consumers can deliver WEEE free of charge to municipalities (at about 3,000 sites throughout the country), regardless of the type of product
  • Businesses can deliver WEEE to dealers selling the same types of products, provided that they make a new purchase
  • Businesses can deliver WEEE to municipalities (at about 3,000 sites throughout the country), regardless of the type of product
  • Elretur AS (member of WEEE Forum) can under certain circumstances collect WEEE free of charge at business premises

The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, http://www.SFT.no, is a directorate under the Ministry for the Environment, with overall authority when it comes to WEEE/RoHS. This is the authority responsible for certifying companies wishing to join a take-back/collection system.

Norwegian Ministry of Environment website - Norwegian Regulations Regarding Scrapped Electrical and Electronic Products:
http://www.regjeringen.no/en/archive/Bondeviks-1st-Government/md/Lover-og-regler/1998/electrical-and-electronic-products.html?id=440380

Record Collections of EE Waste
In 2004, over 90 percent of electrical and electronic waste was collected and processed in an environmentally responsible manner. Norwegians are the best in the world when it comes to the collection of EE waste. Reports from the return systems for EE waste show that a total of 102,000 tons of EE waste was collected in Norway in 2004. Dealers, importers and manufacturers have, along with the Norwegian municipalities, been instrumental in facilitating the high collection levels for such waste. "This means that the goal of collecting 80 percent has been reached with a substantial margin, and that proper treatment is being secured for large quantities of hazardous substances via the return system for EE waste. The collection efforts are one of the most important means we have in the waste area," says Håvard Holm, Director General of the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT).

The EU has adopted a joint body of regulations concerning the collection of EE waste, which will go into effect in 2005. This also involves some changes to the Norwegian regulations, including the imposition of an obligation on all importers and exporters of EE products to be a member of a return company by 1 July 2006.

The three large co-operative return companies of Renas, Elektronikkretur and Hvitevareretur (the latter two merged on 1 April 2005, becoming one company under the name of Elretur AS) have been behind 94 percent of the collection-related activity at the present point. These were formed in 1999 after the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and the importers of electrical equipment entered into an industry-wide agreement to achieve an 80 percent return rate before 1 July 2004. The reports for 2004 show that Renas had nearly a 100 percent return rate and Hvitevareretur had a 92 percent return rate, whereas Elektronikkretur had a 75 percent return rate. The return percentages have increased radically since the arrangements began.

Further reading:
Waste policy (Norwegian Ministry of the Environment): http://www.regjeringen.no/en/archive/Bondeviks-1st-Government/ud/Rapporter-og-planer/2000/T-1312-Waste-policy.html?id=420075

The return systems for EE waste:
Renas: http://www.renas.no
Elretur: http://www.elretur.no

Questions can be directed to SFT:
Head of Section Hans Aasen, Section for Waste Management
Telephone: (+47) 22 57 34 13
E-mail: hans.aasen@sft.no

Adviser Olav Skogesal, Section for Environmental Data
Telephone: (+47) 22 57 37 27
E-mail: olav.skogesal@sft.no

Adviser Hilde Sundt Skålevåg, Section for Waste Management
Telephone: (+47) 22 57 34 57
E-mail: hilde-sundt.skalevag@sft.no

For more information, please contact:

Vidar Keyn, Senior Commercial Specialist
email: vidar.keyn@trade.gov
tel: +47 21 30 88 34

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