ETIRA celebrates lobbying win as Spanish rule change closes loophole on electrical equipment imports

January 26, 2021

The European Ink Toner and Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) is celebrating a change to Spanish rules which mean all importers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) to the country must now prove their waste management credentials.

Following extensive lobbying and proposals from ETIRA, along with the Spanish office of the European Recycling Platform, a raft of rule changes around the management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and batteries have received royal ascent.

The royal decree modifies the current WEEE regulations, meaning all importers of EEE from third countries will be required to enter their Integrated Industrial Registry number, (WEEE registration number) when clearing imports of EEE into Spain.

The measures are introduced so that, prior to the importation of electrical and electronic equipment, Spanish Authorities can supervise and verify the correct compliance with the registration obligations in the Integrated Industrial Registry (WEEE registration) by the producers, importers or authorised representatives.

The results of the controls are carried out prior to importation and will then be transferred to the competent authorities for market surveillance.

This change closes a loophole where printer consumables could be imported, but the importer was not required to disclose the WEEE registration details. Unregistered importers would then avoid the cost of providing a WEEE collection programme and paying the appropriate costs of WEEE compliance.

Javier Martinez, President of ETIRA, the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association said: “This is excellent news for Spanish remanufacturers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) who have historically faced the challenge of competing with low cost imports achieved by those not contributing to the costs of WEEE, but at the same time have had to contribute to the correct processing of WEEE.

“The rule change was formulated at a meeting with ETIRA, the European Recycling Platform, Spain’s Environment ministry and Customs authorities.” Martinez added.

A third country is a country that is not one of the 27 members of the European Union and the 3 countries of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway).

For further information about ETIRA and its work, visit

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