Government passes RD to facilitate EEE reuse and boost circular economy

On Friday last, the Spanish Cabinet ratified a Royal Decree that modifies Royal Decree 219/2013, of March 22. The latter Royal Decree transposed into Spanish law Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The new Royal Decree is the transposition into Spanish law of Directive 2017/2102/EU, which modified the 2011 Directive.

The goal of the modified Royal Decree is to facilitate secondary market operations, such as replacing parts, updating functions and increasing capacity to enable electrical and electronic equipment to be reused. This will facilitate the transition to the circular economy.

The legislation seeks to enable certain equipment to continue for longer in the production and consumption cycle in order to limit waste from electrical and electronic equipment, whilst maintaining levels of protection for the environment, health and consumers in Europe.

The Royal Decree features other minor modifications, such as the exclusion of pipe organs containing lead, and non-road mobile machinery with external power sources. It also contains some clarifications on the procedure for applying for extensions to exemptions.

The new Royal Decree also addresses exemptions to the use of certain substances for specific applications (thereby transposing a set of eight delegate directives). There are exemptions for substances such as: cadmium in colour-converting LEDs, lead in certain electrical and electronic components, and lead in solder paste for ceramic capacitors, high melting temperature type solders, and cermet-based trimmer potentiometer elements.