puhelin: +358 10 249 1717
faksi: +358 10 249 1719
sähköposti: info(a)

Recser Oy
Teknobulevardi 3-5 G
01530 Vantaa

Katso kaikki yhteystiedot
  • fi
  • sv

National waste legislation imposes new obligations on international e-commerce – new statutes will enter into force in July 2021

The most significant changes for battery and accumulator producers are the inclusion of international online retail in the producer responsibility scheme and the overarching obligation to join a producer responsibility organisation.

The proposal for a legislative reform that was circulated for comment in spring 2020 has finally reached parliamentary proceedings. As the reformed Waste Act is intended to enter into force on 1 July 2021, the parliamentary proceedings are expected to process the proposal in short time. When the Finnish Parliament has passed the act, the act is submitted to the president for approval. The Government is currently preparing complementary decrees, which will be circulated for comment during the spring.

Sales platforms to manage producer responsibility

In terms of producer responsibility, no significant revisions were made to the proposal based on the consultation. Many of the statements supported the inclusion of distance selling, e.g. foreign online retailers, in the producer responsibility scheme. The Finnish Council of Regulatory Impact Analysis also considered it important that the producers’ position remains fair as online retail becomes stronger.

The Government deemed that it would be appropriate to discuss the role of international sales platforms at the EU level. Nevertheless, the national rules allow international sales platforms to manage the producer responsibility obligations of the retailers operating on their platform through a PRO or an authorised representative.

PROs promoting one-stop services

The new act obliges producer responsibility organisations, i.e. PROs, to provide more information and consulting services to the public. The act also sets the organisations new reporting and disclosure obligations, in-house control obligations and an obligation to consider the life cycle environmental impacts of batteries and accumulators in their decisions on recycling fees. In addition, PROs of various sectors must promote producers’ access to one-stop services (‘one-stop shop principle’). PROs have been promoting the one-stop shop principle through mutual agreements for quite some time. Therefore based on the comments, the proposal was modified in a more lenient direction. Due to the new requirements, PROs shall apply for the approval of their operations by 30 June 2022.

If you are a battery and accumulator producer (e.g. importer of goods containing batteries), take the following changes into account:

1. Duties of care and prohibitions concerning products become stricter (section 9)
In order to reduce the amount and harmfulness of waste and promote reuse, the party releasing batteries and accumulators onto the market shall ensure, insofar as possible, that the product is resource-efficient, durable in terms of its life span and working life and updatable, and that any product containing critical raw materials is re-usable and recyclable as waste. In addition to this, the producer must ensure that spare parts, user instructions, technical specifications and other equipment, devices and software that enable the quality repair and safe re-use of the product are made available.

2. Mandatory PRO membership (section 62)
All producers must either join or establish a PRO in order to fulfil their obligations. This also applies to the majority of industrial accumulator producers (batteries and accumulators produced for industrial or professional use), who have, until now, been allowed to register directly with a producer register administrated by the responsible authority and take care of their obligations independently. The proposal obliges producers to either join a PRO or cooperate with other producers and establish a PRO by the end of 2021.

3. Inclusion of distance selling in all producer responsibility sectors (sections 46, 48, 62 and 66 a)

a) Finnish distance seller:
Producer responsibility also applies to products sold directly to consumers at a distance, e.g. via an online store. An operator established in Finland who distance sells products that fall under the product responsibility scheme to users in other countries shall be responsible for the implementation of its producer responsibility obligations in the country in question e.g. by joining a PRO or through an authorised representative.

b) Foreign distance seller
Producer responsibility also applies to products sold directly to consumers at a distance. In order to fulfil its obligations, a producer shall join a PRO approved in Finland or cooperate with other producers to establish their own PRO.

4. Other operators implementing producer responsibility on producers’ behalf (section 66)

a) Operator comparable to a producer
An operator that is comparable to a producer operating in another country, who supplies the Finnish market with goods through other means than distance selling, may appoint an authorised representative based in Finland to take care of its obligations instead of a producer based in Finland or, for the same purpose, conclude a contract with an approved PRO. Such operators include significant international brands who supply producers (resellers) based in Finland with their products.

b) Sales platform administrator
The same right is granted to a sales platform administrator who has been authorised to take care of the producer responsibility obligations of the distance sellers operating on the platform.

We will keep our website up to date with new information for foreign distance sellers and operators comparable to producers during the spring. If you want to receive our newsletter and learn the latest information without delay, please send us your name, the name of the company you represent and your email address:

Read more:

Government Bill HE 40/2021 vp (in Finnish)

Ministry of the Environment Press Release 25 March 2021 (in Finnish)

Recser Oy’s news article on the Waste Act reform 26 June 2020