The long-prepared extensive reform of the Waste Act was approved and entered into force in Finland on 19 July 2021. The reform entails that in the future, the obligations of producer responsibility will also pertain to so-called distance sellers, i.e. operators such as foreign online retailers that sell their products to customers in Finland. At the same time, the minimum requirements concerning producer responsibility included in the Circular Economy Package approved by the EU in 2018 became part of national legislation.
Producer responsibility now pertains not only to Finnish businesses that release batteries and accumulators onto the market professionally, but also to all foreign businesses that sell batteries and accumulators directly to customers in Finland. Producer responsibility will continue to cover separate batteries and accumulators as well as batteries and accumulators belonging to electric and electronic devices and batteries and accumulators contained in vehicles. Businesses registered in foreign countries can take care of their obligations in Finland either by directly joining a producer organisation or by appointing an authorised representative to take care of its obligations. Distance sellers must take care of producer responsibility in Finland by 31 December 2021.
Going forward, producer responsibility can be taken care of on behalf of another business. For example, internationally operating major businesses can choose to take care of producer responsibility concerning batteries and accumulators on behalf of all Finnish businesses that import their products. The administrator of a foreign online sales platform can also take care of producer responsibility on behalf of Finnish online retailers operating on the platform, provided that it has been authorised in writing by the online retailer.
Instructions for distance sellers:
a) Foreign distance seller, such as an online retailer:
If you distance sell batteries and accumulators* covered by Recser Oy’s producer responsibility directly to customers in Finland, e.g. through a foreign online retailer, you can transfer your producer responsibility obligations to Recser Oy by registering as a producer here. We will send an agreement filled out based on the information given upon registration for the producer’s contact person to approve and sign once the agreement and its terms have been updated to correspond with the definitions and requirements of the reformed Waste Act. You can request a price list by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instead of registering, you can also choose to appoint a Finland-based authorised representative to make an agreement with Recser Oy regarding the fulfilment of the producer responsibility obligations. In that case, please ask your authorised representative to contact Recser: email@example.com.
b) Finnish distance seller, such as an online retailer:
If you distance sell batteries and accumulators directly to customers in another country, you must take care of your producer responsibility obligations in that country, e.g. by joining a local producer organisation. European producer organisations for batteries and accumulators are listed on websites such as: https://www.eucobat.eu/about-us/members.
Instructions for taking care of producer responsibility on behalf of another business:
a) Operator comparable to a producer, such as a major international brand name
If you are a foreign operator comparable to a producer that delivers products to the Finnish market by means other than distance selling, you can assume the producer responsibility obligations of a Finland-based producer by making an agreement with Recser Oy. You can start the agreement process by filling out the registration form where applicable here.
In the ‘Additional information’ field of the form, enter the name(s) of the Finland-based producer(s) whose obligations you want to assume responsibility for (name and business ID of the producer). We will send an agreement filled out based on the information given upon registration for the operator’s contact person to approve and sign once the agreement and its terms have been updated to correspond with the definitions and requirements of the reformed Waste Act.
You can request a price list by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. An operator choosing to take care of producer responsibility on behalf of another party must notify the producers and the producer organisation that would otherwise be responsible for the producer responsibility obligations of the fulfilment of the obligations, any changes therein or any cancellations thereof.
You can also choose to authorise a Finland-based representative to make the aforementioned agreement with Recser Oy. In that case, please ask your authorised representative to contact Recser: email@example.com.
b) Online sales platform administrator:
The administrator of an online sales platform can assume responsibility for the obligations of distance sellers operating on the platform on their authorisation as described in section a). In order to do so, the administrator of the online sales platform must be authorised in writing by the distance seller operating on the platform.
Previous articles regarding the Waste Act reform: https://www.paristokierratys.fi/en/blog/2021/04/12/national-waste-legislation-imposes-new-obligations-on-international-e-commerce/ and https://www.paristokierratys.fi/blog/2020/06/25/jatelakiuudistus-etakauppa-mukaan-jakamaan-tuottajavastuun-kustannuksia-vuonna-2021/ (in Finnish).
* Producer responsibility for all batteries and accumulators whose size allows for easy manual carrying and/or batteries and accumulators sold to consumers can be taken care of through Recser Oy. Read more about the classifications here: https://www.paristokierratys.fi/en/for-producers/producer-responsibility-in-legislation/.