Questions and answers

General

Can I be active at stiftung ear as a producer/authorised representative?

Yes, as a registered producer/authorised representative you can, for example, vote on regulation suggestions regarding your products, or also yourself be active. Find more information on the product areas and rules and regulations see.

Is it mandatory to take part in votes and elections?

No, participation is not mandatory, but ElektroG offers you as a registered producer/authorised representative rights to participate in stiftung ear as Gemeinsame Stelle. This gives you the opportunity to actively participate in implementing the law in certain areas. 

How do votes/elections take place?

Voting for elections and votes on rules and regulation plans only takes place electronically via the ear-portal. You can participate in the vote via the respective function in your mailbox. Then the ear-portal will lead you through the voting procedure.

Pick-up coordination

Which factors are taken into consideration when calculating my pick-up obligation as a producer/authorised representative for picking up b2c waste equipment?

To determine your pick-up obligation as a registered producer/authorised representative, among others, the following data is used:

  • Monthly is-input amount, or respectively proportionate basic amount for registration
  • Reported own take-backs
  • Reported is-output amounts
  • Obligation since registration became valid
  • Obligation takeover from the prior month
  • Waste equipment provision amount by örE
Which requirements must I as a producer/authorised representative ensure to be able to fulfill set-up and pick-up orders?

Set-up and pick-up orders obligate you as a producer/authorised representative to set up or pick up containers immediately (i.e. within the period stated in the respective order). As a producer/authorised representative you must ensure at the time of registration that you can fulfill these orders on time and can treat and recover the collected waste equipment according to the regulations of ElektroG. You can appoint service providers to set up containers and to deal with further treatment/recovery/disposal. These must guarantee that

  • the nationwide timely fulfillment of orders to pick up provided containers and to set up new containers at handover facilities is ensured;
  • the primary treatment facility to which the collected waste equipment is taken is certified according to § 21 paragraph 2 ElektroG;
  • the recovery rate for the respective category according to § 22 ElektroG is reached and
  • all amount flow data of treatment and recovery for primary treatment at the facility is available and is provided to you as producer/authorised representative for your notification and documentation obligations.
What is the pick-up code?

The four digit alphanumeric pick-up code is on every pick-up order. It identifies all data of an individual pick-up, or respectively set-up procedure, namely:

  • Handover facility
  • Group to be picked up
  • Volume of waste equipment to be picked up
  • Type of container
  • Date and time of the full report by the handover facility
  • The producer/authorised representative obligated to pick up
  • Type of equipment for which the pick-up order was issued
  • Fulfillment of the order and picked up net amount of electrical and electronic waste equipment

All of the reports that are part of the procedure can be unambiguously allocated on statement of the pick-up code/procedure ID.

Can I as a producer/authorised representative appoint a third party to fulfill my obligations to take-back, treat and recover?

According to § 43 ElektroG it is explicitly permitted to appoint third parties (e.g. service providers). But an appointed third party must have the necessary reliability. Any other party obligated according to ElektroG can be considered as a third party, so that you as a producer/authorised representative can appoint the distributor to fulfill your obligations. 

Is there an exception rule for pick-up coordination for small and/or only regionally active producers/authorised representatives?

No, ElektroG does not intend exceptions for certain producers. All registered b2c producers/authorised representatives are obligated to pick up waste equipment corresponding to the pick-up orders issued to them throughout the nation. It is to be emphasised, that individual groups have, for a long time, been offering income opportunities for producers/authorised representatives.

How high is the legal minimum pick-up amount with a full report?

Group 1, 2, 4 and 5 → 30 m³

Group 3 → 3 m³

Night storage heating equipment of group 4 → 5 m³

Battery run waste equipment of group 2, 4 and 5 → 5 m³

Group 6 → 2.5 m³

Electrical and electronic equipment

What is historic waste equipment?

Historic waste equipment is

  1. Waste equipment that was placed on the market before 13th August 2005
  2. Luminaires from private households and photovoltaic modules that are waste equipment and were placed on the market before 24th October 2015
  3. Waste equipment that was placed on the market before 15th August 2018 and is within ElektroG’s scope from 15th August 2018 for the first time (Open-Scope)
Where can I find an overview of electrical and electronic equipment for which I need to apply for registration for?

You can find examples on electrical and electronic equipment that is within ElektroG’s scope in appendix 1 on ElektroG, as well as in the overview of allocating equipment that you can find here

Which groups are the categories/types of equipment allocated to?

You can find an overview of the categories and types of equipment and their allocation to the groups here.

Does the ElektroG apply to all electrical and electronic equipment?

ElektroG applies to all equipment that is electrical and electronic equipment according to § 3 number 1 ElektroG. It does not apply to the exceptions named in § 2 paragraph 2 ElektroG. For detailed information on scope and exceptions see.

Are furniture and clothing 2018 within ElektroG’s scope?

Since introduction of the open scope, furniture and clothing with electrical functionality can be within ElektroG’s scope if it fulfills the legal definition of electrical and electronic equipment. Whether this really is the case must be checked in each individual case. If it is e.g. an electrically adjustable television armchair, or a heatable glove, it is electrical and electronic equipment according to the law.

What is a luminaire?

Other than lamps, luminaires are equipment to distribute, filter, or change light transmitted from one or more lamps, that cover all parts necessary for mounting, fixing and protecting the lamps and if required aid elements together with the device to connect it to the power source; this entails all lamps, as long as they cannot be removed without permanently damaging the unit (§ 3 number 15 ElektroG).

Fees

Why is the fee for the primary examination of an individual guarantee higher than the fee for the primary examination of a collective guarantee?

In case of a collective guarantee, stiftung ear has already determined that the producer guarantee system by a system provider is suitable for a certain calendar year to offer its participants the proof of an insolvency safe guarantee via participation in the system. The examination effort therefore is settled with the producer guarantee system. 
With an individual guarantee it first of all must be examined whether the submitted documents fulfill the requirements towards an insolvency safe guarantee. On primary examination therefore the suretyship certificate, or respectively the deposit proof, must be checked by stiftung ear. If an individual guarantee has already been through primary examination, the effort is lower. If an already recognised individual guarantee is to be used for a further allocation, the fee amounts to approximately the same as that for examining a collective guarantee. 

What do I do if I am missing a fee notification?

The main contact stated towards stiftung ear has the possibility to download missing fee notifications from the ear-portal again.

How can I download fee notifications from the ear-portal if I have a service provider?

The service provider can add you as a further user in the ear-portal. Every user can download notifications from the portal.

I have received a fee notification twice. What must I do now?

Please check first if it really is a double fee notification. This is only then the case if the notification number printed on the first page of the notification is identical on both notifications. If the notification numbers differ, please check by comparing the accounted for services, whether the same service has been accounted for twice. Especially with fee notifications for guarantee examinations please make sure that the related matter is identical but the guarantee examination is for different validity time periods and/or types of equipment.

What do I do if I receive a new SEPA mandate?

If your company name, address or bank details change, you will automatically be sent a new SEPA mandate. This has a different mandate reference to the existing mandate. In this case the old mandate becomes invalid. Please fill in the new mandate and send it back to the address stated in the letter. 

Notifiaction and disclosure obligations

How are amount reports submitted?

You submit amount reports via the ear-portal. You gain access with your User-ID and password. Should you no longer know your access data or is it no longer available, please contact stiftung ear at +49 911 76665-0 or .

The amounts are filled into the kind of notification which is to be submitted, divided into type of equipment, category or group.

If the producer/authorised representative would like, certain amount reports can also be submitted via electronic data exchange. The reports can be submitted in XML-format via VPN-access. 

Do batteries and accumulators have to be counted in when determining the amount placed on the market?

No, batteries and accumulators are not considered when determining the amounts for reporting electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market. This was bindingly decided by the producers/authorised representatives within the scope of the regulations, see.

Which amounts must I as an assembler report in the monthly/annual amount report?

If you as an assembler use components for which a producer in Germany is already registered then these amounts have already been placed on the market for the first time. Within the scope of the monthly/annual amount reports you therefore should only report the value resulting from subtracting the already registered components. You cannot deduct components without any electrical function (e.g. simple housing).

What are the minimum details for a weighing certificate?

To be able to check the accuray of the amounts of taken-back waste equipment stiftung ear can demand so-called weighing certificates on occasion, on which, among others, the weight is listed. The following must be legible, indelible and durable:

  • weighing certificate number (weighing certificates have consecutive numbers)
  • details on collection/pick-up site of the waste equipment, or respectively the site (origin of waste equipment)
  • facility in which weighing was performed (also with a third party)
  • carrier (incl. vehicle registration plates)
  • type of weighed waste equipment (exact equipment description, or respectively type of equipment information)
  • weighed gross and tara/empty weight, or respectively net weight
  • date and time of weighing (weighing date)
  • signature of the person responsible for weighing
How is 400 m² sales area determined?

Distributors are only obligated to take back electrical and electronic waste equipment if their sales area for electrical and electronic equipment exceeds 400 m². If not only electrical and electronic equipment is sold at a site, then only the sales area for electrical and electronic equipment is definitive. In stationary retail that is the ground area, not the shelf area. When distributing using distance communication means though, all storage and shipping areas for electrical and electronic equipment per site in Germany count as sales area. In these cases, the shelf area is decisive.

Is signing up at stiftung ear as a distributor also valid for other EU countries?

No, signing up as a distributor in Germany according to ElektroG is only valid in Germany. If electrical and electronic equipment is distributed by Online / Mail order companies located in Germany directly to private or commercial customers in other EU countries, the legal regulations in the target country are to be observed. The national registers of the EU member states provide further information.

Registration and registration application

How long does the registration procedure take?

Experience shows that the procedure takes between 6 to 7 weeks. If there is a high business volume, processing time can be longer. Incomplete, unclear or incorrect applications can also delay the procedure.
Therefore you should apply for registration in a timely manner prior to the planned commercial distribution of electrical and electronic equipment. 

Is there an exception from the obligation to register for producers that only place small amounts on the market?

No, if you place electrical and electronic equipment on the market as a producer you must be registered. For detailed information on producer and registration see.

Foreign producers: What is considered a branch according to ElektroG?

A foreign company’s branch in Germany exists if a branch of the foreign company is entered in the commercial register. If there is no such entry in the commercial register, your company counts as located in Germany if you can prove that your company

  • maintains a fixed facility in Germany (permanent employees, business specific equipment),
  • through which you actually perform an independent professional occupation for an indefinite period.

A German tax number (St.-Nr.) is a mandatory prerequisite to recognising a branch.
A subsidiary company is not a branch of the producer; but the subsidiary company may itself be a producer obligated to register.

How is offer according to ElektroG to be understood?

Offering is relevant for the characteristic of a producer. It is defined in § 3 number 6 ElektroG. You offer electrical and electronic equipment if you, for example, present such on internet pages or in catalogues.

What does placing on the market according to ElektroG mean?

Placing on the market is the latest point in time by which a producer must be registered. You place electrical and electronic equipment on the market if you deliver it for the first time for distribution, consumption or use in Germany in the course of a commercial activity in return for payment or free of charge. 

Can a producer/authorised representative appoint a third party to fulfill their obligation to take back, treat and recover?

Yes, it is explicitly permitted to appoint a third party (§ 43 ElektroG). But an appointed third party must have the necessary reliability that you as a producer / authorised representative must check. A third party can be any other obligated party according to ElektroG, so that you can also appoint the distributor to take back, treat and recover. 

ear-Portal: What is the difference between the main contact and the legal representative?

The main contact is a natural person that is solely entitled by the producer / authorised representative regarding stiftung ear to receive reports and orders, as well as to submit declarations. This person can be employed in your company or be a third party appointed by you (for appointed third parties please upload an appropriate power of attorney from your company to the ear-portal). If necessary, the main contact can add further contacts in the ear-portal and also their authorisations.
Legal representative is the person who is entitled by law, or respectively articles of association, to represent your company (board, managing director, chief executive director, authorised signatory of a company alone or in combination with a managing director/board of directors).

Is registration at stiftung ear Germany also valid for other EU countries or vice versa?

No, registration in Germany according to ElektroG is only valid in Germany, as every EU member state has implemented the guideline 2012/19/EU (WEEE-Directive) independently into national law. Therefore a registration is only valid in the respective country. 

What is the difference between authorisation and power of attorney?

When registering as an authorised representative (§ 3 number 10 ElektroG) the producer obligations of a foreign producer are transferred fully to the authorised representative. For producers located in Germany the institute of authorisation in this sense plays no part. An authorised (§ 14 VwVfG) service provider on the other hand supports, or respectively represents the principal in the admissible scope when meeting the obligations e.g. submitting the application. A German company can be principal.

What is an insolvency safe guarantee according to ElektroG?

A guarantee is insolvency safe if it does not become part of the insolvency estate in case of the producer’s insolvency or, in case of authorisation according to § 8 ElektroG, the authorised representative is insolvent. For detailed information see guarantee.

What needs to be done if you receive the announcement ’Guarantee examination ended in other way’ at ’ACTIVITIES’ -> ’Guarantees’ in the details of a guarantee validity period (GGZ) under tab ’Allocation’?

Please check first whether you put in the details for this GGZ from the documents from your guarantee service provider correctly before you make any changes in the ear-portal, or respectively make a new guarantee allocation. Depending on the type of question please contact your guarantee service provider, or respectively stiftung ear.

What is the so-called basic amount for registration?

The basic amount for registration is the amount of b2c equipment that a producer intends to place on the market within a guarantee validity period. It is relevant for the amount of the guarantee that must be proven and is also called upon within the scope of the examination of a small hardship application.

Can a distributor according to ElektroG at the same time be a producer according to ElektroG?

Yes, besides the original distributor obligations, distributors can at the same time meet the obligations as a producer of electrical and electronic equipment. This can be the case in the following constellations:

  • A distributor is producer if he as reseller or retailer offers electrical and electronic equipment on which only his own brand is attached (§ 3 number 9b) ElektroG).
  • A distributor is producer if he imports electrical and electronic equipment to Germany and offer it for the first time on the German market (§ 3 number 9c) ElektroG).
  • A distributor counts as producer according to ElektroG if he culpably (intentionally or negligently) offers for sale electrical and electronic equipment from not or not properly registered producers or from producers whose authorised representatives are not or not properly registered (§ 3 number 9 ElektroG at the end). 

If a distributor is at the same time producer according to ElektroG he must create an additional system access as a producer in the ear-portal (‘New registration as producer’) and apply for registration(s). For further information on registration as a producer see.

What can I do as a producer/authorised representative if my competitor places electrical and electronic equipment on the market and does not apply for registration?

If you as a producer/authorised representative suspect a competitor of breaching the obligation to register, you yourself can competitively proceed against the producer/authorised representative or stimulate prosecution of an administrative offence, for detailed information see.

Where can the symbol of the crossed out wheeled bin be downloaded as a file?

The German Environment Agency provides the ‘symbol to label electrical and electronic equipment’ as a PNG file, see.