On 26 December 2022, two new Turkish regulations intended to safeguard the environment and the health of Turkey's citizens – the Regulation on the Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and the Regulation on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment – appeared in the Official Gazette and have entered into force.
WEE Management Regulation
The WEE Management Regulation aims to reduce the amount of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in order to sustainably protect the environment, manage WEEE in a way that does not harm the environment and human health, and establish a framework for extending producer responsibility for producers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). The WEE Management Regulation entered into force on 1 February 2023, abolishing the Regulation on the Control of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
The essentials of the general principles stated by the WEE Management Regulation are as follows:
- In order to ensure the implementation of eco-design requirements that extend the life cycle of products and enable their long-term use without becoming waste, allow their reuse through repair, and facilitate their preparation for reuse or recycling after they become waste, necessary measures must be taken during the design and production of EEE and their components.
- Priority is given to the use of recycled materials, especially in newly design products, where technically feasible, with the aim of reducing the use of natural resources and raw materials and increasing recycling.
- WEEE and its parts that are not technically feasible for reuse or recycling are disposed of in facilities with the appropriate environmental permits and licenses.
Obligations of producers
Within the scope of the extended producer responsibility principle followed by the WEEE Management Regulation, the main obligations of producers include the following:
- To refrain from EEE designs or manufacturing processes that prevent the reuse of used EEE or the preparation of WEEE for reuse, unless it is mandatory for environmental protection and safety requirements.
- To comply with the regulations made by the Ministry regarding the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment in order to protect the environment and human health (e.g. Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation).
- To inform consumers about the necessity of collecting WEEE separately from other household wastes and taking them to appropriate collection points for reuse or recycling, the meaning of the symbol to be used for marking EEE, and the possible effects of hazardous substances contained in EEE on the environment and human health through EEE instructions for use, information obtained at sales points and public awareness campaigns.
WEEE processing facilities, reuse preparation facilities and transfer points
According to the WEEE Management Regulation, WEEE processing facilities, reuse preparation facilities and transfer points are required to obtain environmental permits and licences under the Environmental Permits and Licences Regulation.
Imports of used and reconditioned EEE
The WEE Management Regulation regulates the import of used or reconditioned EEE. For example, the following electrical equipment can be imported into Turkey: used and reconditioned large household appliances, small household appliances, IT and telecommunications equipment, consumer equipment, lighting equipment, electrical and electronic appliances except large and fixed industrial appliances, toys, entertainment and sports equipment, medical devices, monitoring and control instruments, and vending machines.
Importantly, in order to import used or reconditioned EEE, it must be proven that imported equipment is not waste. The import of used or reconditioned EEE that is proven not to be WEEE will be carried out in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Trade regarding import permits. Where used or reconditioned EEE is suspected to be WEEE, any costs for procedures such as related analysis and control, including storage costs, will be incurred by the producers, third parties acting on behalf of the producers or other persons arranging the shipment of used EEE suspected to be WEEE.
Restriction of hazardous substances regulation
Pursuant to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation, EEE to be placed on the market are allowed to contain restricted substances such as lead, mercury and cadmium limited to an amount not exceeding the maximum concentration value by weight in homogeneous materials. As per Article 5 of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation, however, EEE such as medical devices, in vitro diagnostic devices, monitoring and control devices, industrial monitoring and control devices cannot contain restricted substances after 1 January 2024.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation entered into force on 1 January 2023, except for the provisions on CE Marking and the EU Declaration of Conformity.
Obligations of manufacturers
According to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation, the main obligations of manufacturers include the following:
- EEE supplied to the market by manufacturers must have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the requirements regarding restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
- Manufacturers are required to prove the conformity of EEE with requirements by preparing a technical file and carrying out internal production control procedures in line with the Regulation on Conformity Assessment Methods.
- As of 1 January 2024, once the manufacturer has proven the conformity of the EEE with requirements, the EEE will be marked with a "CE" marking and the manufacturer will prepare a EU Conformity Declaration.
- Manufacturers are required to keep an account of inadmissible EEE and recalled EEE, and to inform the distributors on this matter.
- Manufacturers are obliged to ensure that their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the contact address are available on the EEE, or in case this is not possible, on the EEE's packaging or in documents provided with the EEE.
EU Declaration of Conformity
As per the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation, manufacturers are obliged to bear the full responsibility for the conformity of the EEE they manufacture with the provisions of this regulation by preparing a EU Declaration of Conformity.
Rules regarding the "CE" marking
EEE must be marked with the "CE" marking before supplied to the market. The "CE" marking is placed on each EEE or on the information plate or, where this is not possible due to the nature of the EEE or where the permanency of the marking cannot be guaranteed, on the packaging of the EEE or accompanying documents in a visible, legible and indelible manner.
Unless there is evidence to the contrary, an EEE with the "CE" marking will be presumed to comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Regulation.
Both regulations clearly determine the obligations of the actors involved in the life cycle of EEE in Turkey, such as manufacturers, importers, and distributors. For more information on the regulations or their impact on your Turkey-based business, contact your CMS partner or local CMS expert: Dr. Döne Yalçın.