Improved Compliance with Price Display and WEEE Regulations

Date released: Apr 12 2006

A joint inspection initiative between the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs (ODCA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was undertaken in 2005 and completed early this year, which has improved compliance with Regulations in the electrical retail shops surveyed. 

Of the 223 shops visited initially by ODCA inspectors

  • 158 (71 per cent) were found to be fully in compliance with the price display Regulation
  • only 93 (42 per cent) were deemed to be in compliance with the WEEE Regulations pricing requirements.

The ODCA and EPA provided information on both sets of Regulations to each retail outlet.  Some weeks later these premises were re-inspected.  This time, compliance with the Pricing Regulations and with the WEEE Regulations had increased to 93 per cent and 96 per cent, respectively.

Commenting on the findings, the Director of Consumer Affairs, John Shine said

“Retailers in the electrical and electronic sector should display clear and unambiguous price information inclusive of VAT and WEEE costs. This is important so that consumers know that the price displayed is the price that will be charged at the till.  I am pleased that the joint initiative undertaken between my office and the EPA has had the effect of increasing awareness of the requirements of both Regulations and significantly raising compliance levels”.

Dr Gerry Byrne, EPA Programme Manager said

“ I am delighted that the ODCA took such interest in working with us to ensure that prices of electrical equipment are being displayed correctly in accordance with both sets of Regulations.  It is important that consumers are given correct pricing information as well as the opportunity to dispose of WEEE in an environmentally sound manner.”

Further information:

Catherine Lenihan, ODCA 086-8116597

Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)

Notes for Editors: 

Product Prices Regulations

The European Communities (Requirements to Indicate Product Prices) Regulations 2002 give effect to EU Directive 98/6/EC relating to indication of prices of goods offered for sale to consumers.  The Regulations cover all consumer products, including electrical goods. They apply to most products for sale, in stores, by mail order or over the Internet. The full and final price in euro, inclusive of VAT and all other charges, must be clearly indicated. These Regulations enable consumers to make informed choices about goods on offer.

The Office of Consumer Affairs has been working with retailers to achieve maximum compliance with the Regulations since they came into force in March 2003. The Director’s objective is to get traders to voluntarily comply with the Regulations. However, retailers who fail to do this have been prosecuted. Since the Regulations came into force, the Director has taken 23 prosecutions (across all retail sectors) and 9 other cases are due before the courts in the coming months. The maximum fine for a breach of the Regulations is €3,000.

WEEE Enforcement:

The EPA’s Waste Prevention Unit enforces the WEEE Regulations.  Since August 2005, extensive correspondence has been initiated alerting numerous Retailers and Producers of EEE to their obligations.  Most companies have rapidly commenced preparations to comply with the Regulations. 

While the EPA is hopeful that those contacted will work towards compliance without recourse to legal action, instructions have been given for legal action to be instigated in three instances to date.  In January 2006, a successful prosecution was taken by the EPA against Boots Ltd.

The EPA is also consulting directly with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, concerning the enforcement of legally correct advertising of EEE.  Non-compliant advertising for EEE is being referred to them for follow through with their media member organisations. 

A National briefing session completed by the EPA in November 2005 advised Local Authorities of their role in the enforcement of the Regulations.  A WEEE Working Group is being set up to guide and co-ordinate the Local Authorities in their enforcement work.

Electronically collated information on WEEE with direct links to additional information sources, the National WEEE Register and the compliance schemes etc has been set up at:

The EPA has undertaken an extensive national advertising campaign in the national press to highlight the WEEE Regulations. The EPA will also be participating in a number of national seminars concerning the requirements of the two Regulations during 2006.