This page provides compliance guidance and information for distributors of EEE and batteries including what a distributor is and what are their legal obligations under the WEEE and batteries regulations.
You are a distributor if you are selling EEE or batteries to a person who is going to use them. This includes shops where a member of the public can buy items such as a kettle, a washing machine, a computer or just batteries.
Distributors include retailers and wholesalers.
If you are unsure about the types of battery that you are selling, you can use the battery scoping decision-tree to determine the type of battery.
Distributors of EEE and/or batteries have legal obligations. This is to ensure that, when these products become waste (that is, WEEE or waste batteries), they are managed properly and will not cause pollution or damage to human health. The obligations apply to any anyone selling EEE (including supermarkets, petrol stations, corner shops and electrical stores) or selling batteries (including portable, automotive or industrial batteries).
The main legal obligations that apply to distributors, such as retailers and wholesalers, are described in the table below.
Anyone selling EEE that contains a battery or that is sold with a battery, such as a computer, a toy or a watch, will have to meet the legal obligations for EEE and batteries.
|Your legal obligation||Seller of EEE||Seller of batteries|
|Join a compliance scheme (WEEE Ireland or ERP Ireland)||Yes||Yes - but not required if you sell only portable batteries|
|Only sell EEE or batteries that are supplied from fully registered producers||Yes - check supplier invoices for their producer registration number.||Yes - check supplier invoices for their producer registration number.|
|Display visible Environmental Management Costs (vEMCs)||Yes - on applicable products||No|
|Take back from customers||Yes - you must take back WEEE from customers free of charge. Take back is on a one-for-one basis. This means that the appliance being returned must be similar to the new item being purchased. You must maintain a record of all WEEE that is taken back and stored at your premises. Download a sample WEEE take back and storage template which you can use to maintain this record.||Yes - you must take back waste batteries from customers free of charge. Take back is on a one-for-zero basis. This means that no purchase is necessary, however, you do not have to take back batteries of a type that you do not sell. You do not have to accept leaking batteries|
|Display statutory notice||Yes - you must display a certain notice that informs customers about take back and recycling. Download a sample statutory notice for EEE||Yes - you must display a certain notice that informs customers about take back and recycling. Dwnload a sample statutory notice for batteries. If you are selling EEE and batteries you use a combined statutory notice for EEE and batteries.|
|Provide information to customers||Yes - You can provide this information in the product instructions or on a leaflet at the point of sale||Yes - You can provide this information in the product instructions or on a leaflet at the point of sale|
|Store, transport and store safely and legally||Yes - you must ensure that WEEE is stored safely. WEEE can only be collected by an authorised waste collector acting on behalf of a compliance scheme. You must maintain a record of all WEEE that is collected at your premises. Download a sample WEEE collection template which you can use to maintain this record.||Yes - you must ensure that waste batteries are stored safely|
You can check the register of producers to see if a supplier/producer is registered with the Producer Register Limited.
The EPA carries out inspections at retail premises to check compliance with the above legal obligations. Find out more about what to expect from an EPA inspection.
Disposable, single-use, vape and e-cigarette devices are EEE. They can also contain batteries. Retailers/Distributors must take back these devices like regular WEEE.
Rechargeable vape and e-cigarette devices must also be taken back and recycled as WEEE but the tank must first be removed.
Check out the guidance for recycling of vape and e-cigarette WEEE.
Important note: Anyone who sells EEE and/or batteries using a website, direct marketing or catalogues is called a distance seller. If you are a distributor and a distance seller, you must meet the legal obligations for both types of sellers. Find out more about distance sellers and the legal obligations that apply to them.
If you are organising or exhibiting at a trade show or expo where EEE and/or batteries will be offered for sale, then you will have legal obligations under the WEEE and batteries Regulations. Find out about these obligations in the guidance for trade show exhibitors.
Read a summary of legal obligations in the retailers compliance guidance leaflet
Find out more about the legal obligations that apply to distributors of EEE and batteries in the guidance for retailers of EEE and batteries
Find out about the legislation that regulates WEEE and waste batteries
Find out who is responsible for doing what in the legislation by downloading the booklet: Who does what - WEEE & Battery Regulations
For the EEE and batteries compliance scheme, check out WEEE Ireland
For the EEE and batteries compliance scheme, check out the European Recycling Platform