Information for distributors of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and batteries

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.   

What are a distributor’s legal obligations 

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 computer, toy or watch, will have to meet the legal obligations for EEE and batteries.

Legal obligations for distributors of EEE and batteries
Your legal obligationSeller of EEESeller 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 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  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. 

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. 

Information about trade shows and expos 

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. 

Useful sources of information 

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