Since 2001, Belgium (and by extension the entire European Union) has had the so-called take-back obligation for the sale of electrical and electronic appliances.
Producers and importers are obliged to collect and recycle the appliances they put on the market. In Belgium, the vzw Recupel established, a so-called "collective system" responsible for implementing the legal obligations imposed on them in this regard.
Producers and importers of electrical and/or electronic devices on the Belgian market must:
either join Recupel;
or submit an individual plan to the Belgian regional authorities within which they operate (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia).
Per type of appliance, a Recupel contribution has been determined by the authorities that covers the costs of collection and recycling. Manufacturers and importers periodically make a declaration to Recupel of the appliances they have put on the market in Belgium and pay the corresponding contributions to Recupel. The manufacturers and importers charge the Recupel contribution on their invoices to customers, who then systematically pass on this contribution to their customers further along the commercial chain. Ultimately, it is the end customer (the consumer or the company) that pays the Recupel contribution without being able to recover it from another link in the chain, according to the 'polluter pays' principle.
By paying the Recupel contribution, the end user acquires the right to hand in his/her discarded appliance free of charge to the Recupel system (including via the recycling parks and the retailers concerned) and to have it recycled by Recupel in a professional manner.
Legislation stipulates that the Recupel contribution must always be clearly stated with the price. This can be in the form of stating the actual amount of the Recupel contribution, or by adding the statement 'Recupel included' to the price.
The take-back obligation means that when selling electrical and electronic appliances, the seller - and the delivery company in an e-commerce context - is obliged to accept the discarded similar appliance free of charge if it is offered when the new appliance is delivered.
As an interest group for digital commerce BeCommerce finds it extremely important that online shops meet the above obligations. The legal provisions in the context of the take-back obligation were therefore included in our checklist that serves as a framework for testing to achieve the BeCommerce trustmark. This means that the members of BeCommerce who sell electrical and / or electronic appliances, can only obtain or keep the BeCommerce trustmark if they meet the legal requirements.
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