The Environment Treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Batteries Law (the “Law”) came into effect recently, as well as the regulations promulgated thereunder. The Law and the regulations prescribe arrangements for the environmental treatment of electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators in Israel in order to encourage re-use of electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators and in order to mitigate the negative effects of such equipment and batteries and of the waste generated by them on the environment and on public health.

The Law adopts recommended EU practices and constitutes an additional layer in the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s policy for handling solid waste and is being added to other arrangements in effect addressing this issue.

First, the law defines "electrical and electronic equipment". Excluding batteries and accumulators for which the definitions are pretty clear, the law determinates a number of technical conditions and cumulative definition of electrical and electronic equipment. Included - fridge, microwave, washing machine, computer, etc., the law also lists the items for which the law is not applicable, for example - electrical and electronic equipment contaminated medical, medical electronic devices for transplant, incandescent lights, and other motor vehicle.

Another main and principal section of the Law prescribes provisions specifying the responsibilities imposed on all parties involved in the chain of sales of electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators in Israel. These include manufacturers, importers, vendors and holders of electronic waste. The responsibilities and obligations imposed on manufacturers and importers under the Law are the broadest from among all aforementioned parties in the chain of sales of electrical and electronic equipment and batteries.

Thus, the obligations of manufacturers and importers pursuant to the Law include,inter alia: the obligation to recycle electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators according to a scale of annual quantities; report obligations to the Ministry of Environmental Protection; the obligation to prepare and publish procedures for environmental treatment and preparations for re-use of each type of electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators that they sell in Israel. The obligations of vendors pursuant to the Law include, inter alia: obligating vendors that are selling electrical and electronic equipment (that is also suitable for household use) to accept the electrical and electronic equipment waste handed over to it by the buyer (that is also suitable for household use) in their places of business at the time of sale or at the time of delivery; the obligation to store equipment and battery waste; the obligation to engage with an ‘accredited compliance body’ for the purpose of removing and transferring the equipment and battery waste in their possession and to pay for the aforesaid removal; and the obligation to keep records of the waste equipment that was so accepted and removed. The obligations of holders pursuant to the Law include engaging with an ‘accredited compliance body’ for the purpose of removing the equipment and battery waste in their possession (the cost of the waste removal shall apply to that ‘accredited compliance body’).

The last sections of the Law prescribe provisions regarding penalties (fines and arrests according to three levels of severity); provisions regarding the obligations and liabilities of office holders (and the imposition of fines in respect of violations); and administrative pecuniary sanctions resulting from breaches of relevant obligations prescribed in the Law (depending upon the degree of severity of the breach).