Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the definition of regulated electrical equipment (REE) and the respective clauses under the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WPRS)?

The detailed definition of the eight classes of regulated electrical equipment (REE) are set out in Schedule 6 of the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance (Cap. 603) (PERO).  Generally speaking, REE include the following:

  • Air conditioner: includes single package type and split type room air conditioners (air cooled, air heated, or both) that have a cooling capacity not exceeding 7.5 kilowatts (i.e. 3 HP);
  • Washing machine: with a washing capacity not exceeding 10 kg;
  • Refrigerator: with a total storage volume not exceeding 500 litres;
  • Television: the size of its display screen does not exceed 100 inches (measured diagonally);
  • Computer: includes personal computer, desktop computer, tablet computer, laptop computer and notebook computer;
  • Printer: not exceeding 30 kg in weight; one that can also be used as a photocopier, facsimile transmitter or scanner is also regarded as a printer;
  • Scanner: not exceeding 30 kg in weight;
  • Monitor: does not have the function of storing electronic data or computing, and the size of its display screen exceeds 5.5 inches but does not exceed 100 inches (measured diagonally).

The definitions of air conditioner, washing machine and refrigerator are the same as those under the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme. Also, under section 3 of PERO, REE refers to the electrical or electronic equipment that has not been used by any consumer.  Hence, sale of second-hand goods is not subject to payment of recycling levy or arrangement of removal service.

Q2: What are the requirements for choosing "collectors" when a seller formulates a removal service plan?

A removal service plan formulated by a seller needs to fulfill the following requirements, in respect of a "collector" -

  • provide a maximum of five qualified collectors, including a specified "default collector";
  • the "collector" must hold a business registration certificate issued under Section 6 of the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310);
  • a "default collector" refers to the first collector whom the seller proposes to approach for arrangement of removal service. The "default collector" has to be able to provide territory-wide collection service coverage and provide collection service for all classes of regulated electrical equipment (REE) that the seller distributes;
  • all "collectors" must provide written undertakings that they will provide removal service when the seller distributes REE to the consumer and that they will hand over the old item removed to the "recycler".
Q3: What are the requirements for choosing "recyclers" when a seller formulates a removal service plan?

A removal service plan formulated by a seller needs to fulfill the following requirements, in respect of a "recycler" -

  • nominated at least one qualified "recycler";
  • the "recycler" must hold a waste disposal licence in respect of e-waste within the meaning of the Waste Disposal Ordinance (Cap. 354);
  • the "recycler" must provide written undertaking that he/she will provide a treatment, reprocessing or recycling service for the old item removed by the "collector" in the removal service plan.
Q4: Where can the seller obtain recycling labels?

Under normal circumstances, the recycling labels provided by sellers should be provided (to the seller) by registered suppliers who distribute regulated electrical equipment to them.  That said, any person who needs recycling labels can also purchase them by paying an amount equivalent to the relevant recycling levy to Environmental Protection Department.

Q5: How should the seller provide prescribed wording on a receipt?

A general statement as in the following specimen can be stamped on the receipt by sellers (air conditioner, washing machine and television are sold in this transaction):

A product set out in this receipt is regulated electrical equipment under the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance (Cap. 603). The Ordinance imposes a recycling levy on the product as follows:
Air conditioner: $125 per item
Refrigerator: $165 per item
Washing machine: $125 per item
 Television: $165 per item
Computer: $15 per item
Printer: $15 per item
Scanner: $15 per item
Monitor: $45 per item
Q6: What information of the removal services should be kept by the seller?

The removal service record kept by the seller should contain the following information:

  • Information that enables the identification of the distribution transaction (for example, transaction date and details, transaction number, etc.);
  • The times and manners in which the request for a removal service was made to and received from a collector;
  • Proof that the collector had been informed of the address of the premises from which the old equipment was to be removed and the date of collection of the old equipment as agreed by the collector;
  • If the actual collector who provided the service was a collector other than the default collector - the default collector’s written confirmation that the default collector was unable or unwilling to provide the requested service, and the reasons;
  • If the actual service provider was not a collector under the removal service - a written confirmation by each collector specified in the removal service plan that the collector was unable or unwilling to provide the requested service, and the reasons.
Q7: What should the seller do in the event of damage/loss of recycling labels?

The seller may enquire with the relevant supplier to arrange for return of the damaged recycling labels or provide proof of the loss of labels (e.g. a simple declaration or report of loss to the Police) to request reprovision. If the supplier is unable to re-provide the labels, sellers may raise an application with the Environmental Protection Department for reprovision, attaching the above mentioned proof.

Q8: What should the seller do if the consumer returns the equipment to the seller without returning the recycling labels?

Sellers should draw up their own return and exchange policies for consumers' reference, including how to handle the return of recycling labels provided along with the regulated electrical equipment. If eventually the consumer is unable to return the label, sellers may also report such fact to the Environmental Protection Department, and provide the relevant supporting documents to apply for reprovision of labels.

Q9: Can the recycling levy be listed on the receipts and collected from consumers?

Under the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, regulated electrical equipment suppliers are required by law to pay a recycling levy to the Government. In addition, it is a statutory requirement that the receipts issued to consumers by the sellers must contain the prescribed wording.

However, the law does not regulate how the suppliers may recover all or part of the recycling levy from other stakeholders through the supply chain, which should be determined by the relevant stakeholders according to the operation of the free market. As for how the price should be presented, such as whether all or part of the recycling levy should be separately listed on the invoice or receipt, or whether to show as a single price, the trade may decide themselves.

Q10: Are local online shopping, cross-boundary online shopping for local use and sale outside the territory with equipment collected in Hong Kong regulated under the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment?

Suppliers are required by law to pay a recycling levy fore regulated electrical equipment (REE) they distribute or use for the first time, while sellers should arrange a free statutory removal service for the distributed REE and provide a recycling label and a receipt with prescribed wording for the consumers. Irrespective of whether the suppliers and sellers distribute REE in Hong Kong through physical stores or online sales platforms, they are subject to statutory regulation.

As for the so-called "sale outside the territory with equipment collected in Hong Kong", it is understood that this involves distribution of REE in local market by the supplier, so the supplier should pay the corresponding recycling levy.

Q11: If a seller sells regulated electrical equipment (REE) that is an exhibit, should the seller provide a removal service, a recycling label and a receipt containing the prescribed wording for the consumer?

According to the definition of REE, an exhibit that has not been used by a consumer is regarded as REE. Therefore, if a seller sells an exhibit to a consumer, the seller must, as in selling REE in general, arrange a free removal service and provide a recycling label and a receipt containing the prescribed wording for the consumer as required by law.

Q12: If the consumer has purchased regulated electrical equipment (REE) from a seller in late July 2018 but the delivery can only be arranged on or after 1 August 2018 (e.g. necessary lead time for arranging delivery, or pending on the completion of renovation works by the consumer), is the seller required to fulfill obligations regarding removal service, provision of labels and receipts with prescribed wording?

If consumers have purchased REE from sellers prior to the implementation of the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WPRS), and the seller is only arranging delivery in accordance with the agreement on/after the implementation of the WPRS, the Environmental Protection Department considers that sellers are not obliged to arrange free removal service, or provide recycling labels and receipts with prescribed wording in respect of such REE. That said, from the perspectives of good customer service and environmental protection, we encourage sellers to facilitate their customer to arrange proper recycling of the spent item as far as possible, turning waste into resources.

Q13: Is a seller who resells regulated electrical equipment (REE) returned by a consumer required to arrange a removal service and provide a recycling label and a receipt containing the prescribed wording for the next consumer?
Depending on the circumstances, if the REE returned by a consumer has not been used by the consumer, when the seller resells it he/she must arrange a free statutory removal service and provide a recycling label and a receipt containing the prescribed wording as required by law when re-distributing the equipment to other consumers.
Example:
Reason for return of goods Are provision of removal service, recycling label and receipt containing the prescribed wording required?
The consumer has rescinded the purchase with the seller before taking delivery of goods As the equipment concerned has not been used by the consumer, the seller must arrange a free statutory removal service and provide a recycling label and a receipt containing the prescribed wording as required by law when re-distributing it to other consumers.
The consumer, after accepting the goods, requests the seller to take back the electrical equipment (be it defective, damaged or intact) and the seller agrees to do so As the equipment concerned has been used by the consumer and is no longer REE in nature, the seller is not required to fulfill the relevant obligations when re-distributing the goods.

Generally speaking, we understand that members of the trade will make it clear to the buyers that the goods have been returned so as to avoid contravening the Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

Q14: Are household refrigerators, and other commercial refrigerators/ freezers with rated total storage volume exceeding 500L regarded as regulated electrical equipment (REE)? How do members of the public handle such kind of electrical equipment?

Under the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance (Cap. 603), household refrigerators and other commercial refrigerator/ freezers with rated total storage volume exceeding 500L are not regarded as regulated electrical equipment (REE). Hence, suppliers are not required to pay the recycling levy, and sellers are not required to provide the statutory removal service for customers of such kind of electrical equipment.

Under the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WPRS), WEEE · PARK collects and treats REE items only. Members of the public can hand over non-regulated household electrical appliances, including household refrigerators with rated total storage volume exceeding 500L, to Community Green Stations for proper handling. For details, please click here.