B7.4 Role of the Regulator


The Producer Responsibility legislation has a number of different enforcement bodies.


The Environment Agency is the enforcement body.


Technically there are two enforcement bodies for the WEEE Regs: the Environment Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), which is an Executive Agency of the United Kingdom Department for Transport and the United Kingdom’s national approval authority for new road vehicles, agricultural tractors and off-road vehicles.

The VCA, has no other responsibilities to enforce environmental legislation, but does ensure that retailers have set up a take-back scheme and are promoting and managing it accordingly. If its inspectors identify that all of the required steps haven’t been taken, they have the power to take enforcement action. However, the VCA’s role doesn’t cover all the steps set out in the WEEE Regulations. Disposal and recycling of the products falls under the remit of the EA. Therefore two bodies might have to get involved.

However, WEEE is generally considered to be the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

The WEE Regs 2006 [SI 3289] state:



70.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to enforce these Regulations and in carrying out his duties he may appoint any person to act on his behalf.

(2) It shall be the duty of the following authorities to enforce regulations 8 to 13, 18, 37, 49, 52 and 53 and Part 4—

(a) in England and Wales, the Environment Agency;

(b) in Scotland, SEPA; and

(c) in Northern Ireland, the Department of the Environment.

(3) No proceedings for an offence under these Regulations may be instituted in the United Kingdom, or in any part of the United Kingdom, except by or on behalf of an enforcement authority.

(4) Nothing in these Regulations shall authorise an enforcement authority to bring proceedings in Scotland for an offence.

(5) In this Part, “enforcement authority” means any person mentioned in this regulation.

Source: The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2007 [SI 3454] © Crown copyright


The National Measurement Office (NMO) is the enforcement body. [http://www.nmo.bis.gov.uk]


The HSE is the Competent Authority.

Enforcement duties are shared amongst:

  • the Health and Safety Executive (HSE);
  • the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI);
  • the Environment Agency (EA);
  • the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA);
  • the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)
  • the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); and
  • Local Authorities (LAs), as regards health and safety and consumer protection (trading standards).



The Vehicle Certification Agency is the enforcement body, with the Environment Agency enforcing the waste requirements.


The National Weights and Measurements Laboratory is the enforcement body. [http://www.nmo.bis.gov.uk]