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Study on Items Shipped for Reuse and EPR Fees

The OECD defines Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. The EPR schemes allow companies to undertake their responsibility individually or choose to join a collective system referred to as Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO). The current issue with the EPR schemes in Europe is the lack of transparency and heterogenic policy implementation amongst member states. While the lack of transboundary trade agreements and that products' multiple life cycles are not accounted for is creating waste build-up in receiving countries. Various research shows that most shipments of goods marked as “reuse” coming from Europe to countries in Africa end up as waste. Poor material quality, handling of goods during and after shipment arrival, and lack of knowledge on consumer use are the main problems associated with these shipments.


The main focus area of this study "Study on items shipped for reuse and Extended Producer Responsibility fees: A case for extending EU EPR fees to cover end-of-life activities of products shipped outside the EU" is Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV). The study puts forward associated policy recommendations targeting notably the upcoming revisions of ELV, Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Waste Framework (WFD) directives. It further addresses the need to include vehicles in the EPR regime and the necessity of a mandatory EPR.


  • Conclude a critical discussion on existing EPR rules of exported goods for reuse, issues related to illegal shipments and the misuse of EPR fees

  • Quantify the amounts of products shipped for reuse from the EU to Africa; and understand the amount that is covered by the EPR scheme

  • Extrapolate on future trends

  • Present the expected benefits of extending the useful products' life cycle

  • Document the issue on different key options worth exploring to improve the situation, including various product streams (e.g. electronics, cars, batteries, textiles)


Present concrete policy recommendations for the future revisions of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV), Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and Waste Framework (WFD) directives



Focus areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE)

  • Vehicles

  • Textiles

  • Batteries

The study

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