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PAS 141: The UK’s re-use standard formally launched

by Valpak | Feb 28, 2013
The PAS 141:2011 Certification Scheme for the Re-use of Used and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment was officially launched yesterday (27 February 2013).

This event marks the beginning of a new British good practice standard, which will increase the levels of equipment re-use and cut down the current unwelcome and unacceptable amount of used and waste electrical and electronic equipment (UEEE & WEEE) being illegally exported.

Gary Griffiths, RDC Head of Sustainability and Chairman of the PAS 141 Technical Advisory Committee, said:

“This is an exciting day. PAS 141 is a British first that leads the way in setting best practice standards on WEEE re-use that benefit consumers, business, government, regulators and re-use organisations.”

UEEE and WEEE treatment facilities looking to achieve PAS 141 status can now be independently assessed by UKAS accredited certification bodies to demonstrate they meet the standard. Oakdene Hollins are the first organisation to be able to provide accredited certification to PAS 141, with more certification bodies likely to be accredited soon.

Re-use organisations certified to PAS 141 will register their organisation to the scheme by purchasing rights to use the official registered REEE mark, owned by BIS and administered by Valpak Ltd. The use of this mark will help consumers and industry to identify those organisations using processes in compliance with PAS 141 and to differentiate them from those organisations that are not PAS 141 compliant.

PAS 141 was developed by key industry experts working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to improve the overall standards for the treatment of discarded electrical and electronic equipment in the UK. This addressed a demand from consumers for reassurance that used apparatus is electrically safe to use and functionally fit for purpose. The original producers of the equipment also wanted re-assurance that their electrical safety and data protection liabilities and reputation will be protected. Re-use organisations certified to PAS 141 use documented safety tests, remove confidential data and keep records to demonstrate this. PAS 141 will also help regulatory agencies identify ‘bona fide’ exports from illegal exports of WEEE under the guise of being sent abroad for re-use.

Significant overseas interest has been expressed and continues to grow. PAS 141 is now being presented to the EU Standards Committee as the basis for a European-wide standard for re-use, in response to the mandate issued by the European Commission under the recent recast of the WEEE Directive.