The government has admitted that there are major challenges surrounding the proposal for a National Clearing House (NCH), that will co-ordinate the collection and treatment of electronic waste under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive.
The NCH would be an independent, not-for-profit organisation linking manufacturers, resellers, the government and local authorities collecting products covered by WEEE.
But there is uncertainty about how it will be put into practice, and vendors and the government have claimed there is not enough time to get a system in place.
In the final consultation document, published last week, the government said: "The establishment of an NCH poses a major timetable challenge. The government expects the producer community, which has pressed strongly for an NCH, now to take a leading role in taking this forward."
But Mike Dinsdale, marketing director at Brother, said: "The key issue for this is time, and we don't have a lot of confidence the deadlines can be met. It also seems the Department of Trade and Industry has another agenda. It says it reserves the right to do something else, but what are its plans?"
While the ultimate responsibility under WEEE lies with the producer of the equipment, many manufacturers are putting pressure on resellers to help with WEEE compliance.
But many in the channel are still not sure what their liability is under the legislation.
Tony Davis, managing director of VAR Elcom IT, said: "Where does the criminal responsibility lie? This is an area where a lot of people are not sure what they should be doing.
"I don't think you will find one reseller who is ahead of the game with this directive. We are waiting to see how we can comply and if there are any benefits for us to offer take-back services."
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