The PAS 141 Guide for WEEE Treatment

8th February 2016

The following guidance underlines all the steps companies preparing electrical products for re-use need to take to become PAS 141 certified. 

What is PAS 141?

Publically Available Specification, or PAS 141, is a process management specification for the re-use of used waste electrical and electronic products, developed by industry experts to improve standards amongst those involved in the re-use and refurbishment of electrical and electronic products, as well as to assure consumers these products are safe to use.

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The PAS 141 Re-use Standard

Developed by industry experts working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), PAS 141 has been developed to:

  • Improve the standards for the re-use and refurbishment of electrical and electronic equipment that has reached the end of its first useful life in the UK.
  • Address the demand from consumers for assurance that the used electrical products they buy are electrically safe to use and functionally fit for purpose. 

The overall governance of PAS 141 is undertaken by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which also provides technical advice, strategic direction and guidance.

Copies of PAS 141 are available, at a charge, from the British Standards Institution (BSI) at www.bsigroup.co.uk.

The official launch of the PAS 141 Certification Scheme took place on 27 February 2013, at RDC’s facility in Braintree. To view the presentations from the event please click here.

More detail on the key benefits of PAS 141 certification for each audience are also available.

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The PAS 141 Registered Mark

Once an organisation’s process has been certified to PAS 141, the company must register with the Scheme Administrator in order to appear on the official register of certified organisations and receive access to the use of the scheme’s official REEE Mark.

This can be done directly through the scheme administrator. 

Fees are payable by re-use operators to the scheme administrator via a licensing fee to cover the costs of the scheme administration. To limit fraud the mark can then only be provided by the scheme administrator. The fees are used to help contribute to the on-going management of the certification scheme by the scheme administrator in a fair and equitable manner.

Re-use organisations certified by an accredited certification body and approved by the scheme administrator to the requirements of this scheme shall be required to register to the scheme through an annual licence fee.

The scheme registration fee is an annual cost of £500, per certification.

To find out more about scheme registration, use the following links:

PAS Certification Bodies and Scheme Administrators >>

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The Benefits of PAS 141

PAS 141 benefits a wide range of audiences including; consumers; re-use organisations; retailers; manufacturers; local authorities; housing associations; compliance schemes; treatment facilities; exporters and regulatory bodies. Some of these key benefits are listed below.

  • It provides a robust framework for the testing, treatment and provision of re-use electrical and electronic equipment in the UK;
  • It gives reassurance that used equipment is electrically safe to use and functionally fit for purpose;
  • It allows the original producers of the equipment re-assurance that their safety liabilities and reputation are protected as re-use organisations will have documented  processes for safety tests, removal of confidential data and record keeping; and
  • It provides a method of differentiating legitimate exports from illegal exports of WEEE under the guise of being sent abroad for re-use.  The international Correspondents Guidelines call for a “test” to differentiate between re-use and the illegal exports of waste – but they fail to specify what ‘test’ is required.  PAS 141 sets out the tests to fill this gap and will be used by the UK regulators to focus efforts on stopping illegal exports.

Specific benefits of PAS to each audience are provided below:

Retailers
As a retailer you can demand that the re-use organisations you work with are PAS 141 certified. PAS 141 will give you the confidence that your goods have been prepared following a recognised industry standard.

Manufacturers
By encouraging retailers to work with PAS 141 compliant companies for the re-use of electricals, original producers of electrical equipment will be given the re-assurance that safety liabilities and reputations are protected. PAS 141 compliant re-use organisations will use documented processes for safety tests, removal of confidential data and record keeping.

Local Authorities, Housing Associations, and Purchasing Organisations
By building into public procurement processes the requirement for re-use organisations to be PAS 141 certified, local authorities can be confident that the organisations they choose to partner with are legitimate. It will also ensure that WEEE and UEEE are kept within the WEEE regulation system, and helps reduce the risk of equipment being illegally exported from their sites.

By allowing only products from PAS 141 certified organisations to be placed into social housing, local authorities, housing associations and other purchasing organisations  can be confident that those goods are quality assured, they can also see environmental benefits through reduced waste to landfill, reduced landfill costs and economic benefits through job creation in the local economy, particularly green jobs in the third sector (charity orgs etc.).

Compliance Schemes
By selecting PAS 141 certified re-use organisations to service DCF sites, as a compliance scheme you will have the confidence that you are working with legitimate re-use organisations which will treat WEEE for re-use to the PAS 141 standard. You will be able to demonstrate to your clients that only independently verified legitimate re-use organisation will be permitted onto their sites.

Exporters
As an exporter of REEE, PAS 141 will give you the confidence that the equipment you export has been treated by independently verified legitimate re-use companies. You will be able to demonstrate to UK regulators that you are only exporting legitimate REEE and not WEEE.

Regulatory Bodies
Regulatory bodies will be able to quickly identify approved exporters which are working with legitimate re-use organisations with processes certified to PAS 141, and can therefore focus attention on non PAS 141 certified organisations to further prevent illegal exports of WEEE.

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Becoming PAS 141 Certified

PAS 141 applies to any organisation which prepares electrical products for re-use.

Treatment Facilities and Re-use Organisations

If you are a UEEE and WEEE treatment facility looking to achieve PAS 141 certification you are required to be independently assessed by a UKAS-accredited certification body to ensure that you meet the standards required by PAS 141, copies of which, are available from the British Standards Institution (BSI).

Once your processes have been set up, you can contact an accredited certification body to arrange to be audited for certification. 

Certification Bodies 

All certification bodies who operate this scheme must be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) or an equivalent National Accreditation Body to standard EN ISO/IEC 17065 /  EN 45011 (General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems), or any amendments thereto.

UKAS is the sole accreditation body in the United Kingdom recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection, and calibration services.

Certification bodies aiming to include the reuse operator scheme within their accredited scope shall contact the United Kingdom Accreditation Service if located in the UK, or their national accreditation body if located outside the UK.

One of the suggested Certification Bodies suggested by WRAP is Really Green Credentials who run PAS 141 Certification in the UK.

Visit Really Green Credentials >>
Contact Really Green Credentials >> 

Scheme Administrator 

Once a Certification Body awards PAS 141 status to an organisation, they must advise the Scheme Administrator.  The Scheme Administrator then registers the award and issues the PAS 141 mark and associated documentation upon presentation of a photocopy of the re-use organisation’s certificate and payment (both from the re-use operator).

The re-use operator scheme is administered by Valpak Ltd on behalf of the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS).

            Visit the Valpak Website >>

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Re-use Protocols for Electrical Products

The repair and re-use of electronic products has a range of environmental and social benefits. To support you in achieving PAS 141, the specification for the preparation of used and waste electrical and electronic equipment for re-use, we have developed a set of protocols so you can ensure that your electrical goods are fit for purpose after they have been repaired for re-use.

These protocols will help increase consumer confidence in re-use electrical products that are fit for purpose and help you feel confident in achieving PAS 141 specification.

Product Protocol Guides:

Printer >>
Cookers >>
Digital Cameras >>
Desktop and Laptop >>
Dishwashers >>
VHS / DVD / Blue-Ray >>
Fridges and Freezers >>
Home Stereo >>
ICT Equipment >>
Mobile Phones >>
Portable Audio Players (Mp3) >>
Tablet Computers >>
Televisions >>
Vacuum Cleaners >>
Washing Machines >>

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Where next?

Want to know more about re-use and recycling in sustainable electricals? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>