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Recycling legislation

On 4 June 2004, the Parliament of Finland adopted Amendment 452/2004 to the Waste Act, which introduced producer responsibility to Finnish legislation. The Government Decree on End-of-Life Vehicles (581/2004) was adopted on 23 June 2004. These regulations enforced the ELV Directive (2000/53/EC) in Finland. The legislation came into force on 1 September 2004. It applies to passenger cars, vans and special vehicles such as recreational vehicles.

Under the ELV Directive, 85 percent of the weight of a vehicle should be re-used and recovered by 2006, and 95 percent by 2015. The corresponding figures for re-use and recycling are 80 percent by 2006 and 85 percent by 2015.

The utilization requirements are shown in the following table:

Re-use and recycling>80 %≥85 %
Recovery<5 %≤10 %
Total utilization>85 %≥95 %
Disposal at landfill site<15 %≤5 %

“Re-use” refers to use of components of end-of-life vehicles for the same purpose for which they were originally designed. “Recycling” refers to reprocessing of waste material for the original purpose or other purposes but excluding energy recovery. “Recovery” refers to, for example, the use of waste material as a source of energy ”

End-of-life vehicles taken back at no cost as of 1 September 2004

The last owner is entitled to deliver an end-of-life vehicle free of charge to any take-back point authorized by Finnish Car Recycling. At the take-back point the owner is issued a certificate of destruction, which ends the owner’s responsibility for the vehicle. The vehicle is also removed from the register. The last owner of a vehicle is obligated under law to deliver the end-of-life vehicle to a take-back point authorized by a producer association.
Under the ELV Directive, producer responsibility shall be applied immediately to vehicles sold after 1 July 2002, and as of 1 January 2007 to vehicles sold before that date. As of 1 September 2004 in Finland the last owner’s right to deliver an end-of-life vehicle free of charge to an authorized take-back point has also covered passenger cars and vans taken into use before 1 July 2002.

Importers are responsible for recycling end-of-life vehicles

The ELV Directive is based on producer responsibility. This means that producers are responsible for taking back, treating and recycling end-of-life vehicles at their own cost, in accordance with the requirements specified under the ELV Directive. The term “producer” refers to the manufacturer or professional importer or dealer of a vehicle. Producers can also meet their recycling obligations together by means of a so-called producer association. In Finland, the recycling of passenger cars and vans is handled by Finnish Car Recycling Ltd, a producer association owned by the Association of Automobile Importers in Finland.

Producer responsibility includes the following:

  •    Building and maintaining a take-back and recycling system
  •    Providing advice and information
  •    Collecting and storing data
  •    Meeting recycling and recovery targets
  •    Reporting to authorities

The producer or producer association is responsible for covering all costs involved in the above activities.

The ELV Directive and the Finnish legislation adopted on the basis of the directive set strict requirements for the recycling system. For take-back, pre-treatment and shedding facilities, there are detailed requirements concerning premises, technical solutions and information systems. All take-back, pre-treatment and shedding facilities for end-of-life vehicles have valid environmental permits.