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Preface

The rapid pace of technological change in the field of electronics has made appl
iances for homes and office equipment both affordable and widely used. The extre
me rates of obsolesce result in increasing quantities of electronics being added
to the waste stream. This electronic waste or e-waste includes computers, enter
tainment electronics, telecommunication equipment and any other appliances with
electric cables and batteries, which are discarded.
The large quantities of e-waste being generated have spawned a new industry: e-w
aste recycling. E-waste recycling (WEEE) is lucrative business because electroni
cs consist of valuable materials such as gold, copper but also plastic, glass, e
tc. Loopholes in law and enforcement are utilised by all parties, the importers,
traders and recyclers. Compounding the problem are increasing and mostly illega
l e-waste imports from industrialised countries.
Many OECD countries have implemented or are in the process on implementing regul
ations and guidelines for the collection and recycling of e-waste in their count
ries. In the backdrop of the Basel Convention, these member states have develope
d state-of-the-art technologies and processes that substantially reduce the risk
s involved in the treatment of e-waste. Their experiences over the years in grap
pling with the growing mountains of waste have led to efficient and economically
viable systems being developed for managing e-waste.
One of the leading countries in the world applying â Best Practicesâ is Switzerland. It
is the very first country to have introduced a system to deal with e-waste - in
1994. Developing countries are still way behind and it is expected that they wil
l also follow guidelines and valuable experience about e-waste situation gained
by industrial worldâ s experiences, including SWICO and S.EN.S of Switzerland. The St
ate Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and Swiss Federal Laboratories for M
aterials Testing and Research EMPA have conducted the project "Knowledge Partner
ships with Developing and Transition Countries in E-waste Recycling". This docu
ment represents a valuable source of information and it has been occasionally us
ed as a reference for the IFC project in Serbia.
Definition of E-Waste (WEEE)
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is a huge spectrum of products
from computers, printers and faxes, to washing machines, fridges and even fluore
scent tubes. At least 260,000 tones of WEEE from domestic and commercial sources
are discarded in Serbia alone each year. And this figure is growing.
The 10 categories of WEEE are:
1. Large household appliances
2. Small household appliances
3. IT & telecommunications equipment
4. Consumer equipment
5. Lighting equipment
6. Electrical and electronic tools
7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment
8. Medical devices
9. Monitoring and control instruments
10. Automatic dispensers
1.0 Executive Summary
IFC has commissioned this report for SETrade d.o.o. Belgrade to assist objective
assessment of the WEEE market in Serbia, provide analysis of SETrade financial
capacity, management ability and determine the best way forward, towards success
ful and self-sustainable business model. This report does not pretend to be ex
haustive; however, it does provide a sound basis for investment decision, based
on hard facts and figures contained herein. Some legal aspects have been present
ed; however, it is highly recommended that SETrade and any associated, intereste
d party obtains a qualified legal opinion before taking any action. Considering
that Serbia is striving to eventually join the EU, it has been accordingly harm
onizing its legislation and mirroring EU countries legal framework. Once again,
we would like to stress that we do not accept any legal advisory responsibility
concerning WEEE matters in this report and strongly advise that prior to any ac
tion is taken; appropriate legal opinion is sought from the professional firm or
individual.
1.1 Background
After many years of isolation and economic stagnation Serbia is currently enjoyi
ng a rapid GDP growth of almost 7% per annum. Disposable income of families and
individuals has significantly increased during the last couple of years. Easil
y accessible finance facilities brought by banks and other financial institution
s in recent time, released a huge pent-up pressure accumulated over the last 20
years. Household white goods, Personal Computers (PCs), home electronics, kidâ s ent
ertainment appliances and most other electric and electronic equipment can be ea
sily purchased through consumerâ s loans and credit line facilities available in a ma
jority of stores throughout the country. At the same time used and old equipmen
t have been discarded on a massive scale and dumped recklessly in waste collecti
on areas in most major Serbian cities.
Acute problem of the accumulated WEEE is becoming more serious, given that new p
roducts are being produced at unprecedented pace; while the product replacement
time has been significantly reduced mainly due to favorable pricing and increase
d competition on the global scale, which naturally has its reflection onto Serbi
an market too. Even the low-income families can now easily afford new household
equipment, something which was unimaginable only several years ago.
Rapid advancement of technology is also forcing consumers to consider installing
the brand new Personal Computers. Commonly used Windows (XP) is being replaced
by new operating system â Vistaâ which is unusable if installed in the old PC machines.
As of January 2008, Microsoft has officially announced discontinuing shipments
of Windows XP, which consequently may slowdown, or completely disables popular M
S Office application used in more than 85% of all PC and Macintosh users around
the globe. In addition to this major change, most new PC and Macintosh computer
s that are being produced are now using â 64 bitâ chipsets. Major technology improvemen
of that scale makes most of the other supporting software virtually obsolete.

General conditions and country overview


Serbia has been undergoing significant structural and macroeconomic reforms sinc
e year 2000. During this time country has strived to improve investment climate
and inflow of capital has been rapidly increasing each year. Todayâ s population of
almost nine million inhabitants is working towards the European Union integrati
on and the Government has been steadily investing in education, automation proce
sses, upgrade of facilities and services throughout the country. As a consequen
ce, the nation has been experiencing a surge in electric and electronic equipmen
t demand. Please refer to Appendix I, total imports 2004/2005.