One of the strengths of the R2 Certification is that it allows opportunities for reusing electronic devices and components. That said, the R2 Standard has very strict requirements and limitations governing the sale of untested and non-working equipment and components. These ensure that all electronics are responsibly managed by a qualified refurbisher with the ability to safely repair or recycle the electronic devices or components they receive.
Provision 6 states that R2 Certified companies may not sell untested or non-working used electronics (including non-working electronics sold for parts) without first "qualifying" the buyer. Sales over the internet are generally not acceptable because these anonymous buyer transactions typically do not include qualifying the buyer.
Under Provision 6(c)(3), R2 Certified companies are permitted to partner with qualified refurbishers that have the expertise necessary to test and repair specific types of equipment. This is particularly helpful when testing "specialty" electronics such as UPS units or medical equipment. Such downstream vendors must demonstrate their conformance to the 6(c)(3) requirements prior to an R2 company sending them electronics for testing or repair. Qualifying a downstream vendor that is R2 certified is less involved, although non-certified refurbishers may be used if they meet all the 6(c)(3) requirements. Provision 6(c)(3) holds downstream vendors that receive untested and/or non-working used electronics or parts to the same rigor that is required of R2 Certified companies.
A downstream refurbisher that is not R2 certified must qualify to meet two requirements:
- They must be able to test and repair equipment or components to meet the criteria for R2/Ready for Reuse (6(c)(1)), or R2/Ready for Resale (6(c)(2)). This includes establishing detailed records that show the devices or individual parts have passed functionality testing. Untested or non-functioning used electronics may not be resold to another downstream refurbisher.
- They must recycle unsold, non-tested, and/or non-functioning equipment in conformance with Provision 5(e).
Bottom Line: Used electronics must be controlled until each unit or component can be qualified as R2/Ready for Reuse, R2/Ready for Resale, or if they are Specialty or Collectible electronics, meet the requirements outlined in Provision 6(d).