I think you are getting your WEE and RoHS mixed up, but both apply in this case.
The Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) rules mean that to sell in Europe we have to have no, or very tiny, amounts of many now decided hazardous substances in our products, both in the parts and in the processes used (solder etc.) These include Lead, Haxa-valent Chromium, Cadmium, Mercury and many, many others and has applied since July 1st 2006. It will ultimately be adopted world-wide in some form.
In addition we now have the WEE (Waste Electronic Equipment) rules which mean that the manufacturer is responsible for the correct and safe re-cycling of the electronic equipment it sells. Either they do it directly or employ a 3rd party to process end of life/returned product.
They will probably have had RoHS problems, maybe they can't get RoHS compliant version of some parts they use in that product?
As you might guess, both of these have made my life interesting for the last year or so - to say the least.