All the companies that sell electronic and electrical goods within the European Union are bound by law to abide the EU legislation pertaining to electrical and electronic equipment, or EEE for short. This legislation includes two parts: the WEEE or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive and the RoHS or the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive. The first directive describes the responsibilities, both financial and other, of the producers of EEE with regards to waste collection and waste recycling, whereas the second one prohibits the use of a number of hazardous substances in EEE.
So, if your company sells any type of electrical or electronic goods in the EU, you are bound to come across the term RoHS compliance. All the EEE sold on the EU market should comply with the RoHS directive. Thus, regardless of whether you intend to expand your business to this market or you want to operate solely in the EU, your electronics should comply with this standard. Let’s examine in further detail what the RoHS directive includes and a few frequently asked questions regarding this regulation.
What is RoHS?
RoHS is short name for Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive. RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.
Why is RoHS compliance important?
The restricted materials are hazardous to the environment and pollute landfills, and are dangerous in terms of occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling.
Which companies are affected by the RoHS Directive?
Any business that sells applicable electronic products, sub-assemblies or components directly to EU countries, or sells to resellers, distributors or integrators that in turn sell products to EU countries, is impacted if they utilize any of the restricted materials.
RoHS restricts the use of the following ten substances:
1. Lead (Pb)
2. Mercury (Hg)
3. Cadmium (Cd)
4. Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
5. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
6. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)
7. Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
8. Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)
9. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
10. Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
What products must meet RoHS standard?
1. Large household appliances.
2. Small household appliances.
3. IT & Telecommunications equipment
4. Consumer equipment.
5. Lighting equipment—including light bulbs.
6. Electronic and electrical tools.
7. Toys, leisure, and sports equipment.
8. Medical devices (currently exempt)
9. Monitoring and control instruments (currently exempt)
10. Automatic dispensers.
11. Semiconductor devices