Frequently asked questions on RoHS and WEEE

20 September 2006 News

The European Commission - Directorate-General Environment, has posted on its website a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that is intended to help the authorities in the Member States to interpret both directives. It could also be used as a reference by economic operators, as they will have to comply with the national laws transposing the Directives.

Directive 2002/95/EC on the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) and Directive 2002/96/EC on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) entered into force on 13 February 2003. Both Directives required EU Member States to transpose their provisions into national law by 13 August 2004.

In her foreword, Catherine Day, the director-general of DG Environment states the following:

"These FAQ reflect the views of the Commission, and as such are not legally binding; binding interpretation of Community legislation is the exclusive competence of the European Court of Justice.

"They cannot go beyond or substitute for the requirements of the WEEE and RoHS Directives. The WEEE and RoHS Directives are binding on the Member States as regards the objectives to be achieved but leave them to decide how the agreed Community objective is to be incorporated into their legal system(s).

"The WEEE and RoHS Directives addressed to the Member States do not, as a rule, confer rights or impose obligations on the Community citizen. They are addressed only to the Member States and the rights and obligations for the citizen flow only from the measures enacted by the authorities of the Member States to implement them.

"This is a living document and so may be revised in the future, according to experience with the implementation in the Member States and the further development of European waste management policy in general.


The following is a list of some of the questions addressed:

* What is the legal base of the WEEE and the RoHS Directives?

* What are the criteria for determining whether a product falls under the RoHS Directive?

* What is the criteria for determining whether a product falls under the WEEE Directive?

* Is my product covered by the WEEE and RoHS Directives?

* Is my product covered by one of the exemptions listed in the Annex to the RoHS Directive?

* How can I ask for an exemption from the RoHS Directive?

* Are exemptions granted per company, product or application?

* Do the WEEE and the RoHS Directives apply to electrical and electronic products for professional use?

* Do the WEEE and the RoHS Directives apply to batteries?

* Do the WEEE and the RoHS Directives apply to ink cartridges?*

* Do electrical or electronic devices such as car radios fall under the RoHS Directive or under Directive 2000/53/EC on end of life vehicles (ELV)?

* Does the RoHS Directive apply to spare parts installed in new equipment?

* Is the use of non-RoHS compliant material allowed for capacity expansion and/or upgrade in electrical and electronic products put on the market before 1 July 2006?

* Does the substance ban under the RoHS Directive apply to the production process?

* Does the substance ban under the RoHS Directive apply to products built for own use?

* Are radio frequency identification (RFID) chips included in the scope of the WEEE and RoHS Directives?

* Are antennas, cables, fibre optics and waveguides covered by the WEEE and RoHS Directives?

* What is meant by 'infected products'?

* What is meant by 'video games'?


* What does 'put on the market' mean?

* Is the import of EEE into the European Union seen as a placing a product on the market?

* Are maximum concentration values set in the RoHS Directive?

* Which certificate do I need to show RoHS compliance?

* Can companies mark equipment with a label indicating that the equipment is RoHS-compliant?

* Is re-use of the appliance covered by the targets?

The document was last updated in August 2006 and is regularly updated. It can be downloaded at

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