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EU publishes revised RoHS directive

20 July 2011 News

The revised European Union (EU) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive was published recently in the EU Official Journal, and is expected to go into effect on 21 July, 20 days after publication.

Member states will have 18 months to transpose the directive into national law. Member states’ regulations are expected to take force no later than 2 January 2013.

According to IPC, it is largely thanks to the organisation’s aggressive lobbying efforts that the revised directive does not restrict any additional substances. “As an industry, we were extremely successful in convincing EU lawmakers of the complexities and implications of restricting substances without conducting thorough scientific analyses of those substances and their potential alternatives,” said Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy. The methodology for evaluating substances for priority assessment is congruent with the EU Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, which has a robust, scientific evaluation process for evaluating and restricting chemicals.

The revised RoHS directive now applies to all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), not just a few select categories. Category 8 (medical devices) and Category 9 (monitoring and control instruments) will come into scope by 2014. Category 11 (all other EEE not covered by any other category) will come into scope by 2019. The exemptions policy will also change. Industry, instead of the EU government, will now have to prove the necessity of an exemption. Exemptions will also have expiration dates and companies will need to submit renewal applications at least 18 months before the exemptions expire in order for the EU to consider renewing the exemptions. The revised RoHS directive will be a CE Marking Directive, which requires manufacturers, distributors and importers to accurately label EEE manufactured or sold in the EU.

A copy of the final revised RoHS Directive is available at the following cumbersome URL: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:174:0088:0110:EN:PDF





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