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Sustainability // Legislation


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EU Commission proposes changes to scope of RoHS2

Chemical Watch reports that The European Commission has published an outline of its plans to amend the scope of the Directive on the restriction of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment.

The changes are deemed necessary to tackle several unintended consequences of the revision of RoHS2, which was adopted in 2011. These include:

  • the resale of equipment, which came into the scope of the directive in 2011 – the current wording of RoHS2 would effectively ban the sale of refurbished equipment in 2019; and
  • the provision of spare parts to repair products, newly in scope of RoHS2.

Medical devices are among the product categories affected.

A third issue relates specifically to pipe organs, which contain lead alloy.

The Commission’s plans – laid out in an inception impact assessment – include a preliminary analysis of the three areas of concern, references to several studies carried out between 2012-14, and some policy options. 

These options include: modifying the 2019 deadline for the resale of refurbished goods; specific provisions for spare parts of products newly in scope of RoHS; and an exclusion from the directive for pipe organs.

A full impact assessment is currently being finalised and, based on its outcomes, a legislative proposal is scheduled for adoption by mid-year

China publishes final RoHS2 regulation

Chemical Watch reports that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has published RoHS2, the final Administrative Measures for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products. It will come into force on 1 July 2016.

RoHS2 restricts the following hazardous substances and, newly, their compounds, in electrical and electronic (EE) products and parts The substances have all been restricted for many years under the EU RoHS Directive:

  • cadmium, 0.01%;
  • mercury, 0.1%;
  • lead, 0.1%;
  • hexavalent chromium, 0.1%;
  • polybrominated biphenyls, 0.1%; and
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers, 0.1%.

Concentration limits for the substances are set by GB/T 26572, the Requirements for concentration limits for certain restricted substances in EE products. This non-mandatory national standard was issued in 2011 and acts as guidance for manufacturers.

A new catalogue of EE products subject to compliance management will be drawn up. Products listed will be subject to mandatory China RoHS2 compliance and the compulsory national conformity assessment (CCC) mark.

The regulation expands the scope of products affected by RoHS, from electronic information products (EIP) to EE products. These are defined as:

  • devices and accessory products with rated working electrical voltages that do not exceed 1,500V direct current or 1,000V alternating current, and function by means of current or electromagnetic fields and generate, transmit and measure such currents and electromagnetic fields.
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