What is RoHS?

RoHS stands for the "Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances," the restriction on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. It is a European Directive aiming to control the use of certain hazardous substances in the production of new electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). It is a partner directive to the WEEE Directive (Waste in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) that controls the disposal and recycling of EEE. In the UK the RoHS Directive is implemented through the RoHS Regulations (Statutory Instrument SI2008 No. 37).

Who does it apply to?

The UK RoHS regulations apply to those businesses defined as producers that:
  • Manufacture or assemble electrical or electronic equipment in the UK
  • Import electrical or electronic equipment from outside Europe
  • Re-badge electronic products as their own
The RoHS Directive applies to products placed on the European market and each member state has its own legislation.

Who does it not apply to?

RoHS does not apply to:
  • Private individuals making purchases from abroad
  • Retailers and other businesses who only source product from within the UK or Europe because the First importer into the European market is the responsible person

What are the obligations?

The RoHS Regulations place the following requirements upon producers:
  • Product placed on the market must not contain the hazardous substances above the maximum concentration values
  • Producers must prepare documentation to show that their products are compliant before placing them on the market
  • If requested, the above documentation must be provided to the RoHS Enforcement Authority within 28 days of the request
  • The documentation must continue to be maintained for 4 years after the producer stops placing the product on the market

What are the hazardous substances that are restricted?

Any RoHS compliant component is tested for the presence of Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Hex-Cr), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). For Cadmium and Hexavalent chromium, there must be less than 0.01% of the substance by weight at raw homogeneous materials level. For Lead, PBB, and PBDE, there must be no more than 0.1% of the material, when calculated by weight at raw homogeneous materials. Any RoHS compliant component must have 100 ppm or less of mercury and the mercury must not have been intentionally added to the component.

Are RoHS regulations in effect now?

RoHS regulations went into effect in the Europe and the UK in 2006. They are currently in place, which means that all electric and electronic equipment being made today must meet RoHS directive rules.

Why were RoHS regulations created?

RoHS regulations are designed to limit or eliminate substances that are dangerous to the environment and to people. Mercury, hexavalent chromium, lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants as they appear in electronic and electric parts and equipment create pollution and expose manufacturer employees and recyclers to health dangers.

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