Brief Understanding of the Directives of RoHS created by the EU

The Directives of RoHS or the Restriction of Hazardous Substances 2002/95/EC was created by the EU. This is merely a directive that takes effect on July 1, 2006, and member countries are required to establish their laws based on its principles. However, the Chinese Administrative Measure on the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products (commonly known as China RoHS) is a law that went into force on March 1, 2007. Regulations in both countries are focused on their respective local markets.

The same six substances on the Enviropass SCIP database and used in electronic and electrical equipment are prohibited by both the EU RoHS and the China RoHS. These include the fire retardants PBBs (polybrominated biphenyls) and PBDEs, as well as the heavy metals lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and hexavalent chromium (Cr VI) (polybrominated diphenyl ethers). However, the two regulations differ significantly from one another.

First off, the RoHS provides several exclusions and applies to 10 kinds of waste electrical and electronic equipment (also known as WEEE). Industrial machinery, spare components for equipment purchased before July 1, 2006, military hardware, and aerospace applications are not covered by it. The China RoHS proposes to list the electronic information products (EIPs) that the rule will apply to in a catalog that will be released.

Products may not always be China RoHS compliant even if they are compliant with the EU RoHS due to the variances between the two rules. Suppliers will need to put in a lot of effort to comply, especially to document the presence of hazardous compounds at ppm levels in the goods in the reports that will be necessary for Phase 2.

One of the worrying challenges suppliers face is Chinese RoHS compliance. The upcoming Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) laws, which took effect in the European Union on June 1, 2007, are even more significant.

The final draught of the REACH rule, which was approved in December 2006, targets a variety of dangerous chemicals. It is not only applicable to the electronics industry. Compared to RoHS, which only covers six hazardous materials, it has a far wider scope. The usage of numerous chemicals will be regulated by the REACH legislation. REACH will have an impact on suppliers that have obtained RoHS compliance or have been working to do so because several chemicals are expected to be utilized in the electronics distribution chain.

RoHS and REACH, which are currently in effect and are seen negatively by many providers, steps in the direction of a cleaner, greener world. Businesses that understand this and accept change will undoubtedly succeed in the twenty-first century.