The RoHS Directive

What is the RoHS Directive?

RoHS is a European Directive aiming to control and restrict the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). It is a partner directive to the WEEE Directive that controls the disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment.

What is covered under the RoHS Directive?

The RoHS Directive restricts the use of mercury, lead, chrome VI, cadmium and a range of flame retardants, notably polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in EEE’s.

Who is affected by RoHS?

RoHS regulations apply to products placed on the European market. The Directive applies to businesses that manufacture or assemble EEE’s in the UK, import EEE’s from outside Europe or re-badge EEE products as their own.

The RoHS Directive does not apply to private individuals making purchases from abroad or retailers and other businesses who only source products from within the UK or Europe; this is because it would be the responsibility of the first importer to ensure RoHS compliance.

How to be RoHS compliant?

Under the legislation businesses must ensure that products placed on the market do not contain the aforementioned hazardous substances in levels above the accepted maximum concentration values. In addition to this, producers must prepare documentation to prove their products are RoHS compliant before they are placed on the market and this documentation needs to be retained even after the product is no longer on the market.

Why do I need to be RoHS compliant?

Being RoHS compliant is a legal requirement, failure to do so can result in significant impact on retailers and manufacturers in terms of reputation and cost. Moreover non RoHS compliant products have the potential to cause adverse health effects to consumers.