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In Europe, historically, the waste of electrical and electronic equipment has often been put into landfill or treated offshore by 3rd countries to remove and treat components and materials.

To reduce the negative environmental impact of product, the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances – RoHS – Directive 2001/65/EU was originally introduced in 2003.

This Directive set out requirements on the restriction of the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

The purpose of this Directive and its sister Directive, WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is to minimize the toxicity in EEE components and materials for achieving reuse, recycling and recovery and also encourage substitution to safer elements.

In 2011, the EU RoHS recast Directive (RoHS 2) was introduced to replace the original ROHS Directive. CE marking is required for an EEE to show compliance as part of the technical requirement.

The restricted substances

The following substances are restricted in every homogeneous material of the product, including both accessible and inaccessible materials:

  • Heavy metals: Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium
  • Brominated Flame retardants: Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE)
  • Phthalates: DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIBP

According to 2011/65/EU Directive – “Exemptions from the restriction for certain specific materials or components should be limited in their scope and duration …”

Exemption information can be found here.

How UL can support you

UL provides global companies with a wide range of RoHS compliance services packages:

  • Wet chemistry method: applicable to all RoHS restricted substances
  • XRF screening method: applicable to heavy metals and brominated flame retardants only
  • Combination of XRF + Wet chemistry package
  • Technical file and declaration of conformity evaluations
  • Design of markings and labeling review
  • Global market access support

You can contact us to learn more.