RoHS Compliance & Tests

RoHS Compliance and RoHS Directive

The RoHS (Restriction of use of Hazardous Substances) legislation covers the restriction of lead and other potentially hazardous substances used in electrical and electronic equipment. Known as Directive 2002/95/EC, it will be enforced throughout the EU from 1st July 2006. Its purpose is very clear – to restrict the use of six substances within electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), thereby contributing to the protection of human health and the environment. For many this is a considerable environmental challenge.

Whereas the WEEE directive sets minimum levels for recycling that must be met but may be exceeded, RoHS is very explicit about which substances should be restricted and the precise levels that may be tolerated.

Although RoHS is an EU Directive, manufacturers of EEE outside Europe must also abide by this legislation if the equipment they produce is ultimately imported into an EU member state for use in Europe. The definition and interpretation of the Directive should not vary across EU member countries, so companies which have achieved RoHS certification are able to distribute throughout this economic area.

As required for compliance to the RoHS Directive, as a first step (and before certification) all producers must be registered. From November 23rd 2005, it will be illegal to sell certain electrical and electronic equipment into Germany if the producer has not completed formal registration there.

The RoHS directive is valid for the following products:

  • household appliances
  • information technology and telecommunication equipment
  • consumer electronics
  • lighting fittings
  • electrical tools
  • Toys
  • sports and leisure equipment
  • vending machines
  • filament lamps

Substances Restricted by RoHS:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent chromium (VI) (Cr (VI)
  • Certain brominated flame retardants (BFR's)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB's)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE's)

The Maximum Concentration Values are 0.1% by weight (1000 ppm) in “homogeneous materials” for lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenylethers, and 0.01% by weight (100ppm) for cadmium. These limits will apply to all components within the equipment, unless otherwise exempt.