Considering RoHS, Now and in the Future
by Joe Longo, on April 25, 2017
When companies create electronics for sale and use in the European Union, they must be sure their production and labeling strategies take the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) rules into account. This isn't the only EU rule on electronics that will have an effect on labeling, but its blanket ban on six potentially dangerous materials is an important compliance point.
What Compliance Entails
TUV SUD Senior Compliance Manager Richard Poate told the source that the amount of relevant rules has increased in recent years, and there is potentially more on the way, even when only thinking about the EU.
New Electronics pointed out that while RoHS is meant to solve problems with potentially harmful substances before consumers ever buy them, there are still labeling requirements to oblige. Namely, supply chain partners must ensure they have clearly stated and documented materials lists as components are assembled into finished devices. In the case of an official audit, there must be complete visibility of what's in each item.
Considered for Changes
According to the National Law Review, the European Parliament and Council is considering RoHS changes. In the legislative session beginning in February, the body met to discuss changes that might affect non-compliant devices placed on the market before the compliance deadline of July 22, 2019.
If the directive receives the changes discussed, the spare parts market for non-compliant devices will be allowed to continue after the deadline, as will the use and resale of products containing the six banned substances - cadmium, mercury, lead, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and Hexavalent chromium.
Supply Chains Need Visibility
While RoHS' standards for used devices may shift in the months ahead, they won't go away. Companies therefore need to think about how carefully device materials are tracked and logged throughout their supply chains. Without adequate Electronics Labeling, manufacturers may have a tough time getting into compliance or proving they are obeying RoHS requirements and the other relevant restrictions.
For more on Electronics Labeling check out the Q&A on this topic.