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What is the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive?


Frequently Asked Questions

The RoHS Directive, applicable in all EU Member States, aims to:

  • protect human health and the environment by restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in new equipment;
  • complement the WEEE Directive.

The scope is the same as eight of the ten WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC) categories. Medical devices and monitoring and control instruments are not included currently, but has been reviewed and it was recommended that, with certain exemptions and clarifications these categories be included from 2012. The RoHS Directive also includes electric light bulbs and household luminaries.

From 1 July 2006 new electrical and electronic equipment put onto the EU market should have a maximum concentration value of 0.1% by weight in homogeneous materials for lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls(PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and of 0.01% weight in homogeneous materials for cadmium.

This Directive affects manufacturers, sellers, distributors and recyclers of electrical and electronic equipment containing lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. It is a 'Single Market Directive' - it must be implemented in the same way in all EU Member States.

There are some exemptions to the rules. Certain materials covered by the RoHS Directive are exempt in a number of cases, although this list is currently under review. Further requests for exemptions/amendments, supported with appropriate evidence, are regularly submitted to the European Commission for review and consultations are launched to provide industry input to these.

For further assistance from TWI on RoHS matters, please contact us.

Further information

Consolidated version of the official RoHS Directive

The UK's RoHS enforcement body's website

UK Government Guidance notes for the RoHS regulations

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive (2002/95/EC)

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