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Covering All Types of EEE but for a few explicit exemptions, the new directive is set to cover all types of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) including some medical devices and monitoring and control equipment which have been exempt in the past. Beside the exemptions phase out, this has been achieved through the introduction in Annex I of a new, 11th product category: “Other electrical and electronic equipment not covered by any of the categories above (Categories 1 – 10)”. This also means that borderline cases are clarified and products such as electric toys will be covered by the directive in the future.

Previous exemptions to product from categories eight and nine will be gradually phased out, with:

  • Cat. 8: Medical Devices - three years after publication
  • Cat. 8: In-vitro-Diagnostics - five years after publication
  • Cat. 9: Control and monitoring instruments - three years after publication
  • Cat. 9: Industrial control and monitoring instruments - six years after publication
  • The current draft includes ten types of products exempted
  • Equipment which is necessary for the protection of the essential interests of the security of Member States, including arms, munitions and war material intended for specifically military purposes
  • Equipment designed to be sent into space
  • Equipment which is specifically designed and to be installed as part of another type of equipment that is excluded or does not fall within the scope of this Directive, which can fulfill its function only if it is part of that equipment, and which can be replaced only by the same specifically designed equipment
  • Large-scale stationary industrial tools
  • Large-scale fixed installations
  • Means of transport for persons or goods, excluding electric two-wheel vehicles which are not type approved
  • Non-road mobile machinery made available exclusively for professional use
  • Active implantable medical devices
  • Photovoltaic panels intended to be used in a system that is designed, assembled and installed by professionals for permanent use at a defined location to produce energy from solar light for public, commercial, industrial and residential applications
  • Equipment specifically designed solely for the purposes of research and development only made available on a business-to-business basis.

Definition of “Homogeneous Material”

Current understanding of homogeneous materials was largely adapted by a definition given by the Technical Advisory Committee. However, this definition was never part of the RoHS directive as such but from secondary literature. RoHS II introduces a definition which refers to a “homogeneous material” as:

“One material of uniform composition throughout or a material, consisting of a combination of materials, that cannot be mechanically disjointed into different materials, meaning that the materials cannot be separated by mechanical actions such as unscrewing, cutting, crushing, grinding and abrasive processes.”

No New Restricted Substances

The list of restricted substances remains the same but the new directive introduces a simplified mechanism for reviewing and amending the list in the future. Some new priority substances have been identified for future review:

  • Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD)
  • Phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP)
  • Nanomaterials

A new substance exemptions process has also been introduced, to ensure coherence with REACH. Exemptions will be granted for periods of five to seven years depending on the product category. Annex III gives an updated list on current exempt application of the regulated substances in all electric and electronic equipment. Additionally, to these exemptions Annex IV features some more exemptions only applicable for category eight and category nine products. Information on the product categories, the list and limits of restricted substances, and applications exempted from restriction are included in the annexes of the new directive.

RoHS II: A CE Mark Directive RoHS II will become a CE mark directive, meaning that the CE marking will have to be affixed on the finished products, in accordance with Module A of Annex II of 768/2008/CE. While CE declaration is a manufacturer responsibility, with RoHS II becoming a CE mark directive importers and distributors also share new responsibilities for the products they bring on the EU market. It is important to understand that affixing a CE mark on an electrical or electronic product will require that the product complies not only with applicable regulations such as low voltage directive or electromagnetic compatibility, but also with RoHS. Hence, RoHS must be included in the product conformity assessment process, otherwise affixing the CE mark on a product is a breach of the law.

The European Council is expected to formally adopt the new legislation in the first quarter of 2011, with the directive entering into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member states will then have 18 months to transpose it into national law. Until then, the current RoHS directive 2002/95/EC and its amendments still apply.

Through its global restricted substances service offering SGS is capable of supporting you in ensuring your product’s compliance with global RoHS regulations (EU, China, Korea, US, etc.), with REACH/SVHC and other relevant international, regional or national pieces of legislation. SGS may also support you with compliance assessments needed to prepare the CE declaration of conformity.

For further information contact:

Dr. Udo Krischke
Global Technical Manager RSTS

SGS Germany GmbH
Im Maisel 14,
Taunusstein,
Germany
Postal code: 65232
t: +49 6128 744 235
Website: http://www.sgs.com/ee

About SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognised as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With 64,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.