RoHS or Restriction of Hazardous Substances, known as Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS 1) was originally put together in 2002. It came into effect in 2006 and restricts the use of 6 hazardous materials found in electrical equipment and electronic products.
RoHS compliance is the directive any business that places the product in the European market must follow if the product comprises one of the 10 restricted substances and RoHS compliance testing is the process to confirm that the product passes the directive.
Hexavalent Chromium: ( Cr6+)
Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)
Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS 2), improved regulatory and legal conditions of RoHS 1 while addressing the same substances. Also, RoHS 2 is used as CE marking directive of cables and spare parts.
Directive 2015/863 (RoHS 3), took effect in July 2019, is a further evolution of RoHS 2 and adds four substances to the original directive as stated below.
Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
The maximum permitted concentration is .1% or 1000 ppm by weight except for Cadmium which is limited to .01% or 100 ppm by weight.
Any product composed of homogeneous material is regulated under RoHS. For example – manufacturing equipment is composed of a number of electrical components. So if it contains a PCB circuit, IC, resistors, cables then every component must pass the RoHS test and the seller must produce a RoHS certificate to sell that equipment in the European Market.
Consumers have been abandoning obsolete products at an ever increasing rate. The RoHS directive was introduced to address the global high-tech waste problem caused by hazardous materials in consumer electronics and to promote better human life.
RoHS is followed worldwide by sellers or distributors who trade such products not only in Europe but also in countries with their own versions of RoHS. Some countries such as China, UAE, Korea, California, Turkey, India, Japan, Taiwan have created their own variations of RoHS. All companies which produce cables, components, and EEE appliances need RoHS compliance testing.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) has 11 Categories within the scope of the EU RoHS Directive.
RoHS testing is usually carried out using X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF), as per ASTM F2617 standard. RoHS testing methods also include Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
Among these, XRF is an economical method and can be used as a pre-screening method because it is primarily used to determine highest risk of restricted substances. Only after pre-screening, the need to do further testing is decided.
Inspection and review of all technical documents is followed at each step to ensure test reports are accurate. Documentation is an important part of the certification process and must be done in detail at every stage to check that the conformance process has been followed and the correct instruction language is used.
The business must maintain the documentation known as technical record for later review if there is any incident.
Following the conformity assessment certificate document is released. Electrical and electronic equipment must go through this process to receive a valid certification of compliance.
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RoHS, short for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, is a directive issued by the European Union for manufacturers, importers and distributors of electronics and electrical equipment, which restricts the use of 6 hazardous substances.
RoHS compliant is a declaration of compliance for the electronic and electrical equipment that passes the RoHS directive guidelines.
RoHS certification is a declaration of conformity that the level of hazardous or toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium does not exceed the maximum permissible amount.
The importance of RoHS directive lies in its reason to prevent the risks posed by electronic and electrical waste to human health and environment. The certificate also ensures that the product complies with the regulations of such substances when traded with countries in the European Union.
Paints and pigments
PVC (vinyl) cables as a stabilizer (e.g., power cords, USB cables)
Printed circuit board finishes, leads, internal and external interconnects
Glass in television and photographic products (e.g., CRT television screens and camera lenses)
Lamps and bulbs
Integrated circuits or microchips
RoHS measures toxicity of electronic and electrical equipment whereas REACH measures the toxicity of chemicals. However, both regulations aim for better human health and environment by providing protection from toxic chemicals and hazardous substances.
There are more than 100 exemptions which expire after 5 years if not renewed by the EU . Contact a third part company or laboratory to find out whether your product or its parts fall in the list of exemptions.
The major difference between RoHS and RoHS 3 is the number of hazardous substances they restrict. RoHS 3 restricts 4 substances in addition to 6 substances which are under the restriction of RoHS.
RoHS 2 is an evolution of the original directive and addresses the same substances as RoHS but it requires periodic re-evaluations to cover additional electronic and electrical equipment, cables and spare parts.
RoHS 2 is also a CE marking directive indicating that RoHS compliance is required for CE marking of products. CE mark now includes RoHS so the green RoHS compliance is no longer required.
RoHS testing is conducted in a controlled environment using sophisticated machines, such as XRF analyzer. They are used for screening and verification of the restricted metals. It involves trained personnel with implicit methods at testing laboratories.
RoHS compliance requires that the product should not contain the 6 restricted substances and the business selling the product in the European market has the certification to show compliance with the regulations.
Any business that wants to sell electrical product or electronic equipment, cable, component, to the countries in the European Union is required to comply with the RoHS regulations.
To obtain a RoHS certificate, a third party company such as a laboratory that provides a declaration of conformity otherwise is required. These companies generally provide RoHS certification services including testing, audit, documentation and certification.
RoHS does not apply to batteries of any type. All batteries are governed by the EU battery directive that restricts the use of lead (0.004%), mercury (0.0005%), and cadmium (0.002%). Note: medical devices and emergency systems are excluded for cadmium.
The RoHS directive was initiated by the European Union. In recent years, countries such as China, Turkey, USA, India, Taiwan, UAE, UK and Korea have developed their own version of RoHS.
The term RoHS 5/6 means that a part only contains lead (one of the 6 substances) and does not contain the other 5 substances. This is not an official term in the legislation.
Since the packaging is discarded as soon as it reaches the destination, it is exempt from the RoHS directive.
Yes. The heavy household electronic appliances must follow the RoHS directive.