Changing Environmental Regulations and the Electronics Industry
John V. Messina, Eric D. Simmon, Kevin G. Brady
In 2008, the European Union (EU) started a major review of its new class of environmental regulations with a broad review of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives. The RoHS/WEEE review seeks to address issues that have been identified in the first years of its implementation, such as looking at how the Directives manage exemptions (both individual and categories) and whether new substances should be restricted. Beyond RoHS, many of these next generation environmental regulations have built in review periods or have elements that are dynamic in nature. Industry members need to be actively monitoring changes to existing regulations in order to insure their their solutions continue to work. To help industry prepare for these proposed changes, this paper will discuss the RoHS/WEEE review process, present an overview of the proposed changes in key regulations, and then discuss how these changes could affect the electronics industry and its supply chain.