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Compliance FAQs: RoHS

What is RoHS?

RoHS is an initialism for Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances. RoHS was first introduced as a European Union directive (2002/95/EC), which went in force in 2003. It requires heavy metals including lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium and flame retardants, such as polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), to be substituted by safer alternatives.

In 2011, a New RoHS directive (2011/65/EU) came in force. This new directive is referred to as RoHS 2. RoHS extended the scope of the requirements to all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and cables and spare parts (to be phased in through July 2019). It also provided coherence with other EU legislation, such as CE marking and declaration of conformity and REACH (a general act regulating registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances). As a CE marking Directive, RoHS 2 requires the manufacturer, prior to placing a product on the European market, to produce the required technical documentation to describe the internal product control procedures put in place by the manufacturer to ensure there are no restricted substances in EEE.

The Maximum Concentration Value (MCV) for heavy metals and flame retardants covered by RoHS are as follows:

For more detailed information, see European Commission’s RoHS 2 FAQ

I don’t sell in Europe; does RoHS apply to my EEE product?

If you sell components to manufacturers that do sell products containing your components in Europe, you may still have to comply. If your products or components will not be sold in Europe, the European Directive does not directly apply; however, several states have enacted legislation which you need to be aware of in case the product is sold in those states.  The state directives as of late 2017 consist of the following:

California RoHS law requires ‘covered electronic devices’ sold in the state to meet the same requirements as those found in European Union’s RoHS legislation. The regulations prohibit a covered electronic device from being sold or offered for sale in California if that device is prohibited from being sold or offered for sale in the EU due to the presence of lead, mercury, cadmium, or hexavalent chromium (does not include PBB or BBDE) above certain maximum concentration values (MCVs).

The MCVS are as follows:

  • lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium — 0.1% by weight.
  • cadmium — 0.01% by weight.

Note that polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) are not covered by the California law.  California Law does not require manufacturers of covered electronic devices to register with California. However, manufacturers must submit an annual report to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) that includes information regarding the use of restricted substances in covered electronic devices.

New Jersey’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act (NJAC 13:1E-99.94 et seq.) prohibits the sale of new covered electronic devices, including a televisions, if the covered electronic device is prohibited from being sold or offered for sale in the European Union because it exceeds the maximum value of one or more heavy metals under RoHS. The sale or offer for sale of a new covered electronic device that exceeds the European Union heavy metal maximum concentration value is permitted if the use of the heavy metal is necessary to comply with consumer, health, or safety requirements imposed by the Underwriters Laboratories or federal or State law. See E-cycle New Jersey for registration forms and additional information.

Other states include registration and/or reporting requirements as part of larger e-waste regulations. In general registration requires the following information:

  • Company contacts
  • Brands and device types
  • Note level of compliance with RoHS

Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act requires manufacturers of computers, computer monitors, printers, televisions, electronic keyboards, facsimile machines, videocassette recorders, portable digital music players, digital video disc players, video game consoles, electronic mice, scanners, digital converter boxes, cable receivers, satellite receivers, digital video disc recorders, or small-scale servers to submit a registration that includes, among other things, a statement that discloses whether any of the above mentioned products they sell in the state exceed the maximum concentration values established for lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEEs) under RoHS. Registration forms and other information can be found on Illinois EPA Manufacturers page.

Indiana code 13-20.5-1-1 requires manufacturers to disclose on its registration whether any video display devices sold by the manufacturer to households exceed the maximum concentration values established for lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (pbbs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes) under the RoHS Directive or if the manufacturer has received an exemption from any of the maximum concentration values that has been approved and published by the European Commission.

Manufacturers can access the online report through IDEM’s Re-TRAC portal. The Manufacturer Reporting Guidance [PDF] provides an overview and step-by-step instructions on how to complete the online reports.

Minnesota Statute Chapter 115A.13142 requires manufacturers of video display devices sold or offered for sale to a household must submit a registration that includes, among other things, a statement disclosing whether any video display devices sold exceed the maximum concentration values established for lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB's), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE's) under RoHS or if the manufacturer has been granted an exemption that has been approved and published by the European Commission. The registration form and reporting guidance can be found on the Pollution Control Agency Website.

New York’s Electronic Equipment Recycling And Reuse Law requires manufactures of covered devices to submit a registration that includes, among other things, a statement that discloses whether any covered electronic device sold in the state exceeds the maximum concentration values established for lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) under RoHS. Covered electronic equipment means: a computer; computer peripheral; small electronic equipment; small-scale server; cathode ray tube; or television. Detailed instructions and guidance for the E-waste Online Registration and Reporting System is available on the NYS department of Environmental Conservation Website.

Under Rhode Island’s Electronic Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling Act  manufacturers of covered devices must register with the state and as part of the process, state whether they will be implementing a manufacturer program or utilizing the state program for recycling covered electronic products. A manufacturer choosing to implement a manufacturer program must submit a plan that includes, among other things, a statement as to whether any video display devices sold in Rhode Island exceed the maximum concentration values established for lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated diphenyls (PBBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) under RoHS or if the manufacturer has been granted an exemption that has been approved and published by the European Commission. Manufacturers shall register with RI Department of Environmental Management by utilizing the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse’s website.

Wisconsin Statute Chapter 287.17 prohibits manufacturers from selling covered electronic devices to a household or school unless they register with the state. The registration requires the manufacturer to indicate whether or not its covered electronic devices comply with the European Union RoHS directive. Registration information can be found on Wisconsin Department of Resources Information for Electronics Manufacturers Webpage

Other Countries with RoHS

China

What is China RoHS 2?

China RoHS 2 is shorthand for China’s updated “Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products.” The measure was promulgated on January 21, 2016 with an effective date of July 1, 2016. China RoHS 2 was based on the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) 2 directive. 

What types of products does China ROHS 2 affect?

China RoHS 2 affects electrical and electronic products and electrical components manufactured in or exported to China with rated working electrical voltages of no more than 1500 volts direct current and 1000 volts alternating current manufactured after July 1, 2016. Power generation, transmission and distribution equipment is excluded. Coverage does not include products exported from China.  This is an expansion beyond the products covered under the original China RoHS. Exemptions apply. For more details, we recommend reading MIIT's FAQ document. Please note that although similar, compliance with EU ROHS 2 will not grant compliance with China ROHS 2.

My products are in scope; how do I become compliant?

Unlike EU RoHS, which bans specified hazardous substances, China RoHS 2 requires manufacturers to comply with relevant standards, including but not limited to the marketing and labeling standard SJ/T 11364-2014.  See the end of this flyer for a non-exhaustive list of relevant resources, including a link to the official MIIT regulation (in Chinese) and an unofficial English translation. In July 2017, China published a draft priority products catalog and a draft restricted substances catalog for public comment. 

What can I do to help?

The Department of Commerce has email address for specific inquires, and welcomes your feedback and concerns at ChinaRoHS2 [at] trade.gov.

China RoHS Resources:

China RoHS 2 Unofficial English Translation provided by Foley and Lardner, LLP

China RoHS 2 Official Chinese measure as promulgated by MIIT

China RoHS 2 FAQ Official Chinese version as published by MIIT

Unofficial Translation of China RoHS 2 FAQ by Assent Compliance (must register to receive – see bottom of page for link).

Unofficial Translation of labeling standard SJ/T 11364-2014 provided by Foley and Lardner, LLP

Japan

Japan RoHS is covered under the "Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources" which seeks to establish a sustainable society based on reduction, reuse, and recycling. Construction companies and electric utilities are targeted as well as a wide range of manufacturers. The law was passed in June 2000, with enforcement beginning April 2001. The Japanese Recycling Law (the Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources) obliges manufacturers and importers of 7 product categories in Japan to make "marking for presence" covering 6 substances.

JIS C 0950 is a Japanese Industrial Standard specifying the rules about "marking for presence" of 6 specific chemical substances for the 7-specific electrical and electronic products. The JIS is nist-quoted in the ministry ordinance of the Japanese Recycling Law (the Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources) as a method of marking, and then its requirement is mandatory for the designated 7 products.  The JIS C 0950 was originally issued in 2005, and was revised in January 2008

Who is obliged to make “marking for presence”?

Manufacturers and importers of the following seven products in Japan.

What types of products are covered?

  • Personal computers
  • Unit-type air conditioners
  • Television sets
  • Refrigerators
  • Washing machines
  • Clothes dryers
  • Microwaves

What are the specific chemical substances restricted?

  1. Lead
  2. Mercury
  3. Cadmium
  4. Hexavalent chromium
  5. Polybrominated biphenyl
  6. Polybrominated diphenyl ether

For more information, see the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA)’s website on Japanese RoHS.

Korea

The Act for Resource Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles (commonly known as Korean RoHS) was passed on 2 April 2007 in the National Assembly of Korea and entered into force on 1 Jan 2008. The regulation restricts certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products and vehicles. It is the Korean version of EU RoHS directive, EU ELV Directive and EU WEEE Directive.

Status 

Electronic and Electrical Products - Substances and Limits     

Cadmium(Cd) and its compounds: 0.01%
Mercury and its compounds: 0.1%
Lead(Pb) and its compounds: 0.1%
Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) and its compounds: 0.1%
Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB): 0.1 %;
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE): 0.1 %

Vehicles - Substances and Limits           

Cadmium(Cd) and its compounds: 0.01%
Mercury and its compounds: 0.1%
Lead(Pb) and its compounds: 0.1%
Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) and its compounds: 0.1%

Even though the above restrictions apply to finished products, components are often affected.

 

 

 

Contacts

Created December 19, 2017, Updated November 15, 2019