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Exporting to Europe? Know about RoHS first.

Exporting to Europe Know about RoHS first

 

 

The global electrical and electronic consumer industry has been constantly expanding over the last few decades. According to a report, the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Industry in India, itself, is expected to become the fifth-largest in the world by 2025. When so much electrical and electronic equipment is being manufactured, exported, and consumed, the accumulation of toxins, chemicals, and hazardous substances, present in these EEEs, is also increasing. This, in consequence, is causing harm to nature and the environment and thus, our wellbeing. 

Though e-waste management is a critical issue for most countries, controlling and restricting the quantities of these “hazardous” substances or chemicals used in the manufacturing process is the first step toward solving it. To monitor the situation, policymakers have enacted policies and regulations. Europen Union keeping this in mind has implied the ROHS directive, effective from 2004. 

What is Rohs Compliance?

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) is a Directive of the European Union on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. 

The directive restricted the use of six hazardous materials including in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment with the following permissible limits:

  • Lead -1000 PPM
  •  Cadmium -100 PPM
  •  Mercury -1000 PPM 
  •  Hexavalent Chromium -1000 PPM 
  •  Poly Brominated Biphenyles -1000 PPM 
  • Poly Brominated Diphenyles Ether -1000 PPM

The following four were added later in 2019:

  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP): < 1000 ppm
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP): < 1000 ppm
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): < 1000 ppm
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP): < 1000 ppm

 All EEC products should not contain more than 0.1 per cent weight of homogeneous content of any specified substance, according to the updated ROHS-2 guidelines released in 2011. Some goods may be excluded from RoHS because the European Commission has given a limited exemption allowing a restricted material to be used for a particular reason.

The regulators decided to protect consumers’ health and, as a result, encourage waste reuse and ecological recycling, so they issued this regulation prohibiting the entry of electronic products containing such hazardous substances. As a result, RoHS testing of components and modules used in electronics devices and hardware equipment is the first step toward compliance and is needed.

After the introduction of the EU’s RoHS Directive in 2004, India’s electronic and hardware industries have had trouble exporting electronic goods to EU countries. As similar legislative initiatives are introduced in most developed countries, the issue is becoming more pronounced day by day. There are few testing facilities or laboratories in India.

If you’re an electronics and electrical equipment supplier and exporter, you should definitely follow the RoHS compliance, otherwise, you might even face consequences like being banned from the EU or other countries that mandate ROHS compliance. 

What happens when ROHS restricted substances are found in your products?

The RoHS Directive’s punishments differ based on a variety of factors, including how the violation was detected and its severity. When non-compliance is disclosed voluntarily, it also leads to a collective approach to remediation.

However, if the violation is found by the national authority bodies or enforcement bodies then the case is different. The body will inform businesses that their product has been found to be in breach of the RoHS Directive, as well as the next steps to take. At this time, law enforcement officials will request technical documents and set a delivery date.

There would also be spot-checking done, which means, non-compliant items can be discovered through spot-checking goods in the marketplace. They would buy a product and take it to a lab to determine what chemicals are present. This starts the process, but further physical examination may be required to determine the exact seriousness of the violation.

If the product of the company is found to be constantly non-compliant with the ROHS directive, then, non-compliant goods will not be permitted on the market, and eliminating them from store shelves is a top priority for businesses and government agencies. However, there will be penalties and fines imposed. 

The size of the fine varies depending on the position of the infraction. Companies can be ordered to pay for state-mandated tests in addition to imposed fines. However, the true cost of RoHS noncompliance is the lack of market access.

Substance tracing is critical for preventing RoHS violations until they occur. Businesses with a clear supply chain are better able to detect potentially hazardous chemicals in their products and take steps (including part testing, if necessary) before they enter the market.

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