RoHS Directive: What’s New?

In the European Union, the amended RoHS Directive (Directive 2011/65/EU of June 8, 2011 on limiting the use of specific hazardous chemicals in electric and electronic devices has been in effect since July 22, 2019. The Directive lists various chemicals that may not be used in electric and electronic devices. Since the effective date, two important revisions have been made for users.

First, as of July 22, 2019, four additional prohibitions on the hazardous chemicals in electric devices have been added to the earlier prohibitions. As published in the amending directive (Directive (EU) 2015/863 of March 31, 2015, the following four phthalates will be forbidden, along with lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE):

  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

Second, as of July 22, 2019, Article 2, Section 2 of the RoHS Directive also applies to the devices listed in Annex I under Category 11 that have so far been exempt. These devices include other electric and electronic devices that cannot be assigned to any of the categories already noted.

Annex III of the RoHS Directive lists uses exempt from restrictions. The exemptions have now been expanded because in August, the EU issued a five-year RoHS exemption for the use of DEHP in the rubber components of engine systems. It also approved a five-year exemption for the use of lead in solder of sensors, actuators, and engine control units of combustion engines.

In Germany, the revisions have been realized in the national electronic chemicals ordinance (German only).

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