RoHS Compliance FAQ

What is RoHS?

RoHS (Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances) regulations limit or ban specific substances -- lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), mercury, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants – in new electronic and electric equipment.

What is RoHS compliance?

RoHS compliance means acting in full accordance with RoHS regulations and documenting your testing for RoHS controlled substances.

What is RoHS training?

RoHS training involves teaching yourself and your employees about RoHS regulations and correct testing for RoHS controlled substances. Ignorance is not considered a viable excuse for RoHS non-compliance, so it is important to learn about RoHS and to ensure that your company is fully RoHS compliant. Learn the RoHS compliant definition and seek out consultants or additional assistance if you are unsure of the RoHS compliance definition for your business or are uncertain about testing procedures.

Is my business affected by RoHS?

If you are involved in the sale, manufacture or export or import of electric or electronic equipment or parts, you are likely affected by RoHS regulations and you should familiarize yourself with RoHS.

Why were RoHS regulations created?

RoHS regulations are designed to limit or eliminate substances that are dangerous to the environment and to people. Mercury, hexavalent chromium, lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants as they appear in electronic and electric parts and equipment create pollution and expose manufacturer employees and recyclers to health dangers.

Are RoHS regulations in effect now?

RoHS regulations went into effect in the Europe and the UK in 2006. They are currently in place, which means that all electric and electronic equipment being made today must meet RoHS directive rules.

How do I know whether my products are RoHS compliant?

In order to ensure that products are RoHS compliant, careful testing and documentation must be done in accordance with RoHS Directive regulations. Luckily, there are many resources that can help business ensure RoHS compliance. RoHS consultants help oversee compliance for businesses. These professionals ensure that all necessary parts and equipment are testing according to RoHS guidelines and that all testing is carefully documented. Another option is laboratory testing. Companies can send their products to laboratories offering RoHS testing. The labs will test the company’s products and in a few weeks return the results and needed documentation. Another option is the use of handheld XRF analyzers. These small devices instantly test for the presence of elements and substances controlled by the RoHS Directive and offer instant results as well as saved results for RoHS documentation. Many businesses use a number of solutions to ensure full RoHS compliance.

How serious is RoHS non-compliance?

The simple answer is “very.” Failing to make products RoHS compliant or refusing to comply with requests for documentation can result in fines that are £5000 or more. In some cases, businesses can be denied export of their products. Specific penalties vary from state to state, but non-compliance is always far more costly for a business than compliance.

What is WEEE?

WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is a directive that controls how electric and electronic equipment is handled and recycled. Most businesses that must ensure RoHS compliance must also ensure WEEE compliance as well.

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