RoHS Regulations, Electrical Materials...
…and How to Avoid Hazardous Fines
Anyone using hazardous electrical materials in the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment can now be fined up to £5,000 under The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Regulations.
With ever–increasing levels of new technology, huge volumes of products are fast being replaced or upgraded, resulting in rising amounts of hazardous electrical waste. Therefore RoHS Regulations, introduced on 1 July 2006, aim to facilitate the recycling of electrical materials, therefore reducing potential damage to the environment.
RoHS Regulations work alongside the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations to force businesses to finance and be accountable for the safe disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE).
RoHS legislation applies to equipment with a voltage of up to 1000 volts AC or 1500 volts DC, and which falls into eight of the ten WEEE categories, which are:
- Large household appliances, for example cookers and fridges.
- Small household appliances, such as irons and blenders.
- IT and telecommunication equipment, including telephones, PCs and printers.
- Consumer equipment, like televisions and radios.
- Lighting products, such as lamps and electric light bulbs.
- Electrical and electronic tools, such as electric drills.
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment, which includes electrical toys, or video games.
- Automatic dispensers, commonly for drink or food.
RoHS Regulations apply to those who:
- Manufacture EEE or sell another manufacturer’s products rebranded as their own.
- Recycle EEE.
- Import or export EEE.
RoHS Regulations do not apply to:
- Large–scale industrial tools, which are designed to be used only in fixed industrial applications.
- Spare parts for the repair of equipment placed on the market before 1 July 2006 (this includes parts that expand the capacity of and/or upgrade EEE placed on the market before that date, provided it is not sold as a new product.
- The reuse of EEE placed on the market before 1 July 2006.
- Specific use of hazardous substances, including:
- hexavalent chromium;
- PBB and
It is important to be aware that not all electrical products are covered under RoHS Regulations.
- fixed systems such as air conditioning units;
- monitoring and measuring devices, such as heat detectors;
- associated non–electrical products such as cable conduit;
- components of electrical products, unless they are likely to be used to manufacture a product which falls under the RoHS regulations;
- batteries; and
- any other product which does fit into any of the categories listed.
RoHS regulations are enforced by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, executed by the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) on its behalf.
By law you are committing an offence and could be fined:
- Up to £5,000 on a summary conviction for contravening or failing to comply with the prohibition of hazardous substances.
- An unlimited amount on conviction on indictment for the above.
- Up to £5,000 for failing to submit paperwork proving products are RoHS compliant.
Upon request of documents from the NWML, papers must be produced within 28 days, and RoHS–compliant paperwork must be maintained for four years after products are placed on the market.
There is no escaping these RoHS Regulations, the NWML may even buy products to check their compliance.
So better to be safe than sorry — avoid a hefty fine and help the environment by making sure your products and paperwork are fully compliant and up to date.Start of page