RoHS Recast Final and Official; Implementation Dates Abound

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The Official Journal of the European Union has published Directive 2011/65/EU on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (recast RoHS), following the European Council's formal adoption of the version we reported on earlier this year. As discussed in our February article, the recast expands RoHS' scope by phasing-in coverage of all electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) by 2019. Other major changes include adding new categorical exclusions, creating a formal exemption process, and imposing compliance obligations throughout the supply chain. The recast RoHS entered into effect on July 27, 2011. Below we highlight the critical implementation dates and timelines:

Transposition

  • Member States must adopt implementing laws and regulations by January 2, 2013

New EEE Categories

  • Medical Devices and monitoring and control instruments placed on the market starting July 22, 2014
  • In vitro diagnostic medical devices placed on the market starting July 22, 2016
  • Industrial monitoring and control instruments placed on the market starting July 22, 2017
  • Catch-all EEE category starting July 22, 2019

Reused Spare Parts

  • Reused spare parts are covered, except those recovered from EEE placed on the market before July 1, 2006 and used in equipment placed on the market before July 1, 2016, if the reuse takes place in an auditable, closed-loop business-to-business return system and the consumer is notified of the reuse

Review & Amendment of Restricted Substances

  • The European Commission must review the existing list of 6 restricted substances and consider amending the list by July 22, 2014
  • After July 22, 2014, the Commission must only review the list upon its own initiative or following the submission of a proposal by a Member State

Exemption Time Limitations & Renewals

  • In general, the length of an exemption depends on the potential adverse impacts on innovation and the life-cycle analysis of possible alternatives
    • For medical devices and monitoring and control instruments (including industrial monitoring and control instruments), the maximum period of exemption is 7 years
    • For all other EEE categories, the maximum period of exemption is 5 years
  • The Commission will renew exemptions on a case-by-case basis and renewal requests are due 18 months before the exemption expires

Review of the Directive

  • By July 22, 2014, the Commission must examine the need to amend the scope of EEE covered, and submit to the European Parliament and Council a report of its findings accompanied by a legislative proposal for any additional exclusions
  • By July 22, 2021, the Commission must conduct a general review of the Directive and submit to the European Parliament and Council a report of its findings accompanied by any legislative proposals

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