Now that the EU's revision of its Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) has been published in The Official Journal of the European Union, the clock begins ticking for EU member states to integrate the environmental guidelines into their laws. EU-wide, however, the law goes into effect on July 21, 2011 — 20 days after the revision is published.
EU member states have 18 months to transpose RoHS into their national laws. Once that occurs, the regulations are expected to become official no later than January 2, 2013.
As expected, the scope of the EU's RoHS has expanded to include more electronics and electrical equipment, including medical devices and monitoring and control instruments. (See: Revised RoHS Directive Adopted in EU.) The target date for compliance of these products is 2014. Other electronics and electrical equipment not specifically covered by the revision will be expected to comply by 2019.
Exemptions to RoHS are still available, but the industry — not the EU — will have to demonstrate the need for exemption. Companies will also have to submit an application for exemption every 18 months for consideration of renewal.
The revised RoHS directive does not restrict any additional substances. However, as part of an ongoing requirement to review restricted substances, four materials have been identified for assessment: Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), and Dibutyl phthalate (DBP).