On January 27th, 2003, The European Union established two new directives known as WEEE & RoHS.

1. WEEE: Waste from Electrical & Electronic Equipment
  • This directive requires the collection and treatment of electronic & electrical equipment (EEE) at the end-of-the products life.
  • Effective from August 13th, 2005
  • The EEE that needs to be collected has to be properly identified as from Aug 13, 2005.
  • The WEEE marking is defined in EN 50419 and the crossed out wheeled bin with bar is one of the correct methods.
  • Every producer has to organize a ‘take back supply chain’ or has to register to a collection scheme in every EU member state.
  • Every producer must provide information on re-use and treatment for new EEE within one year of placing it onto the market, in order to inform re-use centers, treatment and recycling facilities.
    WEEE_Directive.pdf   WEEE_Chinese.pdf

    Status of the legislation the 25 member states:

    The Perchards report dated July 2005 gives the latest status of the transposition of the European Directives in each of the 25 member states. The report is available on the website of the UK's Department of Trade and Industry
2. RoHS: Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances
  • Bans the sale of electrical and electronic products containing specific toxic contaminants: Lead, Mercury, Chromium, Cadmium, Brominated flame retardants (PBBs & PBDEs) in amounts exceeding the set of maximum concentration values (MCV).
  • Certain applications are exempt and there is also an exemption for spare parts for the repair of equipment put on the market before 1 July 2006. the Regulations also do not apply to the re-use of equipment that was put on the market before the same date.
  • For many products, the decision on whether they are included within the scope of these Regulations should be reasonably straightforward. However there are a number of products (particularly in specialised or industrial sectors) where there may be significant areas of doubt and uncertainty.
  • In the pdf file enclosed you will find a “decision tree” that could be used by producers to help determine whether their products might come within the scope of the RoHS Regulations, but it may be necessary to seek independent advice to come to a final decision
  • Effective from July 1st, 2006
  • Producers must be able to demonstrate compliance by submitting technical documentation or other information to the enforcement authority on request and retain such documentation for a period of four years after the EEE is placed on the market.
    RoHS_Directive.pdf   RoHS_Chinese.pdf

    Electrical & electronic equipment includes:
    • Large domestic devices (refrigerator, washing machine, microwave, … )
    • Small domestic devices (vacuum cleaner, iron, hair dryer, …)
    • IT & remote communication devices (mainframe, PC, … )
    • Consumer devices (radio, TV, video, audio, … )
    • Illumination (fluorescent, discharge lamp, … )
    • Power Tools (drill, lathe, polishing tool, lawnmower, … )
    • Toys (train/car racing set, game devices, … )
    • Medical devices (radiation therapy device, electrocardiogram, … )
    • Measure & controller (scale, measuring machine, … )
    • Vending machines (various)

    Weee & RoHS impacts all producers who manufacture, import, export and distribute to the EU.

    3. RoHS amendements

    1. The EU Commission recently decided on the official maximum concentration values for RoHS. For detailed information please see:
    Commission Decision 2005/618/EC of 18 August 2005 amending Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council for the purpose of establishing the maximum concentration values for certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (notified under document number C(2005) 3143)
    Commision decision AUg 18 2005 MAV.pdf

    2. amending for the purposes of adapting to the technical progress the Annex to Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

    4. Useful links