Electronics organizations should be aware of the new obligations of RoHS legislation, which comes into force on January 2, 2013 – especially those for companies shipping equipment into Europe, as advised by leading global distributor of electronic components Premier Farnell.
The scope of the new legislation, called RoHS Recast 2011/65/EU, now covers items dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields to fulfil at least one intended function. For example, the legislation now captures gas cookers with an electric clock and petrol lawnmowers with an electric ignition need to comply from July 2019.
The responsibility for ensuring these new items comply and meet the CE obligations can sit with the manufacturer, importer or distributor. Depending on where a company sits in the supply chain there will be obligations around the provision of many new documents, including a Technical File and declaration-of-compliance.
Components which do not fall within the scope of RoHS will have to be compliant if used in the manufacture of equipment that is in scope. As with RoHS1, a certificate-of-compliance will be required.
Member States had 18 months to transpose into national law and the directive becomes effective on January 2, 2013. Following this, further product categories will be phased in from medical devices and monitoring and control instruments in July 2014: In Vitro Diagnostics in July 2016, industrial monitoring and control instruments in July 2017 with all EEE not captured in categories 1 to 10 following in July 2019, classed as ‘category 11’.
Gary Nevison, head of legislation & compliance at Premier Farnell, says: “We are keenly watching semiconductor development kits, the impact of the RoHS Recast 2011/65/EU and, in particular, the implications of the CE mark. Development boards are clearly finished products according to the Blue Guide’s definition, the European Commission’s guidance on how to implement new approach directives, as they are simply plugged in to other equipment to make them work. All member state enforcement authorities consider them in scope.
“Many manufacturers of development boards make them RoHS compliant, but there are several notable exceptions that now need to work on ensuring their products are compliant and, from January, actively provide all the necessary documentation as part of their CE obligations,” Nevison says.
Premier Farnell is the parent company of Newark element14 and the award-winning element14 engineering Community, which contains useful information and resources on all areas of relevant industry legislation including a revised FAQ document on the new RoHS legislation from the EC.