In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we take a look at the regulation commonly known as “China RoHS”. A Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive was originally enacted in the European Union. A similar regulation (but with some differences) was also adopted in China and is known in the industry as “China RoHS”, which was updated recently.
Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products
What is it?
On January 21, 2016, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) promulgated the “RoHS 2” regulation. The initial version of the RoHS regulation (“China RoHS 1”) had been in effect since 2007. China RoHS 1 included a list of Electronic Information Products (EIPs). If a company placed an EIP item on the Chinese market, it had to indicate whether or not the EIP item included any of the following substances, through a marking or label:
- Lead and its compounds
- Mercury and its compounds
- Cadmium and its compounds
- Hexavalent chromium compounds
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
China RoHS 2 expands and updates China RoHS 1. These updates had been under consideration and development for the last few years.
Who is affected?
China RoHS 2 applies to the following:
- Companies in China that:
- Manufacture electrical and electronic products, parts, or components.
- Import electrical and electronic products, parts, or components into the country.
- Foreign companies that export electrical and electronic products, parts, or components into China.
What are the requirements?
China RoHS 2 applies to Electrical and Electronic Products, i.e. an expanded set of products compared to the EIPs from China RoHS 1. “Electrical and Electronic Products” is defined in the following way based on a translation of the regulation (Article 3, Section 1):
“Electrical and electronic products” refer to devices and accessory products with rated working electrical voltages of no more than 1500 volts direct current and 1000 volts alternating current which function by means of current or electromagnetic fields, and generate, transmit and measure such currents and electromagnetic fields. Power generation, transmission and distribution equipment is excluded .
China will produce a “Compliance Management Catalogue” that will include a list of electrical and electronic products subject to mandatory China RoHS 2 compliance and compulsory national conformity assessment.
Requirements affecting Electrical and Electronic Products listed in the Compliance Management Catalogue include:
1) Concentration limits for restricted substances:
- Lead and its compounds. Limited to 0.1%
- Mercury and its compounds. Limited to 0.1%
- Cadmium and its compounds. Limited to 0.01%
- Hexavalent chromium compounds. Limited to 0.1%
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB). Limited to 0.1%
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Limited to 0.1%
The maximum concentration values provided above apply to each homogeneous material rather than a product itself. A “homogeneous material” is a material of uniform composition throughout that cannot be mechanically separated into different materials (definition is from the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC)).
2) Labeling and marking:
- Electrical and Electronic Products sold in China have to be marked with one of two logos. If the product does not contain any of the hazardous substances specified above or “other harmful substances as regulated by the State”, and is an environmentally-friendly product that can be recycled, it must be marked with the following logo:
- If the product contains hazardous substances and can be used safely during its “environmental protection use period” (indicated by the number of years in the center), it must be marked with the following logo. The product should enter into the recycling system after its environmental protection use period:
What is next?
China RoHS 2 will become effective as of July 1st, 2016. Here are links to the regulation:
- The text of the regulation from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (Original Chinese announcement and text).
- A translation of the text above from the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP.
You may also be interested in the following articles:
- From the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP: China’s “RoHS 2” Regulation: What Manufacturers Must Know
- From ChemSafetyPro: China RoHS 2 2016
Visit Enablon Insights again next Friday for a brand new Weekly Compliance Digest!
For additional information on product stewardship solutions that can help you manage chemicals and comply with China RoHS, EU RoHS and other regulations like RoHS around the world, download Verdantix’s report Smart Innovators: Product Stewardship Solutions.