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Sustainable Development & Foundation


The RoHS European directive

What the directive says?


Useful definition

Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE):
‘Electrical and electronic equipment’ or ‘EEE’ means finished product* which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields, designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000 volts for alternating current and 1500 volts for direct current.

(*) Products with a function that is directly operational to the end user, which has its own enclosure and where applicable, connections intended for the end user.

The RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Directive calls for the elimination of the following substances from certain kinds of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) sold in Europe from July 1, 2006: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)

Some exemptions have been granted because, to date, no substitute materials are available. For example: lead in the glass used for cathode ray tubes.
The list of exemptions will be modified to adapt to scientific and technical progress.
The legal context: equipment categories that apply primarily to consumer goods.

The RoHS Directive applies toequipment in the following categories:

- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Consumer equipment
- Lighting equipment (including electric light bulbs and household light fixtures)
- Electrical and electronic tools, except large-scale stationary industrial tools
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment
- Automatic dispensers

The RoHS Directive does not apply:

- To equipment not covered by the category list provided above
- To large-scale stationary industrial tools
- To spare parts for the repair or reuse of EEE placed on the market before 1 July 2006
- To equipment relating to protection of the essential interests of state security, weapons, ammunition and military equipment designed for specifically military purposes

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