In 2002, the European Union (EU) restricted the use of certain hazardous materials in electrical and electronic products sold in EU countries. The new rules became known as the RoHS regulation and came into effect four years later, in 2006. Since then, consumer electronics and household appliances have all had to pass RoHS compliance before they could reach their end users.
The goal is twofold: protect users from associated risks to human health and protect the environment from the consequences of these materials being disposed.
At first glance, this may not seem overly relevant, but the regulations affect anyone doing trade with EU countries. In short, if you are a U.S. manufacturer offering electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) products or components to EU consumers, you need to ensure compliance.
What Does RoHS Mean for BESTProto and American Businesses?
The RoHS directive specifically applies to ten substances:
- Hexavalent chromium
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
- Bis (2-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
- Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
- Di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
The first six substances were covered under the original regulation, and the remaining four phthalates were added in 2015. Their use is not expressly forbidden, but it needs to be restricted to less than 1,000 ppm.
Most EEE manufacturers sell their products worldwide, even if they are operating from a comparatively small base in the United States. If that sounds like your business, now is the time to get serious about compliance.
Complying with RoHS regulations may require manufacturers to change their practices and ensure products suit domestic and overseas customers. Customers have the right to ask for compliance documents, so it is important to ensure your processes are in order.
What To Do About Non-Compliant Products?
As an EEE business, you can choose not to sell to overseas customers, but that could substantially limit your growth potential as resellers and distributors may also ask for compliance. Converting the manufacturing of non-compliant products is a better option to secure your company’s future and its continued appeal to customers around the world.