Subsidiary Legislation 427.57, Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations, transposes Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
The Directive and regulations on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) aim to prevent hazardous substances from entering the production process and thereby keep them out of the waste stream; whilst protecting human health and the environment and promoting the environmentally sound recovery and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
The Directive and regulations apply to electrical and electronic equipment as per the below categories; some examples are included. They also apply to all wires, cables and associated connectors, both internal and external, and to all spare parts. Exclusions are given to certain special cases, while exemptions are provided on temporary basis depending on the scientific and technical progress of specific applications.
Category 1: Large household appliances - refrigerators, washers, stoves, air conditioners
Category 2: Small household appliances - vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, coffee makers, irons
Category 3: IT and telecommunications equipment - computers, printers, copiers, phones, satellite TV, cell tower equipment, antennas
Category 4: Consumer equipment - TVs, DVD players, stereos, video cameras
Category 5: Lighting equipment - lamps, lighting fixtures, light bulbs
Category 6: Electrical and electronic tools - drills, saws, nail guns, sprayers, lathes, trimmers, blowers
Category 7: Toys, leisure and sports equipment - videogames, treadmills, talking dolls
Category 8: Medical devices including in vitro diagnostic medical devices
Category 9: Monitoring and control instruments including industrial monitoring and control instruments. - thermostats, smoke detectors, fire alarms
Category 10: Automatic dispensers - vending machines, ATM machines
Category 11: Catch-all - all electrical and electronic equipment not covered by any of the categories above.
The current ten hazardous substances that are being restricted, are:
Obligations of manufacturers
The obligations of manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment include:
Obligations of authorised representatives
Manufacturers are able to appoint authorised representatives, by written mandates, to perform certain tasks on their behalves. The manufacturers’ obligations for the electrical and electronic equipment to be designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential requirements and to draw up the technical documentation, shall not be part of these mandates.
The obligations of authorised representatives include:
Obligations of importers
The obligations of importers include:
Obligations of distributors
The obligations of distributors include:
Obligations of manufacturers applying to importers and distributors
Importers or distributors are considered manufacturers for the purposes of the regulations and they are subject to the obligations of the manufacturers, where they place electrical and electronic equipment on the market under their name or trademark or modifies the equipment already placed on the market in such a way that compliance with the regulations may be affected.
Enforcement and penalties
The regulations provide powers to Technical Regulations Division (TRD), within MCCAA, to take action against economic operators for products that are not in conformity with the regulations. TRD is required to take all appropriate measures to withdraw from the market or to prohibit or to restrict the supply of products bearing CE Marking which may endanger the health and safety of persons, property or the environment.
Economic operators are required to co-operate with the enforcement authority and on request, must provide information and take action as appropriate. Economic operators failing to comply with the requirements of the regulations are subject to the provisions of article 26 of the Product Safety Act.
The European Commission has produced detailed guidance on the provisions of the RoHS Directive and its requirements, which should be referred to for further guidance.
This guidance can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/rohs_eee/index_en.htm
The European Commission has produced guidance regarding CE marking, which can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/ce-marking
The European Commission has produced guidance called the Blue Guide intended to contribute to a better understanding of EU product safety rules and to their more uniform and coherent application across different sectors and throughout the single market. The Blue Guide can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/DocsRoom/documents/18027/
The Environment & Resources Authority (ERA) is the responsible local authority that manages the environmentally sound recovery and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The ERA website provides more information on WEEE, here.
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