The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme for electrical and electronic waste and waste battery recycling, has welcomed the transposition of the RoHS Directive into Irish law. The RoHS Directive (Directive 2011/65/EU) came into legal effect in Ireland last month and relates to the “restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).
In effect, the new Directive now sets a more comprehensive set of obligations on manufacturers, importers and/or distributors of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), which they will have to comply with when it comes to hazardous substances in EEE.
While the scope of the directive has been enlarged to now apply to all EEE, there are some exceptional categories that fall out of the scope of the Directive. These include: security equipment, equipment designed to be sent to space, large-scale stationary industrial tools, active implantable medical devices and photovoltaic panels.
Maximum concentration values have now been set in the manufacture of EEE across six hazardous substances including Lead (0.1%), Mercury (0.1%), Cadmium (0.01%) and Hexavalent Chromium (0.1%).
According to Martin Tobin, Chief Executive Officer at ERP: “We are delighted to see the transposition of this Directive on the restrictive use of hazardous materials in electrical goods. We now have a more effective, simpler and enforceable Directive that brings about harmonisation of RoHS across the other Member States of the European Union.”
In addition, he added: “Compliance with the new obligations will go some way in the prevention of risks to human health and the environment. In particular, it will make for a much safer environment for workers involved in the management of electronic waste.”
Tobin however called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Irish authority responsible for enforcement of the Directive, to adopt a pragmatic approach with producers during the initial implementation phase. “The initial focus over the first six months should be on raising awareness, building momentum and ensuring producers, importers and distributors are working towards compliance, rather than on penalizing those who cannot immediately meet the onerous obligations.”
Retailers concerned about products that may or may not meet their legal obligations under the RoHS Directive, should look out for the CE Mark, from January 2013. Products with the CE Mark affixed demonstrate that they have met their compliance obligations and that the manufacturer has met all of the internal production control rules and conformity assessment procedures.
The RoHS Directive places specific conformity obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors handling EEE.
For example, in relation to document management, importers of EEE product must keep, for 10 years following the placing on the market of the EEE, a copy of the EU declaration of conformity and the technical documentation.
Having actively participated throughout the review process, ERP will now play a central role at local level in Ireland to support all stakeholders with the implementation of this Directive.
For further information on the RoHS Directive go to: