European Commission Announces New Consultations on Proposed RoHS Directive Exemptions

European Commission Announces New Consultations on Proposed RoHS Directive Exemptions

The European Commission (EC) has launched four public consultations on proposed exemptions to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. The proposed exemptions cover four restricted substances in specific use cases.

The consultation process on the specific use cases of hexavalent chromium, platinum electrodes and lead will remain open for stakeholder comments until August 29. Stakeholder comments on the proposed use of cadmium will close a day earlier on August 28.

Hexavalent Chromium in Absorption Refrigerators

Hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) is a harmful substance when inhaled or when it comes into contact with bare skin. It is most often used as a strengthening agent when alloying stainless steel, but it can also be produced when welding stainless steel. The proposed exemption of chromium 6 relates to its use as an anti-corrosion agent in absorption refrigerators.

This exemption would update entry 9 in Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU.

To learn more about RoHS Directive exemptions, read our whitepaper, European Union RoHS Directive: Understanding Exemptions.

Lead in Platinum Electrodes

According to the EC, a suitable substitute for lead-containing platinized platinum electrodes is “still scientifically and technically impracticable.” While lead content is the primary concern with platinum electrodes, platinum salts are also a potential hazard, though harmful exposure is unlikely to occur as a result of its use in electrodes.

Entry 37 in Annex IV to Directive 2011/65/EU would be updated with this exemption.

Lead in Handheld Combustion Engines

Lead is still a common alloying agent in the solders and termination finishes found in certain handheld combustion engines. While alternative materials are being tested to phase out the use of lead, the EC determined that additional time was needed to test their reliability.

This exemption would update Entry 41 of the existing Annex II to Directive 2011/65/EU

Cadmium in Radiation-Tolerant Video Cameras

The final proposed exemption relates to the use of cadmium in radiation-tolerant video cameras. There are currently no cadmium-free alternatives on the market.

This exemption would update entry 44 of Annex IV to Directive 2011/65/EU, which is set to expire seven years after the publication of the directive.

What Is an Exemption?

Exemptions temporarily allow manufacturers to use substances restricted by the RoHS Directive until a suitable alternative can be found. All exemptions expire within a predetermined amount of time, but are frequently extended or amended based on market feedback from supplier applications.

The Assent Compliance Platform can help companies ensure they are claiming the correct exemptions.

To learn how our Product Compliance Suite can streamline your supply chain data collection and reporting processes, email