RoHS Check-In – Exemptions on the move!

RoHS Check-In – Exemptions on the move!

We released a blog in September covering all the REACH updates that had been going on while everyone was busy worrying about Conflict Minerals. It is high time we do the same thing for RoHS! There have been additions and expirations of RoHS exemptions PLUS there are a large number of expirations coming in the 18-20 month timeline. In terms of design cycles as well as needed re-certifications for new parts or suppliers, I am sure we can all agree that 20 months goes by very quickly.

Before I get into a summary of the updates, let’s cover some quick essential points:

  1. Annex III lists the Applications exempted from the restriction in Article 4(1)
  2. Annex IV lists the Applications exempted from the restriction in Article 4(1) specific to medical devices and monitoring and control instruments
  3. Validity Date  – as per Article 5.2 of RoHS (Directive 2011/65/EU):
  • Annex III – For the exemptions listed in Annex III as at 21 July 2011, the maximum validity period, which may be renewed, shall, for categories 1 to 7 and 10 of Annex I, be 5 years from 21 July 2011 and, for categories 8 and 9 of Annex I, 7 years from the relevant dates laid down in Article 4(3), unless a shorter period is specified.
  • Annex IV – For the exemptions listed in Annex IV as at 21 July 2011, the maximum validity period, which may be renewed, shall be 7 years from the relevant dates laid down in Article 4(3), unless a shorter period is specified.
  • “Unless a shorter period is specified” – Currently Twenty-one (21) Annex III exemptions have a specified sunset date (including those that have already expired).

Based on the Validity Date stipulation from point 3; Between Annex III and IV of RoHS, there are 55 Exemptions currently scheduled to expire in 2016 (April or July).

There is one (1) exemption expiring in 2015, albeit one of a very specific usage so unlikely to affect a large number of manufacturers – Exemption 4d Mercury in High Pressure Mercury (vapour) lamps (HPMV) expires April 13th, 2015.

It is important to note that exemptions can be renewed so although 2016 is the current date of expiry, there is a possibility of renewal however it is always best to have your plan in place if a renewal is not granted. New exemptions can also be added via a request process (these requests are then evaluated by the öko institut (Oeko-Institut e.V.) contracted by the European Commission Directorate General Environment). 1 new exemption has already been added to Annex III while 15 have been added to Exemption IV.

You can see the full exemptions list with Expirations here.

Do your suppliers/manufacturers claim any RoHS Exemptions to meet compliance requirements? Do you? Have you been requesting RoHS compliance with the requirement of exemption disclosure?

To be honest, it is not worth panicking until you define exactly where you are at. If you have all your exemptions information, then you need to cross-reference the dates of expiration and get in contact with suppliers/manufacturers to see if they know of the exemption expiry AND what they plan to do about it. If you do not have all your exemption information from suppliers/manufacturers then you need to get the exemption use information in order to understand the size of the impact on your products.

Need help? Contact us at info@assentcompliance.com

Newsletter