The Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electronic Equipment Directive (2011/65/EU) came into force on the 21st July 2011. The application and enforcement were aligned with the New Legislative Framework.
The Directive is aimed at eradicating certain hazardous substances from new electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Producers of EEE within the scope of the Directive are responsible for ensuring that their products meet the requirements of the Directive.
The RoHS requirements apply to end products that fall within the scope of the Directive. However, as a final product is made up of components and sub-assemblies it is inevitable that all components and sub-assemblies must not contain any of the restricted substances above the defined maximum concentration values. A technical file must be produced supporting compliance to the directive. There are specific exemptions from the RoHS directive as the Commission realizes that it may not be possible to manufacture some products without the use of banned substances. The RoHS Regulations in the UK are specifically worded so that any European Commission Decisions reflecting exemptions to the RoHS Directive become UK law as soon as they are officially published.
The RoHS enforcement agency for the UK is the Office for Product Safety and Standards. Contravening or failing to comply with the prohibition on hazardous substances in the RoHS Regulations could result in those held responsible facing a fine up to the statutory maximum (currently £20000) on summary conviction or an unlimited fine on conviction on indictment. Also, the 2008 RoHS Regulations gave the enforcement agency the further power to issue enforcement notices requiring non-compliant goods to be withdrawn from the market.