Introduction to RoHS Directive

Introduction to RoHS Directive

The EU RoHS Directive, an acronym for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, aims to minimize the environmental and health impacts of electronics. Initially established in 2002 under directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS1), it underwent revisions to broaden its scope with RoHS2 in 2011 (directive 2011/65/EU) and further expanded its restricted substances list with RoHS3 (2015/863) in 2015. 

As of July 22, 2019, RoHS3 mandates limiting ten specific substances within electronic manufacturing to ensure safer lifecycle stages for electronic devices across the European Economic Area (EEA), including EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Restricted Substance List and Allowed Limits

The directive currently restricts the following substances, with specified maximum concentration values by weight in homogeneous materials:

Restricted Substance Limits
RoHS Scope Products

RoHS Scope and Product Categories

RoHS applies to various product categories outlined in the WEEE Directive, affecting a wide range of electronic and electrical equipment, from large household appliances to consumer electronics and automatic dispensers. Each category is detailed to ensure manufacturers and importers understand their obligations under the directive.

The following product categories are impacted under the RoHS Directive:

  • Category 1: Large household appliances - refrigerators, washers, stoves, air conditioners
  • Category 2: Small household appliances - vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, coffee makers, irons
  • Category 3: Computing & communications equipment - computers, printers, copiers, phones, satellite TV, cell tower equipment, antennas
  • Category 4: Consumer electronics - TVs, DVD players, stereos, video cameras
  • Category 5: Lighting - lamps, lighting fixtures, light bulbs (some fluorescents are exempt).
  • Category 6: Power tools - drills, saws, nail guns, sprayers, lathes, trimmers, blowers
  • Category 7: Toys, leisure and sports equipment - videogames, treadmills, talking dolls, Fitbits.
  • Category 8: Medical devices and equipment - includes in-vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVDs).
  • Category 9: Monitoring and control equipment - thermostats, smoke detectors, fire alarms, including industrial applications.
  • Category 10: Automatic dispensers - vending machines, ATM machines
  • Category 11: Catch-all - all other electronic and electrical equipment not covered under the other categories. Included are 2-wheeled electric vehicles; electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes, cannabis vaporizers and vape pens; electrical cables that are less than 250V working voltage.
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Out Of Scope Products

Out of Scope Products

Products exempt from RoHS compliance include:

  • Military and national security equipment
  • Space equipment (satellites, telescopes, spacecraft).
  • Transportation vehicles, excluding electric two-wheelers.
  • Professional R&D equipment.
  • Non-road mobile machinery (NRMM).
  • Large-scale fixed installations (LSFI) and Large-scale stationary industrial tools (LSSIT).
  • Active Implantable Medical Devices (AIMDs).
  • Batteries (cells only)

Homogeneous Level Compliance

Compliance with RoHS is determined at the homogenous material level, defined as a material of uniform composition throughout or a material that cannot be mechanically disjointed into different materials. This section will explain the calculation method for determining substance concentration within materials.

Calculations for Substance Concentration

To determine the weight percentage (w/w) of a substance: Homogeneous weight %=(Homogeneous weight Total weight)×100Homogeneous weight %= (Total weight Homogeneous weight​)×100

Homogeneous Level Compliance Example

For the sake of clarity in RoHS compliance assessment at a homogenous level, below is a detailed example utilizing the figures from the provided documentation:

  • Current Product Information
    • TI part number: OPA4192IPW
    • Total device mass (mg): 57.4
  • Component Information
    • Component: Bond Wire (Not Categorized)
    • Substance: Proprietary Materials
    • Amount (mg): 0.7612

This acknowledges the unique requirements and controls already placed on such substances in these contexts.

Homogeneous Level Calculation

To calculate the homogeneous material level percentage, we use the total device mass and the mass of the substance in question.

Homogeneous Material Level % = (Amount (mg) / Total Device Mass (mg)) × 100

For the bond wire with a proprietary material amount of 0.7612 mg in a device with a total mass of 57.4 mg: Homogeneous Material Level %=(0.7612 / 57.4) × 100 = 1.3261%

This example demonstrates the necessary calculation to verify that each material within a product meets the RoHS directive's permissible levels.This part of the webpage will provide users with a clear understanding of how to perform homogeneous level calculations for their products, following the RoHS compliance guidelines.

Exemptions and Enforcement

Exemptions and Enforcement

RoHS recognizes specific exemptions where restricted substances may exceed allowable levels for certain applications due to technological necessity or where no alternatives exist. These exemptions are periodically reviewed and adjusted to reflect advancements in scientific and technical knowledge. Notable exemptions include:

  • Lead in steel for machining purposes and in galvanized steel (up to 0.35% by weight)
  • Lead in aluminum (up to 4% by weight)
  • Copper alloy containing up to 4% lead by weight
  • Lead in high melting temperature type solders (i.e., lead-based alloys containing 85% by weight or more lead)

Enforcement of the RoHS directive is carried out by individual EU Member States, which have established their own regulations on penalties for non-compliance. These can include fines and imprisonment, underscoring the importance of adhering to RoHS requirements.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

EU member states have established rules on penalties for RoHS non-compliance, which may include fines and imprisonment provisions, underscoring the importance of adherence to the directive.

How iLenSys Can Help with EU RoHS Compliance

iLenSys provides a comprehensive suite of services designed to navigate the complex requirements of EU RoHS compliance:

  1. Substance Identification:Our platform helps you identify and categorize all substances used in your products, ensuring accurate compliance with EU RoHS substance restrictions.
  2. Supply Chain Management:Efficiently manage and monitor your supply chain's adherence to RoHS requirements, mitigating the risk of non-compliance.
  3. Documentation and Reporting:Generate and maintain necessary documentation and reports, making sure you meet all EU RoHS regulatory demands.
  4. Continuous Compliance Support:Receive ongoing support to maintain compliance as regulations evolve,including updates on substance restrictions and exemption status.

With iLenSys's comprehensive support, you can ensure that your products not only comply with current regulations but are also prepared for future changes in the EU RoHS directive.

The iLenSys Advantage

iLenSys stands out in the compliance landscape with its cutting-edge solutions and expert guidance. We specialize in streamlining the EU RoHS compliance process for businesses, ensuring they meet the latest standards set forth by EU legislation. Our approach is tailored to provide:


  • Expert Consultation: Our team of compliance experts offers in-depth consultations to understand your specific needs and develop a strategic approach to compliance.
  • Our Expertise: Leverage our expertise to manage, analyze, and interpret large sets of compliance data, making informed decisions easier.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Stay ahead of regulatory changes with our proactive monitoring service that alerts you to upcoming amendments and new substance restrictions.
  • Comprehensive Training: Empower your team with our training programs that cover all aspects of EU RoHS compliance, from material assessment to documentation.

Navigate the complexities of EU RoHS compliance with confidence. Our team of experts is here to assist you in every step of the process,from product assessment to documentation and compliance strategy. Contact us to ensure your products meet EU RoHS standards and gain unrestricted access to the European market.

Unveil the Potential of iCM

Unlock the full potential of environmental compliance with iCM—your end-to-end solution for navigating the complexities of regulations with ease and precision. iCM is not just software; it's the key to transforming compliance into competitive advantage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is a piece of legislation by the European Union that restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. It is important because it helps to minimize the environmental impact of these products throughout their life cycle, from production to disposal. The restricted substances are known to cause environmental damage and pose risks to worker health during manufacturing and recycling, as well as to consumers. RoHS compliance is not just a legal requirement; it's a commitment to environmental sustainability and public health.

To determine if your product is RoHS compliant, you'll need to conduct a detailed review of all the materials and components that make up the product. Each substance must be analyzed to ensure its concentration levels do not exceed the set limits (e.g., lead must be below 0.1% of the material's weight). This can be achieved through:

  • Supplier Declarations: Obtain and verify RoHS compliance certificates from your material suppliers.
  •  Laboratory Testing: Have your product's materials tested in an accredited laboratory, especially if the compliance of components is uncertain.
  • Technical Documentation: Create detailed documentation that proves your product's compliance, including descriptions of materials used and evidence of compliance for each component.
  • Homogeneous Material Assessment: Ensure every single material within a component is individually assessed for RoHS substances.
  •  Exemption Review: Some materials may be exempt from certain restrictions; it's crucial to stay up-to-date with the current list of RoHS exemptions to apply them correctly.

Manufacturers, importers, and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment within the EU and EEA must ensure their products comply with RoHS regulations.

RoHS restricts the use of ten specific substances in electrical and electronic equipment, including lead, mercury, cadmium, and several types of phthalates.

Yes, there are specific exemptions for applications where no feasible alternatives exist or for use in specific industries like military or space equipment.

Addition of four phthalates to the restricted substances list.

Through detailed substance analysis and self-declaration, supplemented by third-party verification where necessary.

The penalties for not complying with RoHS can be severe and include financial fines, sales restrictions, and in some cases, criminal charges. Specific penalties vary by EU member state but typically involve:

  • Fines: Monetary penalties can be substantial, intended to be dissuasive.
  • Market Withdrawal: Non-compliant products may be pulled from the European market until they meet RoHS standards.
  • Reputational Damage: Non-compliance can damage a company's reputation, affecting customer trust and future sales.
  • Recalls: In some cases, companies may be required to recall non-compliant products at their own expense.
  • Restriction of Sales: Companies may be barred from selling their products in the EU until compliance is achieved.

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