For manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipment, the regulations on the safe disposal and treatment of e-waste are an ever-growing concern. The EU (European Union) adopted legislation in 2003 restricting the use of hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment to address the growing problem of the increasing volume of toxic e-waste. The original legislation banned the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market. Before the legislation came into effect in July 2006, maximum concentration values were established at 0.1% weight in any homogeneous material for five of the substances, with cadmium given a lower threshold of 0.01%. In 2013 the “RoHS Recast”, or RoHS 2, came into effect and replaced the RoHS Directive, expanding the scope of affected electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and imposing additional obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors of EEE.

More obligations are coming. In March 2015, four phthalates were added to RoHS 2: DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP, with effect from 22 July 2019 for most product types, with a maximum concentration value of 0.1%.

RoHS is closely aligned with other directives, such as the Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). First passed in 2002, this directive sets the standards for collection, recycling and safe disposal of toxic e-waste found in electronic and electrical equipment. On February 2014, the new WEEE Directive became effective, designed to address the increasing variety of waste streams.

Staying compliant with regulations such as RoHS and the WEEE Directive can be challenging. And for manufacturers of products that potentially contain the aforementioned six substances, demonstrating compliance is a complex, demanding task. Manufacturers must perform conformity assessments, assess supplier trustworthiness and prepare technical documentation to prove compliance with the substance restrictions. To be compliant, obtaining and validating data from raw material and part suppliers is necessary - but certainly not always easy. Some of the challenges include:

  • Insufficient knowledge of what data needs to be collected
  • Limited resources available for gathering data from suppliers
  • Multi-lingual limitations
  • No efficient method for sharing the information across the company
  • Lack of knowledge of new and evolving obligations

How 3E® Can Help

3E Company's core competence lies in researching, obtaining, aggregating, validating, and enriching compliance related data and making it actionable and available to our customers. 3E's industry-leading data and content is the broadest, most dynamically updated, highest quality and most accurate collection available. We have learned from decades of experience that regulatory research and data obtainment requires both the science of technology and art of the human touch. We are experts at obtaining and managing data, offering unique insights that enable customers to reduce cost and risk while improving processes.

3E's 3ESC™ Supply Chain Compliance solution combines the power of content, services and technology to provide customers with the ability to quickly identify risk in their supply chain and respond accordingly, delivering transparency and compliance assurance to customers and stakeholders.

Support for RoHS compliance is only one regulatory obligation. EH&S professionals are required to track hundreds of regulations in many jurisdictions as they apply to thousands of substances. Access to comprehensive, centralized global regulatory information is needed to ensure overall product and facility compliance. Ariel®regulatory research tools save EH&S professionals valuable time, eliminating the need to research and reference regulations from multiple sources, scattered across numerous websites and/or published in a variety of formats. A subscription to Ariel WebInsight provides instant access to thousands of chemical lists for searching by a variety of criteria including CAS RN and chemical name. Subscribers can also access the full text of the regulation as well helpful guidance documents and overviews. Individual state regulations for banned or restricted substances is also part of the subscription, providing a single centralized repository for all your regulatory research needs. Learn more.