Frequently Asked Questions: RoHS




What does RoHS stand for?

RoHS is an abbreviation for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive.


What does it mean if a wire or cable product is listed as RoHS compliant?

A wire or cable product labeled RoHS compliant or a product that has obtained RoHS compliance follows the guidelines listed by the European Union under the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). A product that is RoHS compliant contains no lead, cadium, mercury, hexacalent chromium, polybrominated biphenysis, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. RoHS material substitutes these with more environmentally friendly alternatives.


When was the RoHS Directive created?

The European Union adopted the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) in July 2006. It was later revised and the RoHS Recast Directive (RoHS 2) took effect in January 2013.


What is the purpose of the RoHS Directive?

According to the EU, the RoHS Directive hopes to "prevent the generation of hazardous waste." The RoHS Directive is in place to protect the environment and reduce exposure related health risks. The RoHS Directive works to accomplish its goal by restricting the use of hazardous materials in the manufacturing of electronic and electrical equipment. The revisions made in RoHS 2 mostly address legalities and regulation enforcement policies. RoHS 2 also broadened the scope of the directive, removing some of the exemptions previously in place. RoHS is very closely linked with the WEEE directive which regulates the disposal of electronic waste.

Who does RoHS affect?

According to the directive, compliance is the responsibility of Economic Operators, which include manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers and distributors.

What kinds of products does RoHS affect?

The directive currently applies to the materials used in the production of electronic devices belonging to the following categories:

  • Large and small household appliances
  • IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Light bulbs and other lighting equipment
  • Electronic and electrical tools
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Monitoring/control instruments
  • Automatic dispensers
  • Semiconductor devices

What are the main differences between RoHS and RoHS 2?

The revisions made in RoHS 2 are meant to improve the directive’s effectiveness. RoHS 2 broadens the scope of products affected to industries previously exempt. The exemption process has also been more clearly laid out and is now easier to understand. The other key feature of the revisions is the addition of a CE mark requirement on RoHS compliant products. Read more about the differences between RoHS and RoHS 2 in the Allied Encyclopedia article on the AWC blog.

Where can I get the most up-to-date information on changes to RoHS directives?

The RoHS page on the EU website is a great resource. Related news and relevant materials are posted there as they become available.

Does Allied Wire distribute RoHS compliant products?

Yes. Your AWC sales representative can help you meet RoHS requirements. For more information about Allied’s quality regulations and environmental compliances, visit the compliance page on our website.


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