Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

RoHS Compliance: Why Companies Must Adhere to this Directive

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive of the European Union bans the use of lead and five other substances from electronic equipment and other products. Particularly, it specifies maximum levels for lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, hexavalent, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and polybrominated biphenyls. Companies that sell electrical or electronic products or components to RoHS countries should adhere to these regulations. After reviewing a company’s documentation, the EU will provide RoHS certification that indicates the completion of a thorough audit and performance on-site. RoHS is also associated with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive or WEEE which encourages electrical products to be designed eco-safe in regards to recycling and recovery.

Importance of RoHS Compliance

Apart from its positive impact on the environment, compliance with the RoHS directive results in decreased numbers of product defects and increased production efficiency. Also, stricter regulations make communication across the supply chain and workforce skills necessary. Lastly, RoHS compliance offers a competitive edge to manufacturers and companies for markets that have started to implement environmental standards.

Pursuing RoHS certification lets companies in the electronics industry help minimize the risk of toxicity to humans and the environment. Also, the companies contribute to the growth of initiatives that concern sustainability and energy efficiency. Given the importance of such compliance, it is only wise for companies to work with a consulting company. Enviropass RoHS compliance consulting services involve assisting companies with their RoHS testing. The consultant can offer a compliance analysis of a company that details how it is, or is not, abiding by the RoHS directive.  Also, they can analyse every aspect of an organization that is impacted by the directive and offer a written report with their findings, together with suggestions for improvements. 

Testing Products for RoHS Compliance

Electrical or electronic products are tested in a laboratory to determine the levels of certain elements and the levels of restricted hazardous materials in their homogenous forms. Tests such as X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectrophotometer, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Occasionally Atomic Absorbance Spectrophotometry are performed. 

Non-Compliance Consequences

Companies that fail to adhere to RoHS will have to face direct business consequences beyond monetary fines. Exposure to non-compliance results in the cost of implementing a product recall and disposal process as well as write-downs of obsolete inventory. Also, non-compliant companies will deal with lost sales, damage to their brand reputation, and loss of market share. To enforce the directive, the EU lets authorities impose fines and ban products from sale where they are in breach.