BBP, DEHP, DBP and DIBP will be banned in electrical equipment in the RoHS Directive across the EU as of July 22, 2019
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RoHS Directive: Additional substances and equipment will be forbidden as of July 22, 2019

The RoHS Directive (directive to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment), which is applicable in the entire EU, defines various chemical substances that may not be used in electrical and electronic equipment. On July 22, 2019, the "amended" RoHS Directive with new prohibitions on the use of substances will come into force in the EU.

In Germany, the banned substances have been added to the German Ordinance on Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (ElektroStoffV). The prohibition not only relates to electric or electronic products as a whole, but to each individual homogenous substance of the equipment (e.g. a in a plastic housing).

Until now, the following six substances have been regulated:

Our experts at the VDE chemical laboratory check your products for homogeneous substances
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  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
  • Hexavalent chrome
  • Mercury (Hg)

These four substances are new in the RoHS Directive

An amendment to the RoHS Directive [(EU) 2015/863] was published in the EU Official Journal on June 4, 2015. Appendix II to the RoHS Directive was expanded to include the following four substances:

  • Butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP)
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

Homogenous materials that contain more than 0.1 weight percent of the named substance (Cd 0.01 weight percent) may not be used in electrical equipment which come under the categories of equipment listed in Appendix I of 2011/65/EU. These threshold values take into account the fact that there may be very small amounts of impurities that are technically impossible to prevent.

Please check the materials that are used in your products to ensure that you can continue to sell your products in the EU. If there are any doubts with regard to the substances that are used, we are more than happy to assist.

Substance prohibitions for category 11 and cables

As of July 22, 2019, the RoHS Directive also applies to cables with a nominal voltage that is less than 250V
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There are currently 10 different categories for which the RoHS Directive is applicable. As of July 22, 2019, category 11 will be added to this. Category 11 includes, pursuant to Article 2 (2), all other electrical and electronic equipment that do not come under another category as well as the exceptional case of “open scope of application.” This scope of application is open to all equipment that meets the definitions of "electrical and electronic equipment" of Article 3 (1) and (2) (unless they are explicitly excluded).

Cables that are used to transfer electric currents or electromagnetic fields are also “electrical and electronic equipment”. Only cables with a nominal voltage of < 250 V fall under this scope of application (see Article 3 no.5). The substance restrictions must be followed accordingly. Cables in the scope of RoHS shall not contain the prohibited substances either at the due date of the EEE category they fall in, or in July 2019 if not dedicated to any EEE specific category and with rated voltage < 250V (category 11).
External cables that are placed on the market separately and are not part of other electrical and electronic equipment must be classified as category 11 and therefore fulfil the substance restrictions (including unfinished cables such as cable drums without plugs).

As of July 22, 2019, the substance prohibitions may also apply for cables that previously did not fall under the scope of application of Directive 2011/65/EU.

Complete list of categories 1 - 11

1. Large household appliances
2. Small household appliances
3. IT and telecommunications equipment
4. Consumer equipment
5. Lighting equipment
6. Electrical and electronic tools
7. Toys, leisure and sport equipment
8. Medical devices
9. Monitoring and control instruments including industrial monitoring and control instruments
10. Automatic dispensers
11. Other EEE not covered by any of the categories above.

Definition of "electrical and electronic equipment" according to the RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU Article 3 (1), (2)

(1) "Equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields and designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000 volts for alternating current and 1500 volts for direct current."

(2) For the purposes of point 1, "dependent" means, with regard to EEE, needing electric currents or electromagnetic fields to fulfil at least one intended function.

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