Who's Afraid of the Chinese RoHS?

Who's Afraid of the Chinese RoHS?

"ELECTRONICA” monthly magazine for the electronic and technological industry, Vol. 164
Tzvi Levinson, Julia Lietzmann and Gil Dror, Advocates October 2006

In many ways the Chinese legislation on Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) has “done better” than the European WEEE/RoHS Directives in confusing manufacturers of EEE worldwide with its provisions on the scope of and exemptions from the law, as well as with terms like "homogeneous material", "put on the market" or "producer". 

No later than half a year from now "Electronic Information Products" ("EIP”) sold in China will have to be marked with a label stating whether the product contains one of the six hazardous substances that are already subject to restrictions in the European Union. 

In spite of the fact that it is expected to enter into force quite soon, the scope of this new law is not defined yet, neither are the testing methods. In addition, none of the accompanying standards are in force, thus amendments are likely to be made. More worrying though, is the fact that manufacturers searching for information on the new Chinese legislation are confronted with difficulties to communicate with the Chinese authorities. 

The following article purports to elucidate the Chinese legislation which (at present) requires the manufacturers to declare the content of hazardous substances in the products they sell/import. It refers to (draft) legislation/ standards and explains the main similarities and differences between the European and the Chinese legislation in this field. We would like to stress that the information provided is subject to changes and cannot replace legal advice.