Adaptation to scientific and technical progress under the RoHS Directive

Final Report + Annexes

The EU Directive on the restriction of use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (the so-called RoHS - Restriction of Hazardous Substances – Directive) has come into force on 1 July 2006. It regulates the restriction and prohibition of the substances lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium as well as of certain brominated flame retardants (PBB and PBDE). Industry has the possibility to request an exemption from the provisions of the Directive from the European Commission. The Commission has given the Öko-Institute the mandate to evaluate these requests for exemption.

The task of the Öko-Institute was to analyse in detail whether the individual requests did contain a sound justification. The basis for this analysis is laid down in Article 5 (1) (b) of the RoHS Directive: there, it is stipulated that an exemption is only justified if the negative environmental, health and / or consumer safety impacts caused by substitution are likely to outweigh the benefits thereof. An exemption is also justified when it is technically impracticable to substitute or eliminate the substance of concern and at the same time keep the functionality of the product.

After analysis of the requests, the Öko-Institut gave recommendations to the Commission as to whether they should be accepted or rejected. These recommendations as well as the corresponding detailed justification have been published in the final report which is available from the following link: