Service contract for technical assistance to the Commission pertaining to exemptions l(a - e), l(f), 2(a), 2(b)(3), 2(b)(4), 3, 4(a), 4(b), 4(c), 4(e), and 4(f) of Annex III of Directive 2011/65/EU

Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS 2) on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment provides “that EEE placed on the market, including cables and spare parts for its repair, its reuse, updating of its functionalities or upgrading of its capacity, does not contain the substances listed in Annex II” (i.e. lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and starting July 2019 bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, butyl benzyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate and diisobutyl phthalate). Article 5(1)(a) provides a basis for excluding certain applications from these provisions through the inclusion of materials and components of EEE for specific applications in the lists in Annexes III and IV.

In the period between December 2014 and 21 January 2015, the Commission received requests for the renewal of Annex III exemptions no. 1(a to e – lighting purpose), no. 1(f – special purpose), no. 2(a), no. 2(b)(3), no. 2(b)(4), no. 3, no. 4(a), no. 4(b), no. 4(c), no. 4(e), no. 4(f). The requests were evaluated in a study finalised in 2016  and various recommendations were made. Due to various statements of the lighting industry, a further study was commissioned to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of the substitution of lamps in detail, in cases where a recommendation had been made not to extend the validity of exemptions or to provide only a short-term duration. The study “Study to assess socio-economic impact of substitution of certain mercury-based lamps currently benefiting of RoHS 2 exemptions in Annex III” was concluded in July 2019 and with a further revision being performed and published in 2020. The revision focused on single capped (compact) fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast (CFLni), double-capped linear fluorescent lamps (LFL) T5 and LFL T8.

Due to the delay in the process, in January 2020, the Commission received renewal requests for exemptions (and de facto substituting earlier requests) for mercury-based lamps, including exemptions 1(a - e) and 2(a), covering CFLni, LFL T5 and LFL T8. The lighting industry also submitted some comments on the socio-economic study update published in 2020.

Due to the highly complex issues involved in the context of mercury-based lamps and the high volume of technical documents and questions being submitted to the Commission by applicants, stakeholders, Member States and members of the European Parliament, the Commission has requested the Oeko-Institut to provide support in the form of continuous technical assistance to accompany the related decision making process.