Study to support the assessment of impacts associated with the general review of Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS)
Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) contains various substances, which may present hazardous characteristics and thus could pose risks to the environment and human health during the EEE life cycle. To deal with such risks Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS 1) was approved in 2000. RoHS restricts initially restricted the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in EEE, later also restricting four phthalates and considering the restriction of additional substances in the future. Additional changes have been made over the years to the scope of the directive and its applicability to spare parts of certain equipment. The Directive prescribes both a mechanism for the assessment of other substances for future restriction and a mechanism for applying for timely exemptions form the substance restrictions.
As prescribed in the Directive, an evaluation of the legal text was performed in the last years and though it concluded as to success of the RoHS in reducing the use of hazardous substances in EEE it also raised some areas where improvements are needed. This includes among others improvements of the exemption mechanism and the substance assessment mechanism, alignment with other Union legislation (REACH, ELV, Ecodesign) and policies (CEAP), to name a few.
The current study seeks to develop measures that will solve the shortcomings identified in the evaluation of the Directive and to assess the impacts of applying such measure in the future. The impact assessment shall identify possible regulatory and non-regulatory options for meeting the objectives. Each option will be assessed in terms of its likely economic, social and environmental impacts on different stakeholder groups and at EU and national levels. The assessment shall involve stakeholders through various forms of consultation to substantiate the data as to the shortcomings of the Directive and policy options that could be applied to drive improvements in these areas.