RoHS Compliance: Mistakes That Manufacturers Might Be Making


The Restriction of certain Hazardous Substance (RoHS) restricts the use of substances is a directive that restricts the use of harmful substances in products in the electrical and electronic industries. These substances include lead, cadmium, mercury, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and hexavalent chromium. For every substance, the amount of raw homogenous materials present is limited. Although the directive is well documented, manufacturers still make a lot of mistakes that result in non-compliance with the RoHS directive. 

Failure to comply with the ROHS directive can result in severe financial and legal consequences. Companies might need to delay product launches, lose sales, as well as face additional production and re-work costs. Because of this, it is important to take compliance seriously and consider hiring Enviropass RoHS consulting services. By consulting with experts, companies can avoid making mistakes such as the following:

Hand Soldering

This electronics manufacturing practice makes use of tin/lead solders, which are not compliant with the RoHS directive. Many suppliers may not be aware of this while others prefer to ignore it, hoping they get can get away with it. 

Thinking that Suppliers are Solely Responsible for Staying Compliant

A lot of companies think that it is their supplier’s responsibility to make sure products comply with the RoHS directive. But this is not true. In fact, OEMs and importers must take responsibility for this and they should obtain documentation and proof that their products or components adhere to regulations. If an OEM or importer fails to have compliance procedures in place, they should be held accountable for it, which could damage their reputation and future sales. 

Not Being Clear About Exemptions

Some products are not covered by the RoHS directive. For instance, construction and military products are exempt because they have to be dependable and strong. Products that are free of lead are weaker. Some products are only exempt from lead but still need to be RoHS-compliant. Products that are exempt from lead means their material shouldn’t contain higher amounts of the other five substances mentioned in the directive. 

Not Checking Plastic Products

Some companies fail to check polymers for hazardous substances. Unfortunately, flame-retardants utilized in polymer blends can include PBB and PBDE. Although these elements are not present in plastic, they could be contained in the flame retardant, possibly making the plastic product non-compliant.  Thus, companies that work with polymers should check their flame retardant’s compositional makeup before they use it in plastic products.