When you import electrical and electronic equipment into the EU, besides REACH regulation, your products also need to meet the standard of RoHS 3 for legal sale. You may not be clear about this product certification. Today’s post will tell you what it is and other necessary information in detail.

What is RoHS 3?

RoHS 3 stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment. It is the EU standard that restricts 10 harmful substances content used in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). It aims to reduce the impact of EEE products on the environment and human health.

And RoHS is a mandatory certification in the EU for EEE products. If without RoHS3 certification, your product will get required to withdraw from the EU market and face huge fines, even imprisonment.

Please note that the RoHS regulations in Britain are slightly different from that in the EU. RoHS 3 introduced here is the EU standard.

What are the restricted substances in RoHS 3?

Medical devices like ECG Testers and daily electronic products like home appliances and electric toys both require RoHS certification. It needs to test the following substances.

Four types of metals

Lead (Pb)

Lead gets applied in electronic computer components, and lead-acid batteries that get widely applied in electrical motorcycles, for its price is one-third of the lithium battery price of the same type. It is a human carcinogen that affects the nervous and renal systems.

Mercury (Hg)

Mercury gets the application for ultraviolet lights and fluorescent lamps. It is also a human carcinogen that affects multiple organ systems.

Cadmium ( Cd)

Cadmium gets applied in solar panels, car batteries, and pigments. It is a human carcinogen that affects multiple organ systems.

Hexavalent chromium (Cr VI)

Chromium VI gets applied in chrome plating, dyes, and pigments. It can produce toxic effects in multiple organ systems.

Six types of chemicals

Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)

PBBs are flame retardants found in computer monitors and TV plastic enclosures. It is a human carcinogen that affects the endocrine system.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)

Similar to PBBs, PBDE is for plastic enclosures to make them difficult to burn. It is a human carcinogen that affects the endocrine system.

Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

DEHPs gets applied to soften PVC and vinyl insulation on electrical wires and in medical tubing. It is a human carcinogen that affects the immune and reproductive systems.

Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)

These are for softening PVC and vinyl insulation on electrical wires.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

Same functions as BBPs.

Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

Same function as BBPs.

In the above substances, except for Cd, which is a maximum of 0.01%, the proportion of other substances shall not exceed 0.1%.

For specific purposes, there are also some exemptions for the use of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, etc. For example, lead in electronic ceramics can exceed the specified content within the exemption period.

All applicable products in the EU market not only must pass RoHS 3 certification, but also requires WEEE compliance and carry the “Wheelie Bin” sticker. WEEE stands for Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The WEEE Directive mandates the treatment, recovery, and recycling of EEE products.

RoHS and WEEE complement each other. RoHS regulates the hazardous substances used in the manufacture of EEE products, while WEEE regulates the disposal of these products.

How to get RoHS 3?

First of all, you need to choose a testing company with corresponding qualifications and notarized laboratories. Then fill out the RoHS application form, and send the required documents like the application form, product specification, etc., and 2-3 samples to them.

Its testing cost depends on the substances used in the product. The more substances, the higher the cost. It usually takes around 7 days for testing. If your products meet the standard, they will issue a RoHS compliance certificate. There is no specific format, which depends on the inspection company you choose. Here is one for your reference.

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Please note that this is a self-declaration, so it must get signed by you or one of your employees, indicating that the product complies with all requirements of RoHS and will bear all responsibilities related to it.

You can also entrust your supplier to do the RoHS testing for the relevant products. All you need to do is just sign the compliance form.

RoHS 1 vs RoHS 2 vs RoHS 3

The original RoHS 1 got published in 2002. It required testing for a simple scope of daily EEE products, and the testing range only included the first 6 of the above 10 substances. Meanwhile, it regulated that all applicable products in the EU market must pass the RoHS standard.

In July 2011, RoHS 2 replaced RoHS 1. It expanded the range of products covered in RoHS 1, adding medical devices, monitoring and control instruments, and set different compliance deadlines for each category.

It also provided exemption rules for some special products, such as active implantable medical devices. The RoHS 2 directive also mandated that importers or manufacturers of products under a RoHS category conduct a conformity assessment and affix CE markings on all compliant products.

In 2015, RoHS 2 got revised. In addition to the original hazardous substance tested, it added four new chemical substances (DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP).

Furthermore, it further expanded the testing scope to include all other EEE products that didn’t get covered previously, such as two-wheeled electric vehicles, Vape Pens, electronic cigarettes, etc. It is commonly known as RoHS 3, which came into effect in 2019. Now, most of the certification is under RoHS 3, although RoHS 2 has not gotten revoked.

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