Is your Californian VHDL design RoHS compliant enough for the EU?

California has adopted its own versions of the EU WEEE and ROHS compliance laws – but if you are exporting goods to EU states, you still need to follow the EU ROHS/WEEE rulings, because Californian protocol may not be enough.

The RoHS and WEEE directives have become global acronyms, generic terms for the regulation of hazardous materials used in electrical and electronic equipment, and for its disposal. Each country and state manages its criteria differently. Therefore, you should not assume that RoHS WEEE legislation outside the EU mirrors that within it.

The California SB 20/SB 50 statutes were introduced in January 2007, under the California Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003. Although similar to the EU directives, the Californian versions have important differences which those exporting printed circuit boards and other EEE products to the European Union must be made aware of.

Although the SB 20 ruling has banned the sale of electronic devices prohibited under the EU RoHS directive, this is across a far narrower range of products and materials. It covers only the four heavy metals (lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and mercury), and applies only to CRT, LCD and plasma screens which are diagonally four inches or larger across.

There have been some changes to bring Californian RoHS more inline with that of Europe. For example, the SB 50 ruling has extended the range to include manufacturer-refurbished products. In 2010, the Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act brought lamps and bulbs into the picture – adding another tier of complexity!

Being WEEE/RoHS compliant is a minefield wherever your business is located. We at Enventure Technologies offer a full range of environmental compliance services to help you cope.

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