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Electronic Meters Exempt from RoHS?

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  • Indium Corporation
  • RoHS
  • Dr. Ron,

    I have attended a couple of your conferences and respect your opinion very much.
    I recently received a letter from a company (let's call them "ACME") that manufactures volt-ohm meters and other electrical measuring equipment. In this letter ACME claims everything they make is fully exempt from the RoHS directives. I spoke with their environmental affairs manager and he sounded very confident of his position. ACME's letter essentially states any of their customers are "on their own" Re ROHS compliance if they use ACME's meters in their products.

    This is inconsistent with most everything I have read and observed. Yet, this company is not a small company..... I was wondering if you would be kind enough to share your thoughts on their position. Yes, I know you are not a lawyer and all that. But, I would be interested in your reaction to their position.

    Thanks,
    Don

    Don,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    ACME is optimistically referring to Article 2 of RoHS:
    Without prejudice to Article 6, this Directive shall apply to electrical and electronic equipment falling under the categories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 set out in Annex IA to Directive No 2002/96/EC (WEEE) and to electric light bulbs, and luminaries in households.

    Category 9 (monitoring and control equipment) is in a sense "exempted" by this statement (since it is not included. But ACME neglects two things:

    Article 6:

    Before 13 February 2005, the Commission shall review the measures provided for in this Directive to take into account, as necessary, new scientific evidence.
    In particular the Commission shall, by that date, present proposals for including in the scope of this Directive equipment which falls under categories 8 and 9 set out in Annex IA to Directive 2002/96/EC (WEEE).

    Also, in my opinion, the intent of "exempting" article 9 equipment, is to exempt the type of monitoring equipment that won't end up in a garbage dump (i.e big, wall mounted equipment.) Much of this company's stuff is small and could be thrown away.

    So ACME is doing 3 things wrong from my perspective:
    1. Being too optimistic in the interpretation of "monitoring equipment" in category 9.
    2. Not being concerned that Annex 6 suggests that category 9 could be included in RoHS in the near future.
    3. Pushing RoHS compliance to their customers. If the customers incorporate ACME's devices in the their products, RoHS compliance will be an impossible task for the customer.

    Cheers,
    Dr. Ron