As I said in a recent posting, the Packaging Directive has been around for 12 years so I didn't expect many problems with the packaging that electronics comes in Re clearing customs. I was wrong.
Reader Don Ballard sends note of incidences where non electronics products have been stopped at borders because of cadmium in the inks on the packaging.
A look at the Packaging Directive Article 11 reveals:
Concentration levels of heavy metals present in packaging
1. Member States shall ensure that the sum of concentration levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium present in packaging or packaging components shall not exceed the following:
- 600 ppm by weight two years after the date referred to in Article 22 (i);
- 250 ppm by weight three years after the date referred to in Article 22 (i);
- 100 ppm by weight five years after the date referred to in Article 22 (i).
So the directive does have the restrictions on heavy metals.
What do I suspect is happening? In preparation for RoHS, the inspectors probably now have access to XRF analyzers like the Niton. These devices are easy to use and will quickly detect heavy metals. Packaging in the past was likely not analyzed....now it might be.