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What ever happened to China RoHS

Category:
  • RoHS
  • Indium Corporation
  •  Two years ago, electronics companies were talking about China RoHS becoming the next big set of legislation affecting the assembly of their products.  It was supposed to restrict all the materials that the EU RoHS does (Pb, Hg, Hex-Cr, and some halogenated materials) but have fewer exemptions and require more testing and documentation.  It didn't just go away, but it's implementation has been much slower than China initially reported.

    The first phase of China RoHS is actually already in place.  On March 1, 2007 all electronics must have labels showing whether or not they contain one of the EU RoHS restricted materials.  Currently they are not actually resticting any of the materials.  If your product does not contain any of the 6 materials, you must use the green e-label shown to the right.  If it does contain one of those materials, you can still import it and sell it within China, but it must have the orange label shown to the right.  The number in the middle of the orange label is the number of years that you guarantee that product can be safely used (how do you figure that out?).

    Phase two is the actual restriction of those 6 materials.  China will be creating a product catalog and all materials in that catalog must not contain any of the restricted materials.  Therefore, there will be not broad category exemptions.  To make it more challenging, they are expected to require products imported into China to have a testing report from one of a handful of China "approved" labs.  These labs are undoubtedly going to be government owned and simply a way to profit from the restriction.  Phase two continues to get pushed back and is now expected sometime in 2010.

    Let's hope they continue to delay phase two!!  A good website on China RoHS is by Design Chain Associates and can be found by clicking here.