Do you manufacture electrical and electronic products, parts or components? Do you manage manufacturing design for such products? Do you oversee Chinese suppliers manufacturing such products? If so, you need to follow Restriction of Hazardous Substance (“RoHS”) developments closely for possible future changes to product content restrictions in China.
Earlier this week, on May 18, 2015, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) released a draft, public-comment version of revised “Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products.” Access our full English reference translation of this draft here. The public-comment period for the draft ends June 17, 2015.
The draft, and the existing regulation the draft proposes to replace, are often referred to as “China RoHS” regulations, with the existing regulation commonly called “China RoHS 1” and the draft regulation referred to as “China RoHS 2.” The “RoHS” reference arises from similarities to and apparent influences of the European Community RoHS Directive.
For manufacturers unfamiliar with China RoHS, this regulatory program establishes the following key requirements:
The hazardous-substance content limits have not been implemented under China RoHS 1. However, the labeling and information-disclosure requirements have been in place for specific “electronic information products” under this program since March 2007.
For all manufacturers, including those that have been following China RoHS developments, the draft China RoHS 2 regulation released on May 18 would effectuate a number of important changes to the program, such as the following:
The labeling and information-disclosure requirements under China RoHS 2, specified in a separate labeling standard, (SJ/T 11364-2014) (the English reference translation for which is available here), would become effective at the same time as China RoHS 2, per earlier MIIT guidance. The hazardous-substance content limits would not become effective under China RoHS 2 until a specified time following the promulgation of the “Compliance Management Catalogue.”
It remains to be seen whether all of the language in the May 18 draft will end up in the final RoHS 2 regulation when promulgated later this year. As anticipated in our earlier post “Trends in Chinese Regulation for Manufacturers to Watch in 2015;” however, the release of the draft RoHS 2 regulation that underscores product content restrictions are a major area for manufacturers of electrical and electronic products to continue to watch.