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EU Asks for Comments on RoHS Directive

The European Commission is requesting comments on the RoHS Directive in preparation for a revision most likely to be presented in 2008. The EC will review measures provided for in the Directive, taking into account scientific evidence, according to an official announcement. The deadline for comments is May 22.

In the announcement, the EC noted that Article 6 of the RoHS Directive calls for a review of the Directive’s measures taking into account, as necessary, new scientific evidence, in particular with regard to the inclusion of two additional categories of equipment in the scope – medical devices and monitoring and control instruments.

The EC asks for studies and evaluations that will permit the Commission to analyze the full costs or benefits of provisions and potential changes in the operation of the Directive – and additional topics that should be considered. (The Commission does not wish to receive position papers.)

The review will investigate other hazardous substances or materials used in electrical and electronic equipment; how they are managed currently; possible substitutes and the sustainability characteristics of these other hazardous substances and possible substitutes; how to best ensure coherence with other EU legislation; whether current definitions of the Directive are adapted to its subject matter and objectives, and more.

The Commission will further look at the exemptions process, including how requests are submitted and promulgated.

While the Commission said the review would give particular attention to the impact of other hazardous substances and materials on the environment and human health, and would examine the feasibility of replacing such substances and materials, it added that, "At the moment, no specific substances are under consideration."

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