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On 21st of July 2011 the directive 2011/65/EU (referred to as RoHS (recast)) on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment became European Law and will be implemented in EU Member States from 2nd of January 2013. Since RoHS (recast) is a CE Marking Directive, manufacturers need to provide technical documentation according to Decision 768/2008/EC Annex II Module A to demonstrate RoHS compliance.

The key elements of Directive 2011/65/EU for the technical documentation are

  • A general description of the product
  • Documents for materials, parts, and/or sub-assemblies
  • Information connecting the technical documents and respective materials, parts and/or sub-assemblies
  • A list of harmonized standards and/or technical specifications used to prepare the technical documents

Therefore, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) was given a mandate in October 2011 by the European Commission to develop a harmonized standard to guide manufacturers on their way to correct technical documentation. Standard EN 50581:2012 was made available on 21st of September 2012 by CENELEC and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 23rd of November 2012. The aim of the standard is to specify the technical documentation a manufacturer will have to collect for applicable substance restrictions in order to demonstrate compliance with the directive.

The standard gives guidance on

  • What tasks a manufacturer needs to engage in
  • How to decide on relevant information
  • What relevant information to gather
  • How to evaluate the information
  • What review processes to follow

In principle manufacturers are free to choose whatever approach is suitable to their needs as long as is satisfies Directive 2011/65/EU Articles 4(1), 13 and 14. It is stated in Directive 2011/65/EU Article 16(2) that an assessment performed on the basis of a harmonized standard will be presumed to be conforming to the RoHS (recast) Directive.

Information Source: 2012/C 363/05

SGS, the world's leading third party for testing, has established procedures to cover a large variety of legal requirements related to your products and is committed to informing you about developments concerning hazardous substances in Electrical & Electronic products as a complementary service. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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