Oko Institute to Evaluate Exemptions Requests under RoHS

The RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC) on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment states “that from 1 July 2006, new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market does not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB or PBDE.” The Annex to the RoHS Directive lists a limited number of applications of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, which are exempted from the requirements of Article 4(1) and are subject to technical and scientific progress.

The European Commission has contracted the Öko-Institut and Fraunhofer IZM to review the evaluation of requests for exemptions under the RoHS Directive. The Öko-Institut and Fraunhofer IZM have been asked to review the technical assistance for both the evaluation of requests for exemptions submitted according to Article 5(1)(b) and for the evaluation of existing exemptions according to Article 5(1)(c) (8 – 10 exemptions in total). Furthermore, consultation with stakeholders on the review of the Annex according to Article 5(2) shall be carried out and the suggestion for a final wording for the exemption shall be provided.

The Oko Insitute’s website dedicated to this task (http://rohs.exemptions.oeko.info/) ensures stakeholders will have easy and up-to-date project information and can contribute to online consultations. The overall project is lead by Stéphanie Zangl from Öko-Institut; at Fraunhofer IZM the contact person is Otmar Deubzer. The central communication access for stakeholders is the project-specific e-mail account rohs.exemptions(at)oeko.de. Stakeholders can register on this website in order to be regularly informed about project progress (cf. Registration).

Assignment of project tasks started 27 November 2009 and will run over a period of 12 months, thus ending 26 November 2010. Progress reports are to be delivered to the European Commission 4 months after submission of an exemption for assessment to the contractor. The interim report is due 30 May 2010, followed by a draft final report due 30 October 2010.

The first stakeholder consultation will start early 2010. If a stakeholder workshop is appropriate it will take place in July 2010. If applicable, details on the scope, addressed stakeholders and organisation will be published on the project website.

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