On May 17, 2013, IPC, along with Information Technology and Industry Council (ITIC) and the United States Information Technology Office (USITO), met with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China to discuss concerns with a recent ruling that will ban cyanide gold plating in China after December 31, 2014.
In February 2013, the NDRC announced a revision of the “Guiding Catalogue for Adjustment Instructions for Cyanide Electrolytic Plating Processes.” Under the revision, which took effect May 1, 2013, gold cyanide plating will not be allowed in China after Dec 31, 2014. Although the revision cites an alternate citrate base gold plating chemistry, many PCB manufacturers and OEMs are concerned that these alternate chemistries have not been tested, used or validated for PCB production.
During the meeting on May 17, which was requested by IPC and other electronics associations earlier this month, the group provided further technical information and data to NDRC on the highly sophisticated technical requirements of gold plating application in the electronics sector and the need of careful evaluation of an alternative. Meeting participants also emphasized treatment and control technology in use worldwide to provide environmental safety for cyanide gold plating in electronics.
NDRC thanked participants for the positive tone of the meeting and asked them to provide more information and data on the technical issues discussed during the meeting. IPC will continue to coordinate response from technical experts within our member companies.