RoHS has 3 directives:
- RoHS 1 – Took effect in 2006
- RoHS 2 – Took effect in 2013
- RoHS 3 – Took effect in 2013
For a full discussion of the differences between RoHS 1 vs. RoHS 2 vs. RoHS 3, see our comparison guide.
RoHS was adopted by the European Union in 2003 and went into effect in 2006. It goes hand-in-hand with another directive, WEEE, which sets collection, recycling, and recovery targets for all types of electronic and electrical goods.
- RoHS covers chemicals used in manufacturing
- WEEE covers the proper disposal of electronic waste
Companies wishing to manufacture or import electronics into any state within the European Union must comply with RoHS as of July 1, 2006.
Each European Union member state is requires to handle its own implementation and enforcement policies.
RoHS 2 is a clarification and extension of RoHS 1. The second RoHS directive includes a process to re-evaluation which allows for the broadening of coverage of different electronics and electric equipment. Among other additions, RoHS 2 also includes new responsibilities for importers and distributors and markings on products to improve traceability.
RoHS 3 was passed in 2015 as an amendment to RoHS 2. As RoHS 3 is merely an amendment, companies that are RoHS compliant must comply with all of RoHS 2 as well as updates included in RoHS 3. RoHS 3 added new types of restricted products, as well as four new hazardous substances.
You can expect that requirements for hazardous substances in electronic products and electrical equipment will:
- Include more restricted substances
- Require stricter testing and transparency
- Have less exclusions for use
Read more: Guide to RoHS Compliance