Concentration Limits, Marking Standards Set for China RoHS

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SHANGHAI, China — Two standards within China's RoHS Directive — a standard on 'Concentration Limits' of hazardous substances; and a 'Marking' standard used to indicate hazardous substance content and the safe-to-use period and packaging material, are ready for approval from the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

These two standards will not require additional work from companies whose products comply with the European Union's (EU's) RoHS Directive. A standard on 'Testing Procedures,' as well as a catalog of products that are subject to substance restrictions and mandatory certification are expected shortly.

Maximum concentration values defined in concentration limits standard will apply only to electrical and electronics engineering listed in the catalog — all other products may exceed the limits. While substances and concentration limits are unchanged from those of the EU's Directive, the Chinese standard applies component limits into three groups: parts of homogenous materials to which the concentration limits apply; small items hard to disassemble and treated like homogenous materials; and metal plate parts, in which RoHS substances may occur if they have not been added intentionally.

The 'Marking' standard applies to all electrical and electronics engineering within the China RoHS Directive. Similar to the Japanese environmental directive, the Chinese standard requires that products exceeding the concentration limits defined in the standard be marked with a with a round symbol, as specified in the draft. A number in the center of the mark must designate the amount of time (in years) that the product can safely be in use. Hazardous substances found in each component must also be declared in a table in the manual. Only products within the catalog are subject to mandatory testing. For others, labeling is based on a self-declaration.

The China RoHS Directive was adopted on February 28, 2006, and will go into effect on March 1, 2007. The MMI documented the reach of the Directive in March 2006.



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