Guide for U.S. High-Tech Companies Describes Far-Reaching Strategic Impact of European Environmental Laws

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Washington, D.C. -- A new guide published today reveals that the U.S. high-tech industry has less than two years to comply with two environmental laws that were adopted by the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers on February 13, 2003.

The EU's New Environmental Laws Applicable to Electrical and Electronic Equipment: A Guide for High-Tech Companies, published by AeA, the nation's largest high-tech trade association, and international law firm Allen & Overy, provides companies with a comprehensive guide for reviewing their environmental practices in order to assess their compliance with the European Directives. The Guide outlines key areas that companies need to address to avoid penalties from the EU.

The Restrictions on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive will have far-reaching consequences for the industry. Most notably:

  • The WEEE Directive requires companies (irrespective of nationality) that sell their electrical and electronic equipment in the EU to finance the collection and recycling of their electronics waste by August 13, 2005.
  • The RoHS Directive bans the use of certain materials, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, in electronics products built anywhere in the world and sold on the EU market beginning July 1, 2006.
  • Companies that do not comply with the EU RoHS or WEEE Directives risk penalties from the EU and may also be prevented from selling equipment in EU member countries.

In addition to a thorough analysis of the RoHS and WEEE Directives, the Guide includes a chart that takes the reader through the EU laws requirements from a U.S. company's perspective.

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