China RoHS 2 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
MIIT has finally issued the long-awaited FAQ covering China RoHS 2. Here's a link to an English translation.
- The scope is different from EU RoHS - And it is different from China RoHS 1's scope of "Electronic Information Products". Since the China RoHS 2 definition of "Electrical and Electronic Products" (EEPs) is closer to the definition of "Electrical and Electronic Equipment" provided in EU Directive 2011/65/EU, this gives us a hint. However, a definition is not a scope. The FAQ does define an actual scope, including which EEPs are in scope, and which are out of scope. EEP categories include:
- Communication equipment, fixed or mobile
- Professional broadcast and TV equipment (!)
- Computer and office equipment
- Household appliances
- Electronic instruments for monitoring and control applications
- Industrial electrical and electronic equipment, including monitoring and control equipment
- Power tools
- Medical electronics and devices
- Lighting products, including electric light sources (lamps) and luminaires
- Sports and entertainment products
Note that certain exclusions that EU RoHS provides, such as for Large Scale Industrial Tools (LSIT) and Large Scale Fixed Installations (LSFI) are not excluded from China RoHS 2.
- Are batteries in scope? - They were in China RoHS 1, and they are not in the scope of EU RoHS. So this is an interesting question. As translated by Foley & Lardner, the definition of EEP says that "Power generation, transmission and distribution equipment is excluded [from this definition]." Batteries are power generation devices. So one would think not. In addition, mandatory standard HJ 2534-2013, Technical requirement for environmental labeling products - Battery, restricts lead, cadmium and mercury in batteries and refers (to an extent) to GB/T 26572-2011, Requirements of Concentration Limits for Certain Restricted Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products, the same standard China RoHS 2 refers to. Substance restriction limits in battery regulations in China tend to be closer to those of the EU Battery Directive, if not more stringent. According to the FAQ, batteries are covered in China RoHS 2. Batteries attached permanently to the product are covered under the product's EFUP and, as necessary, should have their own line item in the table. Batteries that are replaceable are treated as a consumable and must have their own EFUP.
- The requirements are still different from EU RoHS - China RoHS 2 still does not restrict substances. The previous regulation threatened it, and so does China RoHS 2. And maybe someday it will. The requirement today, however, is for a mark and disclosure of any of the six identified hazardous substances and their locations within the product.
Once a "Compliance Management Catalog" is produced and in force, there will be restrictions. In order for that to happen, a "conformity assessment system" must be devised and published. See articles 17 and 18 in the regulation.
- There are no exemptions - Yet. Product that are subject to material restrictions will be defined in the "catalog". The catalog will also describe the substances that are subject to restriction in the products and it is here that "exemptions" are expected to be defined. Exemptions are not necessary for simple disclosure.
- Labels, marks, and disclosure are required - There are three marks required:
These requirements are described in detail in SJ/T 11364-2014, available in English on this site.
- A label defines whether or not the products contain any of the six hazardous substances. If they are present, the "Environment-Friendly Use Period" (EFUP) must also be determined and indicated.
- A table, in the product documentation, must disclose which hazardous substances are contained in the product and the component(s) they are present in. If you have acquired vague certificates of compliance with EU RoHS or email assurances that the parts you are using are compliant with EU RoHS you do not have the information necessary to correctly define this table. DCA can help you understand the requirments and obtain the right information from your supply chain.
- The Date of Manufacture must be marked on the product if the EFUP label is required.
- But what about packaging? The packaging requirement was removed from the China RoHS 2 regulation and SJ/T 11364. Instead, reference is made to compliance with national or industry standards for packaging use. Effectively it is now optional (but recommended) per GB/T 18455-2010.
- The approach to defining the in-force date is different from EU RoHS Beginning July 1, 2016, products coming off the manufacturing line must comply as of the Date of Manufacture.
- The penalties are different from EU RoHS - Everyone in the supply chain has responsibilities and is subject to penalties. Government officials also must behave...
- Is material testing required? - No. In phase one, where disclosure is all that is required, you need to understand which hazardous substances are in your product and where. That information can be collected by asking your suppliers for that data. In phase two, where substance restriction becomes a requirement for products covered in the catalog (which - again - is not out yet), testing may be required; but this is still an unknown. We are hopeful that China will take an approach more likely to succeed, such as the EU's conformity assessment system and technical documentation approach defined by EN 50581:2012. This standard effectively describes industry best practice for supply chain management for substance control and compliance. China RoHS 1's mandatory testing regimen failed to be accepted by industry because it did not reflect an efficient or sensible approach to determining and managing compliance.
- My products are already covered by China RoHS 1; what do I have to do differently for China RoHS 2? At the very least, you have to revise your tables to reference GB/T 26572-2011 instead of SJ/T 11363-2006. If you sell B2B or otherwise are non-consumer product you may have to put the table in your manual or include it with your product instead of placing it on your website. The FAQ for China RoHS 2 does not indicate that placing the table on your company's website is acceptable.
- The standards that you have to comply with are now available - Visit the Documents page.
- How will you comply? - Contact Mike Kirschner at DCA for assistance.
Updated June 27, 2016
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