Environment: Evaluation of Directive 2011/65/EU (“RoHS”): Improving implementation in a Circular Economy context

Published: 6 December 2019

Policies & Issues: Environment

Orgalim considers the RoHS Directive as effective, efficient, relevant and of added value as a sector specific tool addressing a number of important specificities of the EEE sector in support of a circular economy. Orgalim members are determined to deliver on the objectives of the RoHS Directive and ensure full compliance on time with its ambitious rules regarding the restriction of the use of hazardous substances in EEE. The RoHS Directive is a prominent tool contributing to the protection of human health and the environment, including the environmentally sound recovery and disposal of waste EEE and encourages companies in our sector to continuously improve product performance including through use of better performing, reliable and available substitutes. 

In practical terms, our sector considers the RoHS Directive as functioning well in particular in the light of two important specificities reflecting the nature and complexity of the EEE sector and its global supply chains: 

  • The RoHS Directive has been successfully amended in 2017 to strengthen the circular economy which supports the repair as produced principle of the Directive as well as the Article 9 of the revised Waste Framework Directive (EU) 2018/851 on prevention of waste. The Directive (EU) 2017/2102 indeed resolves a shortcoming in the 2011 RoHS legislation, which would have run counter to the goals of a circular economy as it would have prevented the use and repair of used electrical and electronic equipment and forced scrapping of appliances that were still fully functional. 
  • The sector specific, very targeted, scientifically based, structured product and application-specific mechanism for granting exemptions to substance restrictions ensures a high level of environmental and human health protection in the EU internal market. 

In our view, rather than reviewing the just amended RoHS Directive, more focus and resources should be dedicated to improving its implementation and further support companies, especially SMEs in their committed work on ensuring full and timely compliance. 

We have the following recommendations to improve the implementation of the RoHS Directive: 

  1. Improving consistency with other EU legislation, and consistency between the RoHS Directive, REACH Regulation and Ecodesign Directive 
  2. Improving and accelerating the implementation of RoHS Article 5 on the adaptation of the Annexes to scientific and technical progress 
  3. Better recognising the differences between typical B2B and B2C equipment when considering the use of RoHS as risk management option 
  4. Better taking into account aspects related to the global trade of EEE 
  5. Applying a risk based approach for sustainable chemicals management 
  6. Applying the “repair as produced” principle in a Circular Economy 

To read our recommendations in full, please download the position above.

Authors

Linher
Sigrid Linher
Director - Energy, Climate & Environment
Mittelham
Stéphanie Mittelham
Manager - Environment

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