Mar 22 - Europe Asks its Manufacturers: Are You Prepared?

Electronics Weekly reports Europe’s preparedness to have toxic-free products ready for the market when RoHS becomes effective this summer. The European Union RoHS Directive calls for the phase-out of hazardous materials out of all electrical and electronic equipment with a few exceptions.

One the most important questions customers are asking distributors and that distributors are asking suppliers is, “how ready is the supply chain for the introduction of the RoHS directive in July?”

“Some customers still have their heads in the sand over RoHS compliance hoping there will be more exemptions,” said Chris McAneny, marketing director for Arrow Northern Europe. “Generally, the U.K. is well prepared, but inevitably there is still non-compliant inventory in the supply chain.”

One problem the manufacturers face is being left with non-compliant product they cannot use after the July deadline. Paul Deehan, managing director of Staffordshire-based contract manufacturer AWS, said that one of the main issues for SMEs is the amount of cash they will have tied-up in obsolete parts. “For small businesses the amount of cash tied-up does not have to be very large to be important,” Deehan stated.

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CAW is sponsoring legislation to develop current e-waste recycling law, which will build a more comprehensive RoHS-like law in California. AB 2202 by Assembly Member Lori Saldana will require the ultimate phase-out of 4 hazardous heavy metals form all electronics sold in California, consistent with the EU RoHS law.