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RoHS – the most important at a glance

RoHS – what does that mean? Answers on the most important questions can be found here.

What does RoHS mean?

RoHS is the abbreviation for „Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment”. The abbreviation refers to the so called RoHS directive 2011/65/EU, which forms the legal framework. The goals of the regulation are the protection of human health and of the environment.1) The directive is applicable for the EU and Switzerland.

What are the hazardous substances?

The restricted substances are listed in annex II of the directive1). The tolerated maximum concentration values are given by weight in homogeneous materials:

Hexavalent chromium0,1%
Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)0,1%
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)0,1%


Which instruments are affected?

Based on an older directive 2002/95/EU, to be applied since 01.01.2006, numerous categories of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are affected for a longer time already. Among others, these are household appliances, lightning equipment, toys or leisure and sports equipment. With the new directive 2011/65/EU, to be applied since 03.01.2013, the previous version was replaced. By this, the categories of EEE, which are affected by the restrictions, were expanded. For industrial monitoring and control instruments – so for example for WTW measuring equipment – this directive is binding since 22.07.2017.

Are there exemptions existing?

For monitoring and control instruments, there are exemptions listed in annexes III and IV of the guideline. An example is the content of lead in the glass of a pH electrode (Exemption 1a for ”Sensors, detectors and electrodes“ in annex IV).1)

How do I know that an electrical/electronic product is RoHS compliant?

The compliance to RoHS can be identified on the CE label on the products and the associated CE declaration of conformity. On the CE declaration of conformity of a product, the RoHS guideline 2011/65/EU has to be listed among other relevant guidelines and standards.


1)  Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, 8. June 2011, published in Official Journal of the European Union “Directive 2011/65/EU” 

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