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Severe industry concerns over proposals for substantial changes to the RoHS Scope.


01 Feb 2010


Climate & Environment

Brussels, 1 February 2010

Significant changes to the scope of the Commission’s RoHS recast proposal, which fundamentally focuses on consumer goods recovered from household waste, are being considered by the European Parliament and several Member States’ delegations in the Council without any impact assessment. The proposals under discussion would bring in nearly all capital goods which use electrical and electronic equipment, for example all the electrical and electronic equipment in trains, trucks, cars, planes, power plants of all types, petrochemical and other industrial installations, subways, elevators,  material handling equipment, etc… European manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment consider this proposal as particularly objectionable, in view of the EU institutions commitment to respect ‘Better Regulation’.


Commented Adrian Harris, Orgalime’s Director General “It is quite clear that capital goods operate in different environments and have considerably longer life spans than most consumer goods. They have specific safety requirements and are treated in a different way at the end of life. If capital goods and therefore industrial plants are going to be regulated at the level of substances, this should ideally be done through REACH and certainly not without a thorough impact assessment. How can the EU claim to be developing an industrial policy vision and hope to attract manufacturing investors to Europe when it does not follow the basic rules of good governance which the institutions have set themselves? The Common Approach to Impact Assessment of 2005 clearly spells out that the three Institutions consider it essential that the assessment of initiatives and substantive amendments should be rigorous and comprehensive and be based on accurate, objective and complete information.  The institutions all agreed that such a process should be transparent and foresee an appropriate consultation of affected stakeholders.  This is not happening here.”


Even the conclusions of a recent partial impact assessment conducted on behalf of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, state that ‘the introduction of a general scope, where RoHS covers all electrical and electronic equipment may have quite far reaching consequences and there may be the need for general exclusions for some product groups’.


“We prefer that in the absence of objective and sufficiently qualitative knowledge on the consequences of the proposal, the remaining shortcomings should be ironed out of the existing scope provisions instead of introducing new provisions which give rise to new complications and will have unknown implications without demonstrated environmental benefit. Our team is available to discuss these issues with the European Parliament’s Rapporteur and the Council” added Harris.




Notes for the Editor: Orgalime Position Paper on RoHS recast