The restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) directive was implemented by the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2006. As a result of this new legislation, any company found selling electronic or electrical equipment (EEE) which contains a level of hazardous substances within the European market could face a court appearance and face a certain level of legal enforcement. To avoid breaching EU regulation a company should take the appropriate measures to avoid producing or selling EEE products, and have the option to outsource an environmental compliance service which will ensure they have the necessary information to do so. The RoHS regulation was employed to condense the amount of restricted materials in the waste stream which will ultimately benefit the environment. The restricted hazardous substances that are exempt under the EU directive are lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium, PBB and PBDE.
If a company or person is found selling a product outside of the EU directive, whether they were aware or they were not, they have breached government legislation which could result in a court conviction. However, if a company or person claims due diligence this can ultimately be used as a defense in court, but to avoid a conviction the person or company must prove they have taken the appropriate steps to become ROHS Compliant .To adhere to EU government standards a company should ensure they have control of product production and that they are obtaining their materials from a reputable supplier, they are also required to implement testing methods to ensure they are not breaching a category of RoHS regulation.
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