Europe is not alone in stepping up activity in environmental regulations. Currently, vaious countries outside the EU already mandate the take-back provisions of WEEE – including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – and several of these are planning to introduce RoHS laws within the next year. A number are also considering REACH-like regulations, despite the likely cost and damage to their manufacturing economies. In contrast, few countries have rules on air quality as stringent as those issued by the US EPA.
At the US state level, California has a form of WEEE legislation in place and will bring in a RoHS rule in 2007; Maine already has a RoHS advisory. California also has a somewhat REACH-like Green Chemistry Initiative. RoHS-type legislation has also been proposed in New Jersey, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Nova Scotia in Canada. A number of states have passed or are debating legislation that limits the use of mercury in products, including vehicles.
Potentially the world’s largest electronics market, China adopted their own version of RoHS regulationsPhase 1 in March 2007 (http://www.chinarohs.com/). A draft of Phase 2 was issued in June 2012.
- China RoHS covers the same and chemicals as European RoHS (Pb, Hg, Cd, hex Cr, PBE, PBDE)
- Unlike the EU RoHS directive, which applies (like the WEEE rule) primarily to producers, China’s RoHS law applies to suppliers as well.
- There were no exemptions in Phase 1, but Phase 2 contains some (but not all) of the same exemptions as the European RoHS regulation.
- The regulation also contains requirements for labels and marks.