EU Packs 19 and 20, Consultation request for New and Renewal RoHS Annex IV for DEHP, Lead and Cadmium

Overview

The scope of the current consultation concerns two exemption requests: one for exemption renewal and one for a new exemption.

The application for the renewal of exemption 12, Annex IV was submitted under the project “Pack 19”, the application for the new exemption is being evaluated under the project “Pack 20”. The requests of both packages are to be consulted upon together, under the current stakeholder consultation.

Oeko-Institut and Fraunhofer IZM, on behalf of the European Commission, has published the requests as worded by the applicant, therefore the applicant is solely responsible for the wording and supporting evidence it has provided.

How to submit a stakeholder contribution

The following general guidelines should be taken into account:

• Refer to the exemption request listed in Table 2-1 and have a clear reference as to the exemption number

• Take the questionnaires on the exemption requests into account (questionnaires available under the exemption request specific pages, accessible through this link, and select exemptions through the tabs on the left.)

• Clearly state whether the exemption requests are supported or whether no justification is apparent. To support your contribution, it is required to provide relevant technical and scientific evidence in accordance with the criteria listed in Article 5(1)(a). Explain the reasons why potential alternative materials, designs or processes are unsuitable with quantitative data wherever possible. If possible, provide photographs or diagrams to illustrate claims. Provision of third party data and information may be beneficial to further support your view. Sources of information should be referenced where possible.

• Provide your input to the consultation as early as possible in order to allow other stakeholders to comment.

• Exemptions to RoHS Directive cannot be justified on the basis of confidential information.

New RoHS Stakeholder Consultation

This article was authored by Mike Kirschner of Design Chain Associates. 

Last week the Öko-Institut opened up a new stakeholder consultation on the three remaining substances proposed for restriction under the RoHS Directive:

  • Antimony Trioxide (ATO; a synergist for halogen-based flame retardants);
  • Medium-chained chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs) – Alkanes, C14-17, chloro; and
  • Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA)

Öko-Institut’s bottom line and rationale for these three substances is interesting but not unexpected.

ATO: if ATO on its own is restricted, there is a risk of regrettable substitution since – as a consequence of this restriction – an increased amount of halogenated flame retardants is expected to be used, bringing along their predominant negative impacts on health and the environment. In order to avoid this, the consultant proposes not to exclusively restrict ATO, but instead to carry out an assessment of the system of halogenated flame retardants and the ATO synergist with high priority.

MCCPs: Öko-Institut recommends restricting a range of MCCPs, describing that this entry covers chlorinated paraffins containing paraffins with a chain length of C14-17 – linear or branched.

TBBPA: it is recommended to include this substance in the list of restricted substances with a limit value of 0.1 % per weight due to the described risks of TBBP-A and the availability of alternatives. Assuming good and controlled manufacturing conditions, reactive applications and in particular its use as a component of FR4 PWB would not be affected by this restriction, because the residual levels of TBBP-A would be below the proposed limit in this case.

Note that, In light of the upcoming ban of organohalogen flame retardants (OHFRs) in displays/monitors/TVs under the Eco-design Directive, as well as the relatively non-impactful restriction of TBBPA, this should be interesting. In my opinion, in order to effectively restrict ATO, they have to restrict the entire sub-class of OHFRs that ATO would be used with in polymers including PVC and others.

Not to be too overshadowed, another stakeholder consultation is concurrently open on “substance prioritization” for 43 substances that could represent upcoming restriction proposals under RoHS. Öko-Institut is asking for quantitative usage data on these 43 substances.

Both stakeholder consultations are open until January 30, 2020.