Restrictions to be extended on products containing plasticising chemicals

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Changes to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations mean that products that were out of scope of the 2008 regulations will now be included and will prohibit non-compliant products from being placed on the market.

The changes also include the introduction of four particular phthalates* (chemicals used to soften PVC), and will prohibit any products containing these substances being placed on the market from 22 July 2019.

This will affect all electronic and electrical equipment except for medical devices and monitoring and control instruments, which are exempted until 22 July 2021. The restriction will not apply to spare parts or cables used for the repair, reuse, updating or upgrading of capacity of EEE placed on the market before 22 July 2019, and to medical devices and monitoring and control instruments placed on the market before 22 July 2021.

The restrictions within the RoHS regulations are applied at the point products are ‘placed on the market’ which, in most cases, involves importers and manufacturers – it is illegal to place products on the market that are non-compliant.

If the product is received by a retailer before the change date it will not be subject to regulation. This would have to be readily demonstrated to the market surveillance authority (the Office for Product Safety and Standards) on a regular basis, with invoices and delivery notes etc.

Anyone placing non-compliant products on the market after 22 July 2019, knowing they are non-compliant, will be liable to prosecution under the regulations. If you require more information email OPSS.enquires@beis.gov.uk or call 0121 345 1201.

*The chemicals are butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). It should be noted that the restrictions do not apply to all phthalates.

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