Certification or qualification of certain product is the process of this product passing the performance and quality assurance tests. Certificate confirms that the product meets the qualification requirements stipulated in official regulations, such as national standards, or that it complies with provisions governing the quality and minimum performance requirements.
CE marking (also known as CE mark) is a mandatory conformance mark on many products marketed in the European Economic Area (EEA). CE abbreviation stands for conformité européenne, French for "European conformity". CE is affixed to a product on a sole responsibility of manufacturer, and declares that the product meets the safety, health and environmental requirements established in EU.
RoHS is often considered as lead-free directive, but it restricts the following six substances to use in production:
Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)
Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
PBDE and PBB are flame retardants used in manufacturing of several plastics.
The maximum permitted concentration of these substances in the production is 0.1% or 1000 ppm (except for cadmium, limited to 0.01% or 100 ppm) by the homogeneous material weight. This means that the limitations do not concern the finished product or even component weight. It is applied to any single substance that could be separated from the product mechanically—for example, the cable sheath or USB DVB-card casing.
For example, a satellite TV receiver is composed of a case, screws, circuit boards etc. The screws, and case of satellite receiver may each be made of homogenous material, but the other components, such as chips, comprise sub-components made of many different types of material. If we consider the circuit board, it is composed of chips, capacitors, switches, etc. Then, switch is composed of a case, a spring, pins etc, and each of these may be of different material.
Any item that can be identified as consisting of homogeneous material, must meet the limitation. Thus, if it is found out that the satellite receiver casing was made of plastic with 2,300 ppm (0.23%) PBB flame retardant, then the whole satellite receiver would fail the Directive requirements.
Trying to close RoHS standard loopholes, in May 2006 the European Commission was asked to consider two product categories currently excluded (medical devices, monitoring and control equipment, ) for future inclusion in the list of products that must fmeet the RoHS. Additionally, the European Commission entertains requests for deadline extensions or exclusions by substance categories, substance location or weight limitations.
It should be noted that the RoHS doesn't cover the batteries. However, in Europe, batteries production is regulated by the Battery Directive (91/157/EEC), whose scope has recently been increased and approved in the form of the new Battery Directive, which highlights the environment protection from the negative effects of the waste contained in batteries. It also contains an industrial, automotive, and consumer batteries recycling program, significantly increasing the share of manufacturer-provided waste collection sites up to 45% until 2016. It also sets limits of mercury and cadmium at 5 ppm and 20 ppm reapectively, for all batteries, except those used in emergency, medical, or cordless power-tool devices. Though it does not setting quantitative limits on nickel, nickel-cadmium, lead, and lead-acid in batteries, it indicates a need to restrict these substances and ensurre the recycling of up to 75% of batteries containing these ones as well as there are provisions for marking the batteries with symbols regarding to metal content in the battery and recycling information.
The directive is applied to equipment as defined by appropriate WEEE directive section. The following numeric categories are applied:
Large and small household appliances.
Telecommunications equipment (although infrastructure equipment is exempt in some countries)
Lighting equipment—including light bulbs.
Toys, leisure, and sports equipment.
Monitoring and control instruments (currently exempt)
Electronic and electrical tools.
Medical devices (planned to include)
The Directive is not applied to the specific industrial plants and/or tools. Company, which is marketing the product, is responsible for the compliance, as defined in the abovementioned Directive; components and sub-assemblies are not subject for product compliance. Of course, taking into account the fact, that the regulation is applied to the materials of homogeneous level, data on substance concentrations must be transferred through the supply chain to the final manufacturer. To facilitate this data exchange, an IPC standard has been developed and published recently, IPC-1752. It is available in two PDF forms distributed free to use.
RoHS is applied to those products which are either made in EU or imported. Certain exemptions applied are updated by EU on occasion.
For more exact information, please, feel free to contact your local Sales Office.