As innovation continues to drive new and better products for business and society, how will regulation and legislation evolve to keep up with the pace?
The European Parliament’s recent approval of a compromise on the RoHS Directive may be one more positive sign toward science-based processes and progress. On November 24th, 2010, the European Parliament overwhelmingly supported a science-based approach to European Union (EU) legislation by adopting the new RoHS Directive This decision secured the continued use of flame retardants, including brominated flame retardants, in electrical and electronic equipment.
The agreement was negotiated between the European institutions, and is expected to be formally adopted in December. Following formal adoption, the final Directive will be published in early 2011.
Albemarle applauds this decision as the text of the agreement is a significant improvement compared to the current RoHS Directive. The new Directive moves away from blacklisting of substances to a modernized legislation aligned with the newest evaluation processes such as REACH. It provides clarity, predictability and legal certainty not only for our industry, but for society as a whole, on the issue of substance restriction.
The new RoHS Directive now includes a defined methodology for future restrictions, which shall be coherent with REACH. The Commission’s proposal not to expand the list of restricted substances has been supported by the other EU institutions. The Parliament and the Member States have also addressed the concerns over potentially discriminatory listing of substances by deleting Annex III.
The scope of the new RoHS Directive has been extended, thereby increasing the number of applications for which substitution needs to be found for those substances already banned, including DecaBDE.
“We believe the current agreement provides clarity, predictability and legal certainty for the industry by recognizing the need for evaluation of substances on a case by case basis rather than blacklisting of whole families of flame retardants” says Brian Carter, Albemarle’s Global Business Director – Brominated Flame Retardants. “We offer different flame retardant solutions to meet the requirements of the electrical and electronic industry, including for those applications that are newly added to the RoHS.”
Albemarle is planning to hold several webinars in the near future to update the market on the changes and new requirements under the RoHS. If you’d like more information contact our European Advocacy Department – eMail: Florian.Kohl@albemarle.com, Tel.: +32-10-48-17-56.