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October 3, 2018

Welcome to the October 2018 Design Chain Associates E-mail Newsletter!

In addition to DCA's newsletters, keep an eye on DCA's bi-monthly articles in TTI's MarketEYE Resource Center.

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ChemicalWatch Electronics Conference November 8-9 in San Francisco

The electronics industry and its supply chain need a conference in North America, and ChemicalWatch is bringing it to you! While DCA will present (on the CPSC's proposed organohalogen restriction, its history and implications) and even chair at least part of the conference, ChemicalWatch has assembled an all-star cast of presenters on a wide range of topics key to the industry. Hear from, meet and interact with regulators, standards bodies and your peers who are responsible for ensuring that their company's products meet or exceed market requirements.

Visit the conference website here for more information and to register.

NEW: My newsletter subscribers get a 25% discount on the registration fee! Email me for information about how to get the deal.

I look forward to seeing you here in San Francisco!

EU RoHS 3 Actually Begins! Yes - "RoHS 3"

I have railed against the incorrect and premature use of the term "RoHS 3" (and equally misguided and misleading terms like RoHS 2.1, RoHS 5/6, and so on) and have been only marginally successful in eradicating it from the industry lexicon. To recap:

EU Directive 2011/65/EU is RoHS 2. Directives that amend 2011/65/EU, including 2015/863 (which added phthalate restrictions), do not create a new RoHS regimen. Until the European Commission replaces it with a new Directive we will continue to operate under RoHS 2. The Directive replacing 2011/65/EU will be RoHS 3.

In Directive 2011/65/EU, Article 24, paragraph 2 says

No later than 22 July 2021 the Commission shall carry out a general review of this Directive, and shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal.

The Commission's review has just begun. To kick-off the process, a call for comment is now open through October 12. A longer and more in-depth stakeholder comment period will open in the spring. The purpose of the current evaluation is to

assess the performance of the RoHS Directive since its entry into force in 2011, and where necessary will look back further to its predecessor legislation. It will evaluate the delivery of its objectives of (i) protecting human health and the environment, including the environmentally sound recovery and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment, and (ii) of guaranteeing the functioning of the internal market. It will also identify whether regulatory simplifications or improvements to the legislation could be possible.

So stay tuned, get ready to participate, and remember: this is RoHS's not RoHS 3...yet.

China RoHS Update and Translations

DCA has (finally) produced English translations of the first China RoHS 2 Catalog and the accompanying list of applicable exemptions. Please visit DCA's China RoHS website for more information and to order them.

With the substance restriction phase of the China RoHS 2 regulation slated to come into force on March 1, 2019, we are - somewhat surprisingly - still awaiting definition of the "conformity assessment system" that Electrical and Electronic Products (EEPs) specified in the first catalog must be validated by.

The organization responsible for producing this, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, has an unfortunate track record of producing clarifying documents such as FAQs and guidance documents far later than is comfortable for industy. I'm disappointed to see this trend continuing.

On the other hand, the Chinese government, in its rush to produce more standards than any other country or Standards Development Organization on the face of the planet, has, over the past 7 years, produced numerous standards that either are, or appear to be, relevant to the China RoHS 2 regulation that came into existence in January, 2016. The application of some of these is as yet unclear and in one cases two of the standards appear to be redundant:

The standards released prior to the regulation, and particularly GB/T 26572-2011, if they are intended to support various aspects of the regulation, may need to be updated. 26572, for instance, contains a substantial and complex set of appendices describing how to handle, disassemble and test components in order to assess the presence of the six defined hazardous substances. While interesting, there are several problems with this approach:
  1. Testing finished components is an exceedingly poor, ineffective and expensive way to validate compliance to this type of regulation.
  2. The restriction phase of China RoHS 1 failed because the industry balked at having to test.
  3. GB/T 26572 is referenced in SJ/T 11364-2014 so it is relevant to China RoHS 2, which came out 5 years after it was issued and there is fundamentally no place - yet - in China RoHS 2 for the appendices.
  4. If the appendices are specified to be critical to China RoHS 2 in the Conformity Assessment System, the industry may once again balk at complying.
GB/T 36560-2018, however, is indicated to be "equivalent to the IEC international standard: IEC 63000:2016". Since there is no official Chinese translation of IEC 63000:2016, it seems that China has done its own. This is a good indication that the documentation requirements of the restriction regimen is intended to be harmonized - to some degree - with EU RoHS. In addition, GB/T 31274-2014 appears to now be obsolete because of it.

We fully expect (or hope) the conformity assessment system and any guidance the Chinese government produces will shed some light on this situation. Stay tuned!

Guest Article from Go Global Compliance

I couldn't pick a single article from Go Global Compliance President Peter Merguerian's latest newsletter to share here! The newsletter contains a raft of updates regarding EMC, safety and other regulatory requirements for electronic products from

Check it out here for yourself and forward it to your Safety/EMC/RF engineering group!

DCA Articles & DCA In The News

August 17, 2018 TTI MarketEYE: Lead is now an SVHC - Implications for Manufacturers + Prop 65 & RoHS. Now nearly every manufacturer of EEE will have to disclose an SVHC. Read why in this month's article.

July 17, 2018 Capitol Weekly: Regulating lead-acid batteries. I opine on how DTSC should focus for the next set of Priority Products, and that one of them should not be lead-acid batteries.

Events to Attend

November 8-9, 2018: San Francisco, CA. Chemicals Management for Electronics and Electricals USA 2018. Get 25% off for being a subscriber to DCA's newsletter!

June 11-13, 2019: Reston, VA. ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. Got examples of - or challenges with - implementing green and sustainable chemistry in the electronics supply chain? Get in touch with me!

More to come! Stay tuned.

Contact and Feedback

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This newsletter covers only a fraction of how we support our clients. DCA offers expertise and consulting services in all the areas covered above, as well as many others. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Best Regards,
Michael Kirschner

Design Chain Associates LLC

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