European Chamber supports EU-China RoHS Dialogue Go back »

2006-11-15 | Beijing

European Chamber supports EU-China RoHS Dialogue

The EU RoHS directive (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) which came into effect on July 1st, 2006 forbids the use of six hazardous substances in electrical and electronic (EE) products exceeding established maximum concentration values. These include lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominate biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). This legislation affects all EE products placed on the EU market, including products exported to the EU. As a result, exports of Chinese electrical and electronic equipment to the EU, which totalled €37.3 billion in 2005 (HS2002-85), are significantly affected.

Following the introduction of the EU RoHS directive, the European Commission, through the EU-Asia Invest II Programme, has funded a project which will provide a series of training workshops aimed at facilitating compliance amongst China based SMEs. The project is being implemented by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, with the support of the British Standards Institution (BSI), the Sustainable Development Association (SDA) and Vlerick Management School. The workshops aim to improve market access for European and Chinese SMEs involved in the manufacturing and supply of electrical and electronic components, by building their awareness and providing practical training on compliance strategies for the RoHS Directive.

With the EU directive recently coming into effect, the Chinese government itself is in the latter stages of developing its own directive, expected to come into force on March 1st, 2007. The requirements and scope of these two legislations will vary; however, for the time being the exact details of the compliance procedures and exemptions in the Chinese RoHS are still to be finalised.

In response to requests from EU industry and the expressed interest of the Chinese authorities, the European Commission (DG Trade in close cooperation with DG Environment, DG Enterprise and Industry) as well as their Chinese counterparts (coordinated by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce) are preparing a bi-lateral conference on Chinese and European RoHS, which will be implemented as part of the Asia Invest II workshop series. The conference will therefore be organised by the European Chamber, with the EU-China Trade Programme (EUCTP) providing additional support and funding.

The aim of the conference is to provide a platform to discuss and better understand the European and Chinese legislations as well as their compliance requirements. It will also be an opportunity for the European Union authorities to share experiences and discuss issues related to the Chinese legislation with their Chinese counterparts. Follow-up activities are planned aimed at addressing compatibility issues and the reduction of compliance cost on both sides.

Following the conference in Beijing, workshops will be organised in Shanghai on December 7th - 8th and Guangzhou on December 11th - 12th that will provide technical assistance to those engaged in the manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment in complying with the European ROHS Directive, with a particular focus on SMEs.

For more information on the conference and following workshops, please visit