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The Difference between RohS Regulations and ROHS Standards
All over the world, RoHS is not a standard but a list of regulations restricting the use of certain chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The most popular one is EU RoHS. Other countries have also implemented RoHS regulations:
International organizations have been developing standards to help producers, importers, and third parties assess products against environmental regulations like RoHS. They are what we call here the RoHS standards.
We can divide the RoHS standards into two groups:
- IEC Standards
- ISO Standards
Let's look at their differences and how they can be beneficial to you.
Summary Table of RoHS Standards
|Material Declarations||Samples in Laboratory|
IEC Standards Addressing RoHS
What is IEC?
IEC stands for International Electrotechnical Commission. It is one of the oldest international organizations, more than a century old. Over the years, IEC has published numerous standards to harmonize electrical and electronic practices. As a result, IEC has tremendously facilitated the expansion of technologies.
IEC 62321 Series
This standard family gives a precious method when it comes to testing samples against restricted substances. Every section of IEC 16321 addresses laboratory activities for the determination of RoHS substances:
- IEC 62321-1: Introduction.
- IEC 62321-2: How to dismantle a product and prepare samples at the material level.
- IEC 62321-3-1: XRF method for lead, mercury, cadmium, total chromium (for Cr6+), and total bromine (PBBs and PBDEs) determination.
- IEC 62321-3-2: combustion-ion chromatography (C-IC) for fluorine, bromine, and chlorine chemicals. This method also applies to some EU POP, REACH-SVHC, and California Prop. 65 substances.
- IEC 62321-4: Mercury determination, using CV-AAS, CV-AFS, ICP-OES, and ICP-MS methods.
- IEC 62321-5: Cadmium, lead, and chromium determination, using AAS, AFS, ICP-OES, and ICP-MS methods.
- IEC 62321-6: PBBs and PBDEs determination by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
- IEC 62321-7-1 and 62321-7-2: Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) determination by the colorimetric method.
- IEC 62321-8: Phthalates determination by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using a pyrolizer/thermal desorption accessory (Py-TD-GC-MS). This method serves RoHS 3 and its BBP, DBP, DEHP, and DIBP restrictions.
Standard IEC 62474 - Material Declaration for Products of and for the Electrotechnical Industry gives a harmonized XML format of material declaration. The material declaration requirements include RoHS exemptions. It is also beneficial to REACH SVHC declarations.
We can compare IEC 62474 to the IPC 1752A standard or the Enviropass Product Environmental Compliance (EPEC) Excel Form.
Additionally, IEC maintains the online IEC 62474 database on material declaration where we can find, among other things:
- Declarable Substance List with details on SVHCs, POP substances, REACH Annex XVII restricted chemicals, Ozone Depleting Substances, and more;
- Reference Substance List with their Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS) numbers; and
- Material classes, with the metals, ceramics, glass, resins, rubbers, and other materials that we can find in EEE
This standard gives guidance for evaluation of product with respect to substance-use restrictions in electrical and electronic products. IEC 62476 presents a framework to evaluate EEE against RoHS. You can also use it for other restricted or declarable substances like EU REACH.
You will have to consider:
- The product planning and design;
- The compliance information you can collect and approve;
- The option of analytical (chemical) testing;
- Assembling process and materials;
- The evaluations of EEE;
- The technical file and the results of evaluations
IEC 63000, Technical documentation for the assessment of electrical and electronic products with respect to the restriction of hazardous substances, is a precious standard when it comes to building your technical file to demonstrate compliance against RoHS-like regulations.
It is the paramount standard for complex products with numerous homogeneous materials, and it is risk-assessment based.
ISO Standards Supporting RoHS Compliance
What is ISO?
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization. This international organization is in Geneva, like IEC. It publishes various compliance standards, including quality and environmental ones. Whether it is about manufacturing a product or providing a service, standards represent the best way of carrying a process.
When developing standards, ISO follows the views of experts in the field. Here is a list of some of the corporate preoccupations addressed by ISO:
|Quality management||Increase efficiency and decrease product failures|
|Environmental management||Reduce negative impacts on the environment, decrease waste levels and encourage sustainability|
|Health and safety||Decrease the risks of accidents|
|IT security||Address the safety of sensitive information|
ISO 14000 Family - Environmental Management Standards
The ISO environmental management standards fall under the 14000 family. The 14000 standards help organizations better address their environment-related concerns. In other words, it provides a framework for organizations to support an effective environmental management system. These standards do not apply to one specific industry. Instead, ISO Technical Committees usually design them to help a wide range of sectors.
ISO 14001 is the most well-known of the family as all over the world corporate environmental management systems are ISO 14001 certified.
ISO 14065 gives general principles and requirements for bodies validating and verifying environmental information.
ISO published the first ISO 14065 standard in 2007. Later on, in 2013, a second edition was issued: ISO 14065:2013, which focused on the requirements for validating greenhouse gas (GHG) statements. Then ISO released a new version in 2020: ISO 14065:2020, covering many types of environmental declarations.
Here are the changes in that 2020 edition:
- Broad scope: The scope of the ISO 14065:2020 focuses on the validation procedures of all environmental information and not only greenhouse gases.
- In line with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17029: The ISO/IEC 17029 englobes a set of general principles for the validation process.
- The addition of annexes D, E, and F gives guidance on green bonds, greenhouse gases, and non-financial disclosures.
What are the ISO 14065 Requirements for the Validation Process?
ISO 14065 details seven requirements:
1. General Requirements
The general requirements are about the responsibility of the organization to validate statements appropriately while ensuring impartiality. Impartiality implies an environment where there is no conflict of interest. Legal topics such as legal entity and liability are also some of these legal requirements.
2. Structural Requirements
Structural requirements focus on the structure of the organization and the top management. They also involve operational control in the organization.
Resource requirements are about adequately managing the personnel and their competencies. They also address the possibilities of outsourcing the work.
Programs gives objectives to particular products or activities. ISO 14065 provides requirements to manage these programs.
Process requirements involve various topics, such as dealing with the facts found after the validation process and managing appeals and complaints.
Information requirements are about communication to the public and other bodies. It also considers confidentiality.
7. Management systems
Management system requirements focus on internal audits and possible actions to address the risks and opportunities.
ISO 17000 Series
ISO has created this series to help the industry getting the best practices about conformity assessment in general.
This standard shows General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
Laboratories performing analytical testing can get ISO 17025 certified to demonstrate the quality of their processes, including:
- Ensuring impartiality and confidentiality;
- Getting competent personal and calibrated equipment;
- Taking samples;
- Ensuring the validity of results;
- Implementing internal procedures and management systems;
- And more applicable requirements.
Enviropass is here to help you find the best strategy with the applicable standards.