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EU agrees revisions on hazardous substances in electrical equipment

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EU agrees revisions on hazardous substances in electrical equipment

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(BRUSSELS) - The EU Council and Parliament reached provisional agreement Wednesday on a proposal for a revised directive on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

"With this new legislation, we are improving the prevention and management of waste and encouraging the reuse and recycling of those products and materials in the EU," said Maltese minister Jose Herrera, for the EU presidency.

The new directive revises the scope of the Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS 2). It includes amendments aimed at establishing equal treatment of products covered by the Directive, proposes to exclude a particular product: pipe organs; and specifically, addresses concerns arising from the "open-scope" product group.

The main purpose of the amended text is to address a number of problems which were identified in the evaluation carried out by the Commission in relation to the scope of the Directive. Specifically, it will ensure the possibility of secondary market operations (e.g. reselling, second-hand market) for electrical and electronic equipment that were newly covered by RoHS 2 and the use of spare parts for such equipment if they are put on the market before 22 July 2019.

Both the Council and the European Parliament are in favour of the approach followed by the Commission not to widen the scope of this revision and leave, as scheduled, the general review of the Directive for 2021. In the agreed text, the Commission is required to carry out this general review of RoHS2 by 22 July 2021.

In relation to applications for the renewal of an exemption warranted under the directive, the Commission will also have to inform applicants on the expected timing of the decision-making process.

The deal still has to be approved by the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee, following which the new directive has to be formally adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.

The legislative act will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

RoHS Directive 2011/65/EC

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