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WEEE and RoHS: An Overview

Companies selling electrical and electronic goods in the European Union must conform to the EU legislation for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The two most important directives are:

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which sets out the responsibilities of EEE producers for the collection and recycling of their products at the end of their lifecycle.

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), which bans the use of certain hazardous substances (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and some polybrominated flame retardants) in EEE.

Each directive imposes obligations and outcomes that EU Member States must achieve. However, neither directive dictates how the Member States must fulfill their obligations. Therefore, when exporting to Europe, U.S. exporters need to be mindful that national rules for implementing each directive will differ from country to country.

WEEE and RoHS Directives are complex pieces of legislation that apply to a similar range of products.

This website provides information on the scope of the Directives, requirements for producers, links to amendments, as well as additional on-line resources.

In publishing these webpages, the U.S. Department of Commerce aims to assist U.S. companies in selling EEE to the EU. To complement this information, the U.S. Department of Commerce has published a report giving an overview of WEEE and RoHS. For a copy of the report, please send an email to: Office.BrusselsEC@trade.gov.

WEEE

The revised WEEE Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on July 24, 2012. The new legislation is often called the “WEEE Recast Directive”.

For further information about the WEEE Recast Directive, including a text of the new legislation, please visit our website by clicking here.

RoHS

The revised RoHS Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on January 7, 2011. Although it is also considered a “recast” Directive, it is more commonly known as the “RoHS II Directive”.

For further information about the RoHS II Directive, including a text of the new legislation, please visit our website by clicking here.

WEEE/RoHS country-by-country information

The EU’s WEEE and RoHS Directives are implemented in EU Member States countries by national WEEE and RoHS regulations. Therefore, we encourage U.S. companies to get further information on WEEE and RoHS in the countries where they seek to export.

For further information about WEEE and/or RoHS, including country specific requirements please send an e-mail to Office.BrusselsEC@trade.gov. Please also feel free to contact the Commercial Service office in the country you are seeking to do business. This link will take you to a country-by-country listing of all Commercial Service offices.   

For companies seeking in-depth technical or legal assistance with compliance issues relating to WEEE and RoHS, the Commercial Service provides a list of Business Service Providers who have track records in providing multi-country solutions and services. You can access our list of Business Services Providers by clicking here.

*Page last updated on January 23, 2018.


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