European market surveillance authorities meet in Tampere
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) is hosting a meeting of the European market surveillance authorities in Tampere on 27 March 2012. Attended by representatives from ten EU member states and Norway, the meeting seeks to find joint rules for the surveillance of the use of environmentally hazardous substances in electrical and electronic products.
Electrical equipment shall not contain substances that are hazardous to the environment. In the European Union, the use of such substances in electrical and electronic products is restricted by the RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances). The Directive applies to certain electrical and electronic articles brought into the market after 1 July 2006. The meeting in Tampere focuses on the precisions made to the regulations, as the RoHS 2 Directive became effective in summer 2011.
– The new Directive lays down more precisely the procedures the manufacturers and importers shall use in order to prove that the product does not contain environmentally hazardous substances. Furthermore, once the relevant transitional periods have come to an end, the restrictions apply to a much wider selection of electrical and electronic equipment than before, says Senior Adviser Tiia Salamäki from Tukes.
In Finland, the national legislation based on the RoHS 2 Directive enters into force on 2 January 2013. The Directive is harmonised across the EU, which means that the text content is the same for all the EU member states, although each of them will follow their own methods in enacting the national legislation.
– In the meeting, we try to harmonise the interpretation of the law. We also discuss the products tested in different countries and the deficiencies found. The exchange of information gives us perspective on how to determine which products should be tested in Finland, says Salamäki.
The meeting also aims at deciding on continued joint market surveillance projects in Europe. The earlier projects have been successful e.g. in revealing toys that contained excessive amounts of lead.
– Environmentally hazardous substances cannot be seen with naked eye. Authorities therefore send products to be examined by testing laboratories. The hazardous substance is often discovered inside the product, e.g. in solder materials, Salamäki says.
For more information:
Tiia Salamäki, Senior Adviser, tel. 010 605 2632