On February 26, 2021, the European Commission published an omnibus regulatory update ((EU) 2021/341) that impacts several EU ecodesign implementing measures. The updates are intended to clarify certain technical aspects and in some cases provide verification requirements for enforcement. Although the changes are intended to be minor clarifications (from the Commission’s perspective), some manufacturers have indicated that certain changes are significant new technical requirements (from their perspective).
It amends ecodesign regulations: Regulations (EU) 2019/424, (EU) 2019/1781, (EU) 2019/2019, (EU) 2019/2020, (EU) 2019/2021, (EU) 2019/2022, (EU) 2019/2023 and (EU) 2019/2024, covering a broad range of products:
- servers and data storage products,
- electric motors and variable speed drives,
- refrigerating appliances,
- light sources and separate control gears,
- electronic displays,
- household dishwashers,
- household washing machines and household washer-dryers and
- refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function.
ECHA delayed the availability of the viewing portal to the content of the SCIP database. Statement from ECHA:
Due to unforeseen issues in deploying technology for ECHA’s website on which the SCIP Dissemination Portal will also run, the release originally foreseen for the end of February will be delayed.
We are committed to providing greater transparency on the presence of hazardous substances in products and will communicate a new release date as soon as possible.
There is no forecast date provided.
Update: on the March 25, 2021 SCIP IT User Group meeting, ECHA stated that there were technical issues with the user portal and that they could not commit to a specific date.
Last month we reported on the upcoming restriction in the U.S. of Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1) (CAS 68937-41-7) in articles. Early indication is that PIP 3:1 may be contained in a number of EEE products – wire sheathing and foam gaskets are emerging as key examples. However, most manufacturers don’t know the full extent of the potential applications given that this substance is not restricted anywhere else. This created a risk for product manufacturers, importers, and distributers as of March 8th, 2021.
There are a few exclusions to the restriction including “Processing and distribution in commerce for use as an adhesive and sealant until January 6, 2025, after which such activity is prohibited”, but there are still several EEE applications not covered by an exclusion.
EPA delays enforcement
On the same day that the PIP 3:1 restriction came into effect, the EPA announced a 180-day “No Action Assurance” on the restriction of PIP 3:1. This is EPA’s way of saying that they will not enforce the restriction during this time. The “No Action Assurance” was done in conjunction with launching an additional 60-day comment period to collect new input on the five PBT substances which were the subject of final rules under the U.S. TSCA regulation.
The press release states “the agency will exercise its enforcement discretion regarding the prohibitions on processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles, and the articles to which PIP (3:1) has been added.”
The EPA acknowledges that there are newly raised issues that need to be considered with regard to the restriction in articles.
The EPA announcement is available on their news releases.
 EPA announcement, https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-seeks-public-comment-protecting-human-health-and-environment-pbt-chemicals
The European Commission has requested European Standards Organizations to develop standards to address several ecodesign requirements for servers and data storage products. Table 1 below lists the standards requested in the Commission’s mandate.
Table 1: List of new harmonized standards to be developed
| ||Reference Information||Deadline for Adoption
|8||European standardisation deliverable on the characterisation of the Processor Power Management functionality of servers. ||2023-01-31
|7||European standardisation deliverable on the measurement and calculation of the efficiency, performance and power demand of data storage products ||2023-01-31
|6||European standard(s) for the verification of compliance with the requirement on the ability of servers and data storage products to be disassembled. ||2023-01-31
|5||European standard(s) for the verification of compliance with the requirement for the provision of information on the weight range of critical raw materials. ||2023-01-31
|4||European standard(s) for the verification of compliance with the requirement for the availability of firmware and of security updates to firmware for servers and data storage products. ||2023-01-31
|3||European standard(s) for the verification of compliance with the requirement for a secure data deletion functionality for servers and data storage products. ||2023-01-31
|2||European standard(s) on the measurement and calculation of the operating condition class of servers and data storage products. ||2023-01-31
|1||European standard on the measurement and calculation of the power supply unit efficiency, the power factor and the rated power output of the power supply unit. ||2023-01-31
The UK government issued a notice (0037/21 of 1 January 2021) confirming that IEC 63000 is the appropriate standard to use for compiling and demonstrating technical documentation for the UK RoHS regulation. The notice is part of the UK’s Brexit update to its regulations and came into effect on January 1, 2021. The notice also states that EN 50581 may continue to be used until November 18, 2021.
The notice is available on the UK government website.
 UK Notice on RoHS, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/942086/ds-0037-21-rohs-notice.pdf
In January 2021, the U.S. EPA published final rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA), restricting five PBT substances (see table below).
One of the substances, phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1), is used in EEE for various applications and its restriction in articles is being raised as a concern for the EEE industry due to a very short restriction timeline (March 8, 2021). Several exemptions were requested and approved for PIP 3:1 when used in lubricants and fluids (e.g., for aircraft and automobiles), but there was little attention put on the substances use in imported articles.
Several industry associations have contacted the EPA for clarification, and if the substances are restricted in articles, to request an extension of the deadline. The most immediate issue being that the timeline isn’t even sufficient to check with the supply chain as to whether or not PIP 3:1 is present in parts, let alone to redesign if present.
Table 1: PBT substances restricted by U.S. EPA
|Substance name||CAS number||Typical EEE Applications||Restriction Date||Link to Final Rule
|2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP)||732-26-3||Antioxidant in rubber and plastics, heat stabilizer for polyethylene, polypropylene, and high impact polystyrene||January 6, 2026||https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/06/2020-28690/246-tristert-butylphenol-246-ttbp-regulation-of-persistent-bioaccumulative-and-toxic-chemicals-under
|Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)||1163-19-5||Already restricted under EU RoHS Directive||January 6, 2022||https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/06/2020-28686/decabromodiphenyl-ether-decabde-regulation-of-persistent-bioaccumulative-and-toxic-chemicals-under
|Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)||87-68-3||March 8, 2021||https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/06/2020-28693/hexachlorobutadiene-hcbd-regulation-of-persistent-bioaccumulative-and-toxic-chemicals-under-tsca
|Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP)||133-49-3||January 6, 2022||https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/06/2020-28689/pentachlorothiophenol-pctp-regulation-of-persistent-bioaccumulative-and-toxic-chemicals-under-tsca
|Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1) (PIP 3:1)||68937-41-7||Flame retardant in flexible polyurethane foam in consumer products, lubricant, hydraulic fluid.||March 8, 2021||https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/06/2020-28692/phenol-isopropylated-phosphate-31-pip-31-regulation-of-persistent-bioaccumulative-and-toxic
One of the other restricted substances (decaBDA) is already restricted under the EU RoHS Directive and should not be an issue for EEE products that are RoHS compliant.
Several of the substances have restriction dates that vary depending on the application, therefore manufacturers should check the published final rules for their specific applications.
Impact on EEE Manufacturers
Of the five restricted substances, PIP 3:1 is the highest risk for EEE manufacturers. Products with motors or other moving parts that require lubrication are a risk of containing the substances. Parts made of polyurethane foam or PVC (such as wire sheathing) should also be investigated with a request to the supplier. Additional information about other applications may emerge over the next couple months as manufacturers enquire with their supply chains. However, the March 8th deadline to identify components that contain PIP 3:1 and re-design the products to comply is not realistic.
During the January 28 SCIP IT User Group meeting, ECHA reported that there were over seven million successful SCIP submissions, with the largest number of monthly submissions occurring in December (Figure 1). About half of the submissions have been Simplified SCIP Notifications (SSN) made by importers and distributers.
Figure 1: SCIP submissions to date
ECHA also provided a breakdown of the most common submission errors – the most frequent error being “[BR719] Same notification cannot be submitted multiple times”.
The complexity of some submissions and the number of levels of hierarchy being included was raised as a concern by ECHA. They emphasized that the submission hierarchy should be as simple as possible while meeting the basic requirement for recyclers to be able to locate SVHCs within the product. To control the complexity of submission, ECHA has imposed a limit of 1000 documents (elements of information) per submission.
ECHA was non-committal on exactly when the user portal to search for product information in the SCIP database will be available. They had previously indicated February 2021 for the release, but are now saying that it is currently a high priority for the “next months”.
In November 2020, the Saudi Arabian Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO) notified the WTO of a proposed RoHS regulation. Technical requirements are similar to EU RoHS with the following product categories proposed in the scope:
- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- Information and communication technology equipment
- Lighting equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools
- Leisure, recreation and sports equipment
- Monitoring and control tools.
Exclusions are proposed for medical devices, military equipment, large-scale stationary industrial tools, large scale fixed installations and aerospace equipment.
Manufacturers should note that that the proposed regulation has more prescriptive conformity assessment requirements than EU RoHS, including:
- a quality management system
- certificate of conformity (Type 1a per IEC / ISO 17067) and related test report
- technical file that includes the supplier DoC, risk assessment, warning and manuals
Documents must be submitted to the relevant authority. This is similar, although not identical to UAE RoHS which came into effect a couple of years ago. The WTO notification references applicable harmonized standards IEC 63000 (technical documentation), IEC 62321-X (test methods), and IEC 62474 (material declaration).
On January 19, 2021, ECHA added two new SVHCs to the REACH Candidate List. The newly added SVHCs are listed in Table 1. Three references substances were identified by ECHA for the substance group “Dioctyltin dilaurate, …”; these are show as a bulleted list under the substance group name in the table.
Table 1: Two SVHCs added to REACH Candidate List
|Substance name||Description||EC No. ||CAS No.||Typical EEE Applications
|Dioctyltin dilaurate, stannane, dioctyl-, bis(coco acyloxy) derivs., and any other stannane, dioctyl-, bis(fatty acyloxy) derivs. wherein C12 is the predominant carbon number of the fatty acyloxy moiety|
· dioctyltin dilaurate; stannane, dioctyl-, bis(coco acyloxy) derivs.
· Stannane, dioctyl-, bis(coco acyloxy) derivs.
· Dioctyltin dilaurate
|Stabilisers and catalysts in the production of e.g. plastics and rubber. Used for the manufacture of the follow article categories: plastic products, fabrics, textiles, apparel, and leather. Professional application of coatings and inks.
|Bis(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl)ether||205-594-7||143-24-8||Solvent in electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries, solvent in other manufacturing process (example: solder flux).
The IEC 62474 Validation Team (VT62474) reviewed and concluded that both substances are potential constituents of materials in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).
 REACH Candidate List, https://echa.europa.eu/candidate-list-table
South Korea published on November 24, 2020 Decree No. 31184 amending the Enforcement Ordinance on the Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles Act 2007, Presidential Decree No. 20480, 2007. The amendment adds 23 new products to the list of products subject to the substance restrictions and adds restrictions for the four phthalate substances (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP) that are already restricted under EU RoHS.
The newly included products (unofficial translation) are:
- electric kettle,
- electric water heater,
- electric frying pan,
- hair dryer,
- security camera,
- food dryer,
- electric massage machine,
- foot bath,
- sewing machine,
- video game machine,
- wireless router,
- bread maker,
- navigation display device,
- beam projector,
- coffee maker,
- hot pot,
- vending machine.
The amendment enters into force on January 1, 2021, but new substance restrictions in Annex 1-2 and exemptions in Annex 2 enter into force on July 1, 2021.
 Korea RoHS amendment, https://gwanbo.mois.go.kr/ezpdf/customLayout.jsp?contentId=00000000000000001605852807630000&tocId=00000000000000001605852808657000&isTocOrder=N&name=%20%EB%8C%80%ED%86%B5%EB%A0%B9%EB%A0%B9%EC%A0%9C31184%ED%98%B8(%EC%A0%84%EA%B8%B0%C2%B7%EC%A0%84%EC%9E%90%EC%A0%9C%ED%92%88%20%EB%B0%8F%20%EC%9E%90%EB%8F%99%EC%B0%A8%EC%9D%98%20%EC%9E%90%EC%9B%90%EC%88%9C%ED%99%98%EC%97%90%20%EA%B4%80%ED%95%9C%20%EB%B2%95%EB%A5%A0%20%EC%8B%9C%ED%96%89%EB%A0%B9%20%EC%9D%BC%EB%B6%80%EA%B0%9C%EC%A0%95%EB%A0%B9)%20#