UK – UK RoHS (and Compliance of the Northern Ireland Protocol)

A representative of DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) spoke about the implementation of RoHS in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Some minor changes have occurred with the implementation of UK RoHS. Distributors in the UK who were selling imported products in the UK (imported via an EU country) are now importers instead of distributors. In addition, in selling from the US to Northern Ireland, products must meet EU requirements (the UKCA mark is not required); from NI qualifying Northern Ireland goods[1] can enter GB. Inversely, NI businesses importing goods from GB will need to conform to EU importer obligations. Exemption decisions in the EU will automatically comply in NI.

UK RoHS currently maintains the same restrictions (on 10 substances[2]) as EU RoHS. These restrictions have been applicable for most equipment since 22 July 2019 — the exception being medical devices and monitoring & control instruments for which they will enter into force at the end of 2021 in the UK (22 July 2021 in the EU).

Compliance Marking (CE and UKCA)

The representative said that the UKCA mark does not need to be on products on the market until the beginning of 2023, in the interim they must be accompanied by paperwork demonstrating proof of compliance.

If CE applications were made to the EU before the end of the Implementation period, there is no need to re-apply with DEFRA; the UK has put in a fast-track process to review the EU’s decision and decide whether it will adopt the commission’s decision.

Packaging WEEE and Batteries Reviews

Consultations on WEEE and batteries will occur before end of 2021. DEFRA highlighted that significant changes should be expected in these areas as of 2024, which includes new obligations on online marketplaces; reforms on household and non-household obligations; and emphasis on measures to stimulate the circular economy and incentivise eco-design.

Compliance with UK RoHS

A representative of OPSS said that they have tested 366 targeted products for RoHS compliance ─ 262 of which failed. The failures of the products were caused by issues with:

  • Lead (128/262)
  • Labelling (90/262)
  • Phtalates – DEHP, BDP, DBP & DIBP (52/262)
  • Hexavalent chromium (11/262)
  • Cadmium (4/262)
  • Mercury & PBB/PBDE (0/262)

Tests were performed by accredited test houses in the UK.

[1] Qualifying NI goods,

[2] Using the UKCA Mark,