RoHS Requirements in the United States: An Overview

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RoHS Requirements in the United States

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) sets restrictions on certain heavy metals and chemicals in electronic components. While the RoHS Directive is originally an EU Directive, many US states have implemented similar RoHS restrictions.

In this guide, we cover RoHS requirements in California, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and other states.

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What is RoHS?

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is, originally, an EU directive that restricts the use of certain hazardous substances, such as heavy metals, phthalates, and flame retardants, in electrical and electronic equipment.

Here is the list of substances restricted by the EU RoHS Directive, and the respective maximum allowed concentration:

  • Lead < 0.1% by weight
  • Mercury < 0.1% by weight
  • Hexavalent Chromium < 0.1% by weight
  • Cadmium < 0.01% by weight
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) < 0.1% by weight
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) < 0.1% by weight
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) < 0.1% by weight
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) < 0.1% by weight
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) < 0.1% by weight
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) < 0.1% by weight

Certain states in the US have enacted regulations that are based on the EU RoHS Directive, such as:

  • California
  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin

Most of these states only restrict some of the substances covered by the EU RoHS Directive, such as heavy metals.

The EU RoHS Directive applies to most electrical and electronic equipment, including electronic parts and plastic casing. Below we list some examples of covered products:

However, US states limit the scope of their regulation to some selected electronics. For example, Indiana’s code only covers video display devices.

Importers and manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the electronic products do not contain an excessive amount of restricted substances. This can be done by arranging RoHS testing via reputable testing companies such as SGS and Intertek.

They are also responsible to comply with additional requirements, which in the case of RoHS might include reporting, registration, and more.

California RoHS Law

The California RoHS Law is enacted by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and applies to companies that sell covered electronic devices in California.

Covered Products

The DTSC has identified and listed nine categories of covered electronic devices. The list of devices includes:

  • Cathode ray tube containing devices
  • Cathode ray tubes (CRTs)
  • Computer monitors containing CRTs
  • LCD containing laptop computers
  • LCD containing desktop monitors
  • Televisions containing CRTs
  • Televisions containing LCD screens
  • Plasma televisions
  • Portable DVD players with LCD screens

Substance Restrictions

The California RoHS Law requires that covered electronic devices must meet the heavy metals’ restrictions set out under the EU’s RoHS Directive. Here is the list of restricted substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium

Registration and Reporting

Manufacturers are required to submit an annual report to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB). The report should include at least the following information:

  • Product SKU
  • Manufacturer contact of information
  • Concentration of restricted substances in the product
  • Lab testing report

New York – Electronic Equipment Recycling And Reuse Act

New York adopted certain EU RoHS substance limitations under the Electronic Equipment Recycling And Reuse Act. Therefore, manufacturers should verify the amount of restricted substances in their devices before selling in the state.

Manufacturers who assemble and sell less than one thousand units of the covered products do not fall under the scope of the act.

Covered Product

The Electronic Equipment Recycling And Reuse Act provides a list of covered electronic devices as follow:

  • Computers
  • Computer peripheral
  • Small electronic equipment
  • Small-scale servers
  • Cathode ray tubes
  • Televisions

Substance Restrictions

The restrictions apply to the following substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

Registration and Reporting

The Act requires manufacturers of covered devices to submit an online registration via the E-waste Online Registration and Reporting System. Here is a summary of the requirements:

  • Registration fee
  • Provide an electronic waste acceptance program
  • Documentation record
  • Annual report

New Jersey – Electronic Waste Management Act

The New Jersey’s Electronic Waste Management Act has adopted some of the EU RoHS substance restrictions for certain electronic devices. The Act prohibits the sale of covered electronic devices if the amount of restricted substances exceeds the maximum value set up under the EU RoHS Directive.

Covered Products

The Act covers electronic devices such as:

  • Desktop or personal computers
  • Computer monitors
  • Portable computers
  • Televisions

Substance Restrictions

The Act requires compliance with the limitations of heavy metals set out by the EU RoHS Directive:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium

Registration and Reporting

Manufacturers should submit an online registration application via the E-cycle New Jersey portal. During the registration process, manufacturers should provide at least the following information:

  • Manufacturer contact information
  • Product description
  • Compliance statement

Also, the Act requires a semi-annual report. The E-Cycle portal provides guidelines and forms on the semiannual reporting page. Here is some information that should be included in the report:

  • Manufacturer contact information
  • Authorized recycler contact information
  • Progress towards achieving obligation
  • Testing reports

Illinois – Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act

The Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act adopted some of the EU RoHS substance limitations for certain categories of electronic devices sold in Illinois. Manufacturers should ensure compliance under the Act and register with the relevant authorities.

Covered Products

The Act covers a wide range of electronic devices sold in Illinois. Here are some examples of the covered products:

  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Televisions
  • Video game consoles
  • Scanners
  • Printers

Substance Restrictions

The Act requires that covered electronic devices should comply with the EU RoHS substance limitations, for the following substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)

Registration and Reporting

The Act requires manufacturers of covered electronic devices to register with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. You can find the registration form on the agency’s official website.

Also, manufacturers of covered electronic devices should provide an annual report to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which should contain information such as:

  • Annual e-waste program plan
  • Manufacturer’s transportation & recycling report
  • Compliance statement

Indiana E-Waste Law

The Indian E-Waste Law (IC 13-20.5) establishes a state-wide program for the collection and recycling of e-waste, which also include substance restrictions for video display devices sold in the state according to the EU RoHS Directive limits.

Covered Products

The law covers any video display devices sold in Indiana, such as for example:

  • Computer laptops
  • Monitors
  • Video game consoles
  • Televisions

Substance Restrictions

The law requires that the amount of restricted substances in video display devices should not exceed the maximum concentration limits set out by the EU RoHS Directive, for the following substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)

Registration and Reporting

Video display devices manufacturers should register online via the IDEM’s Re-TRAC portal and disclose the level of compliance with RoHS of their products.

Minnesota – Waste Management

Chapter 115A of the Minnesota Statute (Waste Management) covers requirements for covered electronic devices, which include registration program, reporting, and substance limitations.

Covered Products

The statute applies to certain video display devices sold in Minnesota, which include products such as:

  • Televisions
  • Computer monitors
  • Cell-phones
  • Videodisc players

Substance Restrictions

The statute requires that manufacturers should ensure that their devices do not exceed the maximum concentration values established under the EU RoHS Directive, for the following substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

Registration and Reporting

The statute requires video display devices manufacturers to register via the Pollution Control Agency website. They should disclose whether any covered electronic devices contain restricted substances in an amount that exceeds the maximum allowed value.

You can find the registration form and reporting guidance on the Pollution Control Agency website.

Rhode Island – Electronic Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling Act

Rhode Island’s Electronic Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling Act sets out electronic waste requirements for certain electronic products, including registration, and substance restrictions.

Covered Products

The Act covers products such as the following:

  • Computers (including central processing unit or CPU)
  • Computer monitors
  • Printers
  • Tablets
  • Televisions

Substance Restrictions

The Act requires compliance with the limitations set by the EU RoHS Directive, for the following substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated diphenyl (PBBs)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

Registration and Reporting

The Act requires manufacturers of covered products to register with the Department of Environmental Management of Rhode Island. Manufacturers should register via the eCycle Registration System. The registration process requires submitting a compliance statement for any relevant electronic product.

Wisconsin – Electronic Waste Recycling

The Wisconsin Statute Chapter 287.17 – Electronic Waste Recycling requires that manufacturers of covered products should register with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Also, it requires manufacturers to disclose the level of compliance with the substance restrictions set out by the EU RoHS Directive.

Covered Products

The RoHS requirements apply to certain electronic products such as:

  • Televisions
  • Desktop printers
  • Computer monitors
  • Computer accessories
  • E-readers
  • DVD players
  • Fax machines

Substance Restrictions

According to the statute, manufacturers should ensure compliance with the substance restrictions set by the EU RoHS Directive for the following substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Cadmium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

Registration and Reporting

Manufacturers should submit an annual registration form to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. You can find the registration guidelines on the Department of Natural Resources website, which includes information on who must register, registering and reporting requirements, and fees.

  • (USA & EU)

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

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