WEEE/RoHS and Other EU Legislation and Their Likely Effects on the Semiconductor Industry

Sweatman, Andrew

The European Union’s Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Subsatnce (RoHS) Directives impose unprecedented regulatory restrictions on substances used in the manufacturing of electronics and the entire global electronics industry supply chain. Manufacturers and their suppliers must comply with significant, and potentially costly, compliance requirements in order to meet the deadlines that are occurring in 2005 and 2006. Like many new sweeping regulations, the means of compliance are not clear. For example, clear requirements for implementation are not yet provided, specifically what actions will constitute “compliance.” This makes it not only difficult to prove RoHS compliance to regulatory bodies but just as importantly to customers. Europe is just the beginnning of such compliance requiremnts. China, Japan, Korea, and the USA and other jurisdictions are developing similar laws. In addition, the EU is also proposing significant new regulations on chemical registration and risk assessment (REACh) and energy efficiency (Directive on the eco-design of Energy-using Products [EuP]), which will also have significant effects on this industry. In the absence of well-defined statutory or regulatory guidance, implementation of a best management practice approach that incorporates the common compliance activities of industry leaders may prove a valuable corporate strategy. This program will provide ESHconnect (a leader in providing web-based compliance data) and Agile (A provide or Product Lifecycle Management solutions) will present a process for developing and implementing a strategy for compliance. The session will provide both the legal framework and strategies for actual establishing a compliance system. Where possible, the presenters will include case studies of how companies in the global electronics supply chain are implenting such plans as part of their ESH, Sustainability, and/or Product Lifecycle Management programs.

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