EU presidency seeks to scrap RoHS ‘priority list’

EU presidency seeks to scrap RoHS ‘priority list’

Source: ENDS | Published on: Tuesday 5 October 2010
Dave Keating

The prospect of a first reading agreement on new EU rules for hazardous substances in electronics (RoHS) appeared dim this week as  the Belgian EU presidency proposed to abandon a list of priority substances that may eventually be banned.

Such a list was included in the European Commission’s original proposal, but it only included four substances of very high concern.

In June the parliament’s environment committee voted to drastically expand this list  to 37 substances.

In the latest Belgian proposal, seen by ENDS, the four original substances proposed by the EU executive are instead mentioned in a recital saying their risks should be considered in the future. Most member states support this, ENDS understands.

The Belgian text also contains no ban on nanosilver, which MEPs had voted to include on a list of banned substances appearing in annex 4 of the RoHS directive. There are no labelling requirements for

material containing nanomaterials as proposed by MEPs, and no obligation to provide safety data on such materials to the commission.

The next trialogue meeting on the issue is scheduled for Thursday. On Wednesday member states will prepare their position at working group level, and separately, the shadow rapporteurs in the parliament will meet to discuss their position. There is also disagreement between the two institutions over the start date for an ‘open scope’

The shadow rapporteurs did not want to discuss the presidency’s proposal before they meet. But centre-right MEPs were opposed to the addition of a large number of substances to the priority list and may be receptive to scrapping the list altogether. Green MEPs have indicated they are open to removing some substances from this list.

Follow-up: Belgian presidency of the EU