How is RoHS certified?
In terms of RoHS certification and labeling, there are two possible methods to ensure compliance of a product with the requirements of the (EU) RoHS-Directive and the China RoHS respectively, which are:
1) Self-certification by the manufacturer or
2) Certification by third party testing agencies
Self-certification is stipulated in the EU RoHS-Directive and presumes that each manufacturer ensures the compliance of his products with the RoHS-requirement by his own means.
In the absence of a mandatory requirement for independent testing bodies, this approach implies great trust by the legislators in the manufacturers, yet is easy to abuse such a regulation and thus requires continuous verification by the enforcement agency to check the veritability of the self-certifications.
However, manufacturers can still use the services of independent third party testing bodies to receive certifications and market their products with these certificates..
The Chinese regulation on RoHS (China RoHS) rejects the self-certification approach and demands mandatory certification by independent third party testing agencies.
The EU RoHS does to date not require labeling and there is no RoHS labeling standard, therefore many manufacturers adopt their own RoHS-conformity labels. This chaotic loophole of different – and for consumers and enforcing agencies certainly confusing – RoHS labels has been discussed during the creation process of the RoHS2-Directive, yet after it was passed in May 2011 and came into effect in the end of 2012, there was no specific standard label (template) implemented in the Directive, thus manufacturers can use their own RoHS labels.
In China, RoHS compliance is indicated through the Electronic Information Products (EIP) label including an Environment Friendly Use Period (EFUP) label. EFUP refers to the time after which a RoHS-containing product is likely face leaking out of these substances.
EFUP-labeled products have a circle within which the duration (in years) before this leaking is indicates, so for example an encircled 8 indicates that the RoHS-substances in this product are likely to leak out after 8 years.
EFUP labels with an encircled green “e” indicate that the RoHS substances in the related product are below the maximum concentration limits (<100ppm or 1000ppm respectively).