Compromise was the name of the game at the final trialogue meeting on the proposed RoHS recast, according to Gary Nevison of Farnell in a blog at Electronics Weekly.
Nevison explains that on the “open scope” issue (a product category 11 would cover all electrical and electronic equipment not captured in categories 1 to 10 unless specifically excluded) a compromise was reached with all products being covered eight years after entry into force.
More comment from Nevison’s blog:
Some Member States were opposed to an open scope, certainly without a full risk assessment, while Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) had called for the scope to be opened in three and a half years.
With this in mind, there will be no early resolution, for example, to the on-going debate around the status of semiconductor development tools and evaluation boards that do not fit into any of the eight current categories.
At the final trialogue meeting of the European Parliament, European Commission and Council of Ministers, MEPs agreed to drop demands for a list of priority substances that would have potentially lead to future bans.
Initially the commission had proposed a list of only four substances but in June the parliament’s environment committee had voted for an increased list of 37 substances including brominated flame retardants, beryllium and PVC. Green groups in particular had wanted further restrictions under the RoHS recast.
It was felt however that the priority list would not have survived the subsequent vote of the full parliament.
MEPs also dropped their request for a ban on nanosilver but still opposed the proposal to allow a new measure of “availability of substitutes within a reasonable amount of time” to be used to grant exemptions. However, it should be used as a secondary consideration to determine the length of an exemption.
It is understood that the Belgian presidency agreed to drop this criterion during the second trialogue meeting but the UK, along with other Member States, had objected.
The presidency will meet with Member States as a matter of urgency to resolve this matter which is the only outstanding issue left over from the third and final trialogue meeting.
So a first reading approval is now likely with entry into force, allowing for transposition, by 2013