SMART Group 6th Annual Lead-Free Seminar and Table-Top Exhibition, 3 February 2004, High Wycombe

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




Ling, J. (2004), "SMART Group 6th Annual Lead-Free Seminar and Table-Top Exhibition, 3 February 2004, High Wycombe", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 16 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

SMART Group 6th Annual Lead-Free Seminar and Table-Top Exhibition, 3 February 2004, High Wycombe

SMART Group 6th Annual Lead-Free Seminar and Table-Top Exhibition, 3 February 2004, High Wycombe

Keywords: SMART Group, Seminars, Lead-free soldering

A packed house, a sell-out event. 179 delegates from all over the UK reflected the rising tide of concern with a subject that has been well-aired, not least by the SMART Group, but which has yet to find commercial application in the field in this country.

The first of the eight excellent speakers was Steve Andrews from the DTI who spoke about The RoHS Directive – Consultation, Compliance & Enforcement.

Steve Andrews comes from the DTI Recycling Policy Unit and he highlighted the six key issues to be decided upon, of which more later. He explained the RoHS Directive, and the six hazardous substances, lead, mercury, etc. He looked at the scope of the RoHS Directive, and informed the delegates that there would be UK regulations in place by August 2004. The consultation period is now nearly over, he said, and the draft regulations and non-statutory guidance would be issued in the spring of this year.

The six key issues are as follows:

  • Scope – there are ten broad categories in the WEEE directive. Where topics fall is clear in 90 per cent of cases, but there is a significant 10 per cent that fall into the "grey areas". Debate at EU level is difficult, but the DTI is hopeful that they will get the EU to agree upon a list of criteria that member states might use, by end of March. Typically it is the UK which lead the debate!

  • Definition of producer – the definitions are as follows:

    • one who manufactures and sells own brand

    • one who resells under own brand

    • one who imports or exports into the EU

    BUT there is a problem with inter-EU trade, internet sales and with how it fits into the WEEE directive. The deadline of 1 July 2006 will apply to all member states, including those many Eastern European countries who are yet to be become full EC members.

  • Put onto the marketArticle 4.1 of the RoHS applies here. It will apply to the following:

    • all equipment leaving the manufacturers premises after this date;

    • all equipment on sale to the final user;

    • goods leaving the factory gate (or entering the EU);

    For full details refer to the EC Blue Book which is available on the Internet

    • Historic equipment will have to comply regardless.

  • Maximum concentration valuesProposed levels are as follows:

    • 0.1 per cent for lead, hexavalent chromium and mercury;

    • 0.01 per cent for cadmium;

    • 0.1 per cent for PBBs and PBDEs.

    Steve asked, "what does homogenous material mean?" His understanding is that "by weight in homogenous materials" probably is the wording that will be accepted.

    Steve said to the delegates that if any of them had any thoughts on this subject, he would be pleased to have them, even though the deadline for consultation had now passed.

  • ComplianceThere is a UK contract underway with ERA Technology for the TAC study on enforcement. There are several methods that have been proposed. They are as follows:

    • self-certification by manufacturers;

    • backed up by EU standards on agreed tests;

    • standards on reporting formats;

    • exchange of information.

    However, there is no point in UK-only tests, and none of these by itself is the answer, it will be a mix and match. Self-certification is the way forward possibly.

  • Enforcement

    • There will need to be an enforcement body;

    • There will need to be an enforcement approach;

    • There will need to be testing methods. These exist, but which ones are the best and give the best results?

    Steve said that he understood that the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry would be responsible for enforcement, the Trading Standards Officers Association (TSOA) having rejected the wearing of this particular mantle.

For further information about Envirowise, contact Tel: 0800 585794; Web site:

In response to a question "Is there equivalent legislation in the USA?" he said that yes, there was, needless to say it had started in California, but was being looked at in the other United States, and both China and Japan were establishing full legislation on RoHS policy.

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