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WEEE and RoHS: An Overview

Companies selling electrical and electronic goods in the European Union must conform to the EU legislation for electrical and electronic equipments (EEE), which includes:

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which sets out the financial and other responsibilities of EEE producers with regard to the collection and recycling of waste from a broad range of EEE at their end of life.

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), which bans the use of certain hazardous substances (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and some polybrominated flame retardants) in EEE.

Each Directive imposes obligations and outcomes that EU Member States must achieve. However, each Member State may choose the best framework to fulfill its obligations. Therefore, when exporting to Europe, U.S. exporters need to be mindful that national rules for implementing each Directive will differ from country to country.

WEEE and RoHS Directives are complex pieces of legislation that apply to a similar range of products.

This website provides information on the scope of the Directives, requirements for producers, links to amendments, as well as additional on-line resources.

WEEE/RoHS webpages

The revised WEEE Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on July 24, 2012. The new legislation is often called the “WEEE Recast Directive”.

For further information about the WEEE Recast Directive, including a text of the new legislation, please visit our website by clicking here.

The revised RoHS Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on January 7, 2011. Although it is also considered a “recast” Directive, it is more commonly known as the “RoHS II Directive”.

For further information about the RoHS II Directive, including a text of the new legislation, please visit our website by clicking here.

WEEE/RoHS country-by-country information

The EU’s WEEE and RoHS Directives are implemented in EU Member States countries by national WEEE and RoHS regulations, which differ considerably from country to country. Therefore, we strongly urge U.S. companies to get further information on WEEE and RoHS in the countries where they seek to export.

Please note, although Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Turkey are not EU member states, they may have similar legislation.

For further information about WEEE or RoHS, including country specific requirements please send an e-mail to Office.BrusselsEC@trade.gov. Please also feel free to contact the Commercial Service office in the country you are seeking to do business. This link will take you to a country-by-country listing of all Commercial Service offices.   

For companies seeking in-depth technical or legal assistance with compliance issues relating to WEEE and RoHS, the Commercial Service provides a list of Business Service Providers who have track records in providing multi-country solutions and services. You can access our list of Business Services Providers by clicking here.

*Page last updated on May 16, 2013.