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SEMI issues newsletter on China RoHS deadline

Posted: 13 Nov 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International  SEMI  ROHS  Restrictions of Hazardous Substances  Peter Clarke 

The Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International industry organisation (SEMI) has issued a newsletter containing a "regulatory alert" on China's legal Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), saying some of its members need to prepare to act before March 1, 2007.

"If you manufacture or import semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing equipment, components or materials into China, you may be required to meet new environmental labelling requirements by March 1, 2007," the alert reminded readers and went on to point out that China intends to introduce a system of pre-market laboratory testing and certification that is expected to cover the full range of information technology related components and equipment types.

The European Union coined the acronym RoHS and introduced its own regulations on products sold within its boundaries this year—excluding the use of materials such as lead.

The Chinese regulations, although covering the same substances, are likely to differ from the European ones in detail and equipment and components will need supporting documentation in Chinese, SEMI said. "Do not assume your compliance with, or exclusion from, EU RoHS, will result in compliance with or exclusion from China RoHS," warned SEMI.

The first requirement is the application of environmental labels and being able to provide supporting self-declared information in Chinese for each product covering the same six hazardous substances covered by Europe's RoHS legislation. The requirement is set out in the "Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products" law promulgated by the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry on February 28, 2006—commonly known as China RoHS, SEMI said.

However, the detail of how to comply is still being developed in eight supporting standards due to published soon, SEMI said. SEMI stressed that a memo dated March 16 has already stressed that the law applies to all electronic information products and lists over 1,800 specific parts, components, products and materials. The European legislation included some equipment class exceptions in the areas of scientific instrumentation and medical equipment.

The administrative requirement is only a first stage. In a second stage and gradually expanded product catalogue will become subject to a requirement for pre-certification and testing through authorised Chinese laboratories and possibly some China-recognised foreign laboratories

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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