This guide is based on UK law. It was last reviewed in August 2011.

The Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Regulations (14-page / 79KB PDF) implement the EU's RoHS Directive (5-page / 115KB PDF) that places restrictions on the presence of certain hazardous substances in new electrical and electronic equipment.

The RoHS Regulations ban the marketing of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than the permitted levels of certain hazardous substances. In addition, producers must retain technical documentation showing that their equipment complies with the RoHS Regulations. This documentation must be retained for inspection for four years from the date the equipment is put on the market.

Non-compliance can be a criminal offence, and the RoHS Regulations give wide powers of investigation to the Secretary of State. Powers include the ability to enter and inspect records, and to make test purchases to criminal conviction in the magistrates or crown court.

The 2011 RoHS Directive (110-page / 891KB PDF) clarifies the scope of the legislation. The UK regulator, the National Measurement Office, has indicated that new Regulations to implement the 2011 Directive will be published towards the end of 2012 in line with requirements for member states to implement national measures by January 2013.

See: UK Government website on RoHS