China RoHS 2 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

MIIT issued the long-awaited FAQ covering China RoHS 2. Here's a link to an English translation. While quite welcome, there are some additional items we think need to be clarified.
  • The scope is different from EU RoHS - And it is different from China RoHS 1's scope of "Electronic Information Products". Since the China RoHS 2 definition of "Electrical and Electronic Products" (EEPs) is closer to the definition of "Electrical and Electronic Equipment" provided in EU Directive 2011/65/EU, this gives us a hint. However, a definition is not a scope. The FAQ does define an actual scope, including which EEPs are in scope, and which are out of scope. EEP categories include:

    • Communication equipment, fixed or mobile
    • Professional broadcast and TV equipment (!)
    • Computer and office equipment
    • Household appliances
    • Electronic instruments for monitoring and control applications
    • Industrial electrical and electronic equipment, including monitoring and control equipment
    • Power tools
    • Medical electronics and devices
    • Lighting products, including electric light sources (lamps) and luminaires
    • Sports and entertainment products

    Note that certain exclusions that EU RoHS provides, such as for Large Scale Stationary Industrial Tools (LSSIT) and Large Scale Fixed Installations (LSFI) are not excluded from China RoHS 2.

  • Which substances are restricted? - China RoHS 2 requires disclosure, or restriction for products in the Catalog, of only the first six EU RoHS hazardous substances: lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, mercury, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The four phthalates added to EU RoHS 2 in 2015 are not in the scope of China RoHS 2 hazardous substances. Yet.
  • Are batteries in scope? - They were in China RoHS 1, and they are not in the scope of EU RoHS. So this is an interesting question. As translated by Foley & Lardner, the definition of EEP says that "Power generation, transmission and distribution equipment is excluded [from this definition]." Batteries are power generation devices. So one would think not. In any case, according to the FAQ, batteries are covered in China RoHS 2. Batteries attached permanently to the product are covered under the product's EFUP and, as necessary, should have their own line item in the table. Batteries that are replaceable are treated as a consumable and must have their own EFUP.
  • The requirements are still different from EU RoHS - China RoHS 2 will restrict substances only for EEPs listed in the catalog. The previous China RoHS regulation threatened it, and China RoHS 2 implements it. The requirement for all other EEPs is for a mark and disclosure of any of the six identified hazardous substances and their locations within the product.
  • The initial "Compliance Management Catalog" was produced on March 15, 2018 and restrictions come into force on November 1, 2019. The "conformity assessment system" has finally been published. The requirements have been published (see the Documents page for links) and the website to submit declarations is open.

  • There are no exemptions for EEPs that are not in the catalog. Product that are subject to substance restrictions are defined in the "catalog". The catalog is accompanied by a document that describes the "exemptions". Exemptions are not relevant for the disclosure requirement; only for the restriction requirement.
  • Labels, marks, and disclosure are required - There are three marks required:

    1. A label defines whether or not the products contain any of the six hazardous substances. If they are present, the "Environment-Friendly Use Period" (EFUP) must also be determined and indicated.

    2. A table, in the product documentation, must disclose which hazardous substances are contained in the product and the component(s) they are present in. If you have acquired vague certificates of compliance with EU RoHS or email assurances that the parts you are using are compliant with EU RoHS you do not have the information necessary to correctly define this table. DCA can help you understand the requirements and obtain the right information from your supply chain.

    3. The Date of Manufacture must be marked on the product if the EFUP label is required.

    These requirements are described in detail in SJ/T 11364-2014, available in English on this site.

    Two additional marks are defined for EEPs in the catalog. One is for EEPs which have successfully passed the voluntary third-party certification process, and another is for EEPs which have been self-declared to be compliant.

  • But what about packaging? The packaging requirement was removed from the China RoHS 2 regulation and SJ/T 11364. Instead, reference is made to compliance with national or industry standards for packaging use. Effectively it is now optional (but recommended) per GB/T 18455-2010.
  • The approach to defining the in-force date is different from EU RoHS Beginning July 1, 2016, products coming off the manufacturing line must comply as of the Date of Manufacture. The date of November 1, 2019 for compliance of products in the catalog should be presumed to be the same, but explicit clarification would be welcomed.
  • The penalties are different from EU RoHS - Everyone in the supply chain has responsibilities and is subject to penalties. Government officials also must behave...
  • Is material testing required? - No. In phase one, where disclosure is all that is required, you need to understand which hazardous substances are in your product and where. That information can be collected by asking your suppliers for that data. In phase two, where substance restriction is a requirement for EEPs covered in the catalog, two options are offered:

    • Voluntary third-party certification, which appears to require testing, and
    • Self-declaration, which does not require testing
  • My products are already covered by China RoHS 1; what do I have to do differently for China RoHS 2? At the very least, you have to revise your tables to reference GB/T 26572-2011 instead of SJ/T 11363-2006. If you sell B2B or otherwise are non-consumer product you may have to put the table in your manual or include it with your product instead of placing it on your website. The FAQ for China RoHS 2 does not indicate that placing the table on your company's website is acceptable.
  • The standards that you have to comply with are now available - Visit the Documents page. To keep track of new and revised standards relevant to China RoHS, keep your eye on the CESI China RoHS web page.
  • How will you comply? - Contact Mike Kirschner at DCA for assistance.

Updated December 5, 2019

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