At last there seems to be a reason to follow the developments around the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) rules in China.

The China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has published a draft version of the revised “Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products” on 18 May. The public comment period for the draft ends on 17 June 2015.

The draft looks to replace the commonly referenced China RoHS 1 with China RoHS 2. The RoHS reference arises from similarities to the RoHS Directive in the European Union.

The key requirements can be split into two areas:

Hazardous substance threshold limits for lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers and….

Labeling and information disclosure requirements involving products, parts, component and material hazardous substance content and product “environmental protection use periods”

The labelling and information disclosure requirements for specific electronic products have been in place since March 2007 while the hazardous substance content limits have yet to be implemented.

The document published on 18 May could bring in a number of changes including expanding / adjusting the scope to focus on electrical and electronic products along the lines of RoHS1 in Europe and exclude product areas as appropriate. Re-introduce packaging material standard conformity requirements that had been removed in earlier drafts and removing the “products manufactured for export” exemption included in China RoHS 1.

The hazardous substance content limits will not become effective under China RoHS 2 until a specified time following the announcement of the Compliance Management Catalogue.

Watch this space.