The RoHS recast has attempted to address the hotly debated subject of development kits and evaluation boards and their RoHS status.
Article 2 states: “equipment specifically designed solely for the purposes of research and development only made available on a business to business basis”.
The RoHS recast will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union during April 2011 and will be transposed into national law 18 months later.
So, by the end of 2012 these simple, but very popular development boards that are used extensively by the electronics design engineer, will not fall within the scope of the RoHS directive providing they are used for design purposes (as the low cost PCB modules clearly are).
However, until then it is illegal to place non-compliant, currently in scope, evaluation boards and development kits on the EU market.
However, due to the future change in scope it is unlikely that enforcement authorities would take legal action although they would be in their rights to do so.
In terms of WEEE, which started all this debate in Germany, RoHS and WEEE are no longer linked together as before.
Negotiations on the WEEE recast will continue but could well end up in a place quite different from RoHS in respect of scope, although an "open scope" has been agreed in principle in the last few days.
For a comprehensive report see attached below.
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