Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS), a directive of the European Union adopted to regulate the use of the certain hazardous substance in Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Initially, the law took effect with 6 substances on 1st July 2006 and is required to be enforced on each EU Member state including the UK. Soon after the scope of EU RoHS was widened and now it covers almost 10 hazardous substances. There were also talks under progress to include 7 more substance groups under the EU RoHS Directive to further its scope.

The formal exit of Britain (BREXIT) from the EU on 31 December 2020 made all the EU RoHS ineffective in Great Britain unless with the approval of the UK Parliament. The Amended version of Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 are to be applied for equipment being supplied in or into Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

The way forward is for businesses placing their Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) on the market of Great Britain (GB) from 1 January 2021. If you are placing an EEE on the market of Northern Ireland, you should read separate guidance which is will soon be posted in a different article. The RoHS Regulations mandates some essential requirements which must be met before an electrical product can be placed on the GB market. The purpose of this regulation is to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances and therefore ultimately keeping them out of the environment.


The EU Withdrawal Act of the UK Parliament preserves the RoHS Regulations and enables them to be amended to continue to function effectively even after Britain’s exit from the EU. Accordingly, The Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, The Waste and Environmental Permitting Regulations 2020, and The Hazardous Substances and Packaging (Legislative Functions and Amendment) Regulations 2020 fix deficiencies in the RoHS Regulations that arose from the UK leaving the EU and make specific provision for the GB market.

The RoHS enforcement agency in the UK is the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS). The enforcement agency even also has the power to issue enforcement notices requiring non-compliant goods to be withdrawn from the GB market. Failing to comply with the RoHS Standards could result in those held responsible for facing imprisonment or a fine up to a maximum of £20000.

Regulation Scope 

1. All EEE is in the scope of this RoHS regulations unless it’s specifically excluded like military equipment etc

2. Only finished products will come under the scope. Component parts will not be under the scope as they are not placed on the market

3. If a part is recovered from EEE which was previously out of scope, RoHS regulation will not be covered for such reused spare parts

Regulated Entities 

The RoHS regulations mandates below economic operators who trade with EEE by placing it in the GB Market.

1. The manufacturer or its authorized representative

2. Importers

3. Distributors (including retailers)

Regulated Substances 

Currently, the UK-RoHS regulation prohibits an economic operator who places an EEE (in GB Market) containing a homogenous material that exceeds the permitted concentration values of any of below 10 substance groups.

Substance in RoHS Directive  Threshold limit (%)
Lead (Pb) 0.1
Mercury (Hg) 0.1
Hexavalent Chromium: (Cr VI) 0.1
Cadmium (Cd) 0.01
Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB) 0.01
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE) 0.01
Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) 0.01
Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) 0.01
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) 0.01
Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) 0.01

Points to be noted if you are a UK based Manufacturer, Authorized Representative, Importer, or a Distributor 

1. The Manufacture is responsible for ensuring compliance of the whole product being placed in the GB Market. They are responsible for producing and maintaining Technical documentation along with a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) which is a signed document that declares the listed product is fully compliant with the mandatory requirements of RoHS regulations. The Manufacturers are also required to place UKCA Marking on the product.

2. The Manufacturers can appoint an Authorized Representative based in the UK to work on their behalf. The tasks assigned to AR should be strictly administrative, for example producing technical documentation to OPSS to demonstrate compliance.

3. UK Importers must ensure the imported EEE complies with the UK RoHS Regulations. They should also hold a copy of the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and ensure all technical documentation is available for inspection. The importers must also ensure the manufacturer details and conformity marking before placing the product in GB Market.

4. Distributors can be anyone in the supply chain who makes EEE available in the market. The distributor has to ensure the listed product is identifiable with conformity marking, information of both manufacturer & importer, etc.

If you are a UK Manufacturer and you are still not clear on how to proceed further to meet the governmental regulations, our compliance team of APA Engineering can provide you a time-bound solution at an affordable cost with strong expertise in handling activities related to REACh Registration or Notification, RoHS technical documentation, and other EU Regulations.

If this regulation is applicable to you and you are interested in knowing more about this topic and available solutions, then schedule a free consult with our experts.