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RoHS, Restriction of Hazardous Substances

RoHS regulatory compliance testing restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. As a certified ISO 17025 accredited lab, we realize the importance of RoHS testing. Meeting the directive 2002/95/EC requirements set forth by the European Union can be difficult.  We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone’s pricing is competitive and we offer volume discounts. Also, we take pride in providing comprehensive reports shortly after completion of the RoHS standard test. From cradle to grave, Keystone Compliance partners with customers to achieve product compliance.

Ready to get started? We are. Contact us to see why so many companies work with us to achieve their RoHS conformance testing needs.

Summary of RoHS Regulatory Compliance

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. This test is also known as Directive 2002/95/EC. RoHS testing began in the European Union. RoHS compliance restricts the use of specific hazardous materials in electronic and electrical products, also known as EEE.

Restrictions of the maximum allowable levels of hazardous chemicals are limited to 0.1%. Non-compliant RoHS substances include:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent Chromium (Cr(VI))
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)

By national enforcement bodies, penalties and fines for non-compliance can vary considerably between EU countries. However, fines and imprisonment are not uncommon when EEE products are un-compliant.

Electronic and Electrical Equipment (EEE) is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields to work properly. The equipment is used for generating, transferring, and measuring these currents and fields. EEE is designed for a voltage rating of 1,000 volts or less for alternating current. The equipment is also designed for a voltage rating of 1,500 volts or less for direct current.

RoHS Regulatory Standard Variations

RoHS 2

Published in 2011, was expanded to cover the RoHS compliance of all electronic/electrical equipment, cables, and spare parts. In comparison to RoHS 1, RoHS 2 now requires additional compliance record keeping from everyone in the supply chain. Most importantly, RoHS 2 is now being required for the CE marking of products. 

RoHS 3

Adds four additional restricted substances to the original list of six. This directive was established in 2015.

RoHS 5/6

Refers to compliance for 5 out of the 6 restricted substances. 


REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals. This test also focuses on the potential impact of restricted chemicals on human health and the environment. REACH testing, similarly to RoHS compliance testing, addresses the production and use of chemical substances. However, REACH controls all chemicals that might be used to manufacture the product, including enclosures, brackets, coatings, paints and solvents.

Scope of RoHS Regulatory Compliance

Materials within this standard compliance test are hazardous to the environment. The substances listed below pollute landfills and are dangerous in terms of occupational exposure. This exposure can occur during manufacturing and/or recycling.

Any business that sells or distributes EEE products, sub-assemblies, components, or cables to EU countries is affected by the RoHS standard. Distributors or integrators are also affected by hazardous compliance testing. However, RoHS-like standards have since spread to other countries. This implies that RoHS testing does not only affect European countries.

RoHS Testing (1)

RoHS also applies to the metal industry. This is used for any application of metal plating, anodizing, chromating, or other finishes on EEE components, heatsinks, or connectors.

Further questions may be asked when seeing of a product needs to be RoHS compliant. These questions include:

               Does RoHS apply to batteries? No. All batteries regardless of type or application is covered under the EU Battery Directive.

               Does RoHS apply to RFID tags? Yes. Both passive and active RFIDs are included. Where RFID tags are permanently attached to equipment or a device, it falls under the category of the parent device.

               Does RoHS apply to printer cartridges? Only if the cartridge contains electrical parts that require currents or electromagnetic fields to function.

Restriction of Hazardous Substance Standard Procedure

Before placing electronic products and other EEE on the market, manufacturers must ensure that the equipment is under RoHS requirements.

First, manufacturers prepare the needed documentation. Next, they carry out internal production control procedures. Several XRF non-destructive methods are used by our engineers for screening and verification of restricted materials. This ensures that each component in the equipment is RoHS compliant.

These procedures must ensure that EEE placed on the market does not contain the substances previously mentioned. For this RoHS directive, no more than the highest concentration value by weight in homogenous materials is allowed. 

Once the equipment is found compliant, manufacturers keep the technical documentation and the EU declaration of conformity. These documents are kept for 10 years after the equipment is placed on the market.

Expert RoHS Regulatory Compliance Testing

In addition to RoHS testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including REACH, accelerated aging, and ingress protection. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. 

Contact us to learn why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their hazardous substance compliance certification needs. Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation.