Directives RoHS e WEEE (2011/65/UE and 2012/19/UE) regulate the use and the disposal of certain substances to manufacture Electrical and Electronical Equipment (EEE) until the end-of-life of the product.
An EEE is defined as an equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000 VAC and 1500 VDC. There are included also the equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields.
These directives sometimes are wrongly applied to equipment or apparatus that are listed within their exclusions. Some of these are source of misinterpretation of what is reported, specifically, at point 4 c), d) and e) of article 2 of directive 2011/65/UE that state:
- equipment which is specifically designed, and is to be installed, as part of another type of equipment that is excluded or does not fall within the scope of this Directive, which can fulfil its function only if it is part of that equipment, and which can be replaced only by the same specifically designed equipment;
- large-scale stationary industrial tools;
- large-scale fixed installations;
These points (equivalent to point 3b), 4b) e 4c) of article 2 of directive 2011/65/UE) are clarified at point Q3.1 of FAQ for the directive 2011/65/UE (https://ec.europa.eu/environment/pdf/waste/rohs_eee/faq.pdf).
Willing to extract a rule of thumb (which however is non-exhaustive and shall be considered case by case) it can be said that the industrial machinery can be excluded from the scope of directive WEEE and RoHS (unless small machinery and/or equipment for a “domestic use”) since they need a specific disposal system.
The assumption for large-scale industrial fixed tools and installations is that such systems are intended for a technical and expert audience, capable to handle their dismantle and disposal process according to the applicable law of the Member State. In some specific case is the Manufacturer that take responsibility of these activity at the end-of-life of his product/machinery.
What are the obligations of the manufacturers that falls into the applicability of directive RoHS and WEEE?
Article 16 of directive 2012/19/UE states the manufacturer obligations. It is defined that a Manufacturer producing and placing into the market an EEE, shall register his company on the specific body in each Member State where he sells the EEE. It shall also notify to the body the amount of EEE yearly sold in that Member State, in order to allow the latter to dimension and plan the EEE national disposal system.
The list of specific bodies where each manufacturer can register his business can be found at the following link:
For manufactures that place EEE into the Italian market, the Italian transposition of directives RoHS and WEEE are the DL27 and DL49 of 2014: