Last reviewed 7 March 2023

The Government has announced the introduction of a £39,721 administration fee to process exemption or renewal of exemption RoHS applications.

The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (the RoHS Regulations) restricts the use of 10 hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) with a view to contributing to the protection of human health and the environment, including the sound recovery and disposal of waste.

Industry can apply for exemptions to allow the supply of products using one or more of the restricted substances above the threshold limits set down in the RoHS Regulations where specified criteria are met, ie:

  • the exemption does not weaken the environmental or health protection afforded by UK REACH; and the elimination or substitution of the material or component, through design changes or use of materials or components which do not include any restricted substances, is scientifically or technically impracticable

  • the reliability of substitute materials or components is not ensured; or the total negative environmental, health and consumer safety impacts caused by substitution of another material or component is likely to outweigh the total environmental, health and consumer safety benefits of that substitution.

From 6 April, any party applying for a new exemption — or to renew an exemption — will need to pay an administration fee of £39,721 in Great Britain. Following the submission of an application, Defra will provide written notification within one month of receiving the application with guidance on how to pay the administration fee.

When Defra grants an exemption, it will become law in Great Britain. The exemption will be valid for:

  • five years from the date on which the exemption or renewal comes into force, for an exemption relating to EEE in category 1 to 7, 10 or 11

  • seven years from the date on which the exemption or renewal comes into force, for an exemption relating to EEE in category 8 or 9.