Last reviewed 9 July 2021

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has issued an alert to those affected by the rules on the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) and who are involved in placing electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) on the market.

When the EU introduced a restriction on these substances, certain uses were exempted for a period, to give manufacturers time to comply. Under Schedule A1 of the Hazardous Substances and Packaging (Legislative Functions and Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations (SI 2020/1647), the restriction of:

  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

  • Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

does not apply to:

  • medical devices, including in vitro medical devices

  • monitoring and control instruments, including industrial monitoring and control instruments

  • cables or spare parts for the repair, the reuse, the updating of functionalities or upgrading of capacity of EEE placed on the market before 22 July 2019.

Businesses placing EEE on the EU or Northern Ireland markets are reminded that, under EU Directive 2015/863 (which amends Annex II to the RoHS 2 Directive (2011/65/EU) to add the four phthalates), this exclusion is due to expire on 22 July 2021.

The OPSS emphasises that, for EEE placed on the market in Great Britain, this exclusion does not expire until a date to be determined by the Secretary of State.

As such, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) intends to publish a consultation on this change in the near future but no definitive date has been set.