Last reviewed 24 November 2021

In Great Britain and in Northern Ireland many types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are regulated to control the levels of certain hazardous substances and chemicals they contain, with the aim of protecting human and animal health.

All products in scope must: have supporting technical documentation (often referred to as a technical file) to demonstrate compliance; have a Declaration of Conformity; be labelled with the required information and display the appropriate conformity marking for the GB and/or NI markets as appropriate.

In Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (RoHS Regulations) are the underpinning legislation.

However, there are differences in how they apply in Great Britain and Northern Ireland which are explained in new guidance available here.

Published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), this applies to manufacturers, importers and distributors, which include retailers.

For certain specific technical applications, it is possible to apply for an exemption to allow these hazardous substances to be used above their maximum prescribed values.

While Northern Ireland continues to follow the EU exemptions regime, Great Britain operates its own exemptions system with details available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/restriction-of-hazardous-substances-rohs-exemptions-how-to-apply.

Hazardous substances

Manufacturers placing EEE on the market in Great Britain and/or Northern Ireland must evaluate their production controls to ensure that their products do not exceed the maximum prescribed levels of the following hazardous substances:

  • cadmium

  • lead

  • mercury

  • hexavalent chromium

  • polybrominated biphenyls

  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers

  • bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

  • benzyl butyl phthalate

  • dibutyl phthalate

  • diisobutyl phthalate.

A Declaration of Conformity must be completed, supported by technical documentation to demonstrate compliance, retained for 10 years after the last product is first placed on the market and be made available to OPSS on request.