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Implementation of the RoHS Directive

Information about the implementation of the RoHS Directive, including the exemption procedure, timeframe and assessment studies. 

Exemptions Procedure

The RoHS Directive allows for exemptions from its restrictions, under certain conditions defined in article 5(1), adapting the Annexes to scientific and technical progress.

Exemptions are limited in time and reassessed on a regular basis, taking into account

  • the availability, practicability and reliability of substitutes
  • the environmental, health and consumer safety impacts of substitution
  • the socioeconomic impact of substitution
  • any potential adverse impacts on innovation

Industry regularly applies for the renewal of exemptions or for additional applications to be exempted from the Directive's requirements. Each request must be evaluated, and when appropriate, an exemption is granted.

Exemptions list - validity and rolling plan_July2021
(127.83 KB - XLSX)
Guidance Document for applications for an exemption
(383.21 KB - PDF)
Application Form for an exemption
(51.48 KB - DOCX)


Exemptions Timeframe

A decision on a RoHS exemption currently takes 18 to 24 months from the application date. Priority is given to older applications. Existing exemptions for which a renewal request has been submitted remain valid until a decision is taken by the Commission. This decision either indicates a new expiry date or, in case of rejection, grants a transition period of 12 to 18 months before the exemption expires. Exemptions for which no application for renewal was submitted in due time will expire on the date specified in Article 5 or in the relevant annex of the Directive.

After submitting a request for a new exemption, equipment must comply with the Directive to be placed on the Union market, until a decision granting a new exemption is adopted by the Commission.

The Commission evaluation procedure involves a number of steps:

  1. The technical and scientific assessment study and stakeholder consultation typically takes around 10 months.
  2. Once a proposal has been made, the Commission consults with Member States and the European Parliament. You can access the agendas and minutes of the Member States expert group for RoHS 2 adaptation and enforcement in theRegister of Commission Expert Groups.
  3. The draft delegated directive/decision is then published for public feedback (4 weeks) and notified to the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Committee (60 days).
  4. The Delegated Directive will then be adopted by the Commission. The draft Delegated directives adopted by the Commission are available before official publication. The status of the draft delegated act is available in the Interinstitutional register of delegated acts.
  5. The two-month scrutiny period of the European Parliament and the Council commences (an extension of the scrutiny period on request is possible). After this scrutiny period, in case of no objections from the co-legislators, the Delegated Directive will be published in the Official Journal.

Technical and Scientific Assessment Studies

Completed RoHS 2 stakeholder consultations


Assessment studies on exemptions

The Commission frequently receives requests from industry for applications to be exempted from the substance restrictions of the RoHS Directive. These requests need to be evaluated in order to assess whether they fulfil the requirements mentioned in Article 5 of the Directive.

The full list of exemption requests submitted to the Commission between November 2019 and January 2020 can be consulted here.

Ongoing assessment studies

  • Exemption assessment for Pack 24 (5(b), 18(b), 18(b)-I, 24, 29, 32 and 34 of Annex III and 34 of Annex IV) 
  • Exemption assessment for Pack 23 (4(f), 8(b), 8(b)-I, 9(a)-II, 13(a), 13(b), 13(b)-1,13(b)-II, 13(b)-II, 15 and 15 (a) of Annex III)
  • Exemption assessment for Pack 22 (6(a), 6(a)-I, 6(b), 6(b)-I, 6(b)-II, 6(c), 7(a), 7(c)-I and 7 (c)-II of Annex III)
  • Exemption assessment for Pack 21 (1, 1(a), 1(b), 1(c), 2, 3, 5, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 26, 29, 31(a) and 39 of Annex IV)

Completed assessment studies


Review of RoHS 1

The aim of the RoHS recast was, among other things, to reduce administrative burdens and ensure coherency with newer policies and legislation. These cover, for example, chemicals and the new legal framework for marketing products in the European Union.