Restriction on Hazardous Substances – the new SGS RoHS certification mark

The RoHS legislation covers the restriction of lead and other potentially hazardous substances used in electrical and electronic equipment. Known as Directive 2002/95/EC, it will be enforced throughout the EU from 1st July 2006. Its purpose is very clear – to restrict the use of six substances within electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), thereby contributing to the protection of human health and the environment. For many this is a considerable environmental challenge

Whereas the WEEE directive sets minimum levels for recycling that must be met but may be exceeded, RoHS is very explicit about which substances should be restricted and the precise levels that may be tolerated.

Although RoHS is an EU Directive, manufacturers of EEE outside Europe must also abide by this legislation if the equipment they produce is ultimately imported into an EU member state for use in Europe. The definition and interpretation of the Directive should not vary across EU member countries, so companies which have achieved RoHS certification are able to distribute throughout this economic area.

As required for compliance to the RoHS Directive, as a first step (and before certification) all producers must be registered. From November 23rd 2005, it will be illegal to sell certain electrical and electronic equipment into Germany if the producer has not completed formal registration there.

RoHS Certification with SGS
SGS has created a new programme specifically aimed at helping procedures meet the strict requirements of RoHS and where necessary, take corrective actions to meet the maximum concentration of substances allowed. Our RoHS Programme employs individuals with genuine legislative and component knowledge who can apply reason, interpretation and skill to resolve the most challenging RoHS and WEEE related issues.

Our goal is to help companies minimise the financial and administrative burden that this complex legislation requires.

The RoHS Programme is a single product certification which can be extended to for certification of a product series, as long as the range of products are produced using the same raw materials, the management system has a similar function and the “basic design” has not changed significantly. The RoHS certificate is 5 years valid.

What kind of RoHS certificates are available?
The RoHS certification program has 3 different classes of certificates:
• ROHS-1 complies with RoHS directive.
• ROHS-2 complies with ROHS directive plus additional criteria which are more stringent than the RoHS directive and includes requirements from an international company (for example Sony-00259)
• ROHS-3 complies with JIG Guide. Joint Industry Guide (JIS) is a Guide which stipulates the hazardous substances and is accepted by the different organizations as per EICTA (Europe), JGPSSI (Japan), EIA(USA) and JEDEC (USA).

Who should apply for RoHS certification?
The applicant must be either be the product manufacturer who owns the brand under which the product is distributed or the person who authorizes another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to produce the product on their behalf.
At a first step we will certify only homogenous material and electrical components.
Once certified, a commitment that the product sold on the market is identical with the certified product and is produced by same production process and same constituents is required.

What is the process required for RoHS certification?
The first step is for you to complete a number of technical documents. This helps us with an initial assessment of your needs. If you have already SGS test report’s for all homogenous components of your product, no additional test are necessary. If not we will test the components in one of our 24 labs around the world. Then we will assign a qualified specialist to perform a factory assessment of your production plant as well as sampling materials and finished products at the end of the production line. The factory assessment will be performed according to SGS’s Factory Assessment Protocol and is signed off by both the SGS Inspector and the factory manager. Samples taken are tested by one of our accredited test laboratories.

If defects are detected during factory assessment, the applicant must correct the defects as soon as possible. The time permitted for this will be controlled by SGS. Once the factory assessment is completed, a copy of the report (Corrective Action Request - CAR) is provided. The factory assessment and sample testing results are independently reviewed before a certification decision is taken. Only upon successful comparison of both, is SGS able to issue the ROHS-certificate and ROHS-Mark for those certified products. As holder of the certificate, companies are allowed to use the RoHS mark on their products, within the user manual, on all packaging and on any marketing for this product.

Other RoHS related services
SGS has 24 accredited RoHS labs worldwide and 1,000 specialists in this field, providing RoHS services to ensure that the E&E industry has the requisite independent data for a RoHS compliance declaration to be granted. An integrated reliable evaluation of RoHS conformity within the framework of product testing and certification provides legal security and improves your market presence and recognition. We are able to,
• Identify the substances for which RoHS conformity is required
• Verify documents furnishing evidence of RoHS conformity in the supply chain (such as manufacturers' statements, quality assurance agreements, analytical results, General Terms and Conditions)
• Analyse the homogeneous substances with chemical methods in accredited chemical laboratories
• Provide XRF screening method and consulting
• Verify and interpret hazardous substance analysis and test results carried out by other laboratories (interpret test results)

The benefits of our RoHS Programme
The SGS RoHS Programme helps manufacturers, retailers and suppliers mitigate the risk of non-compliance to global and national restricted substances regulations. With a proven track record in product safety certification compiled over more than 80 years, SGS provides a respected third-party source to help clients monitor their supply chains and self-declare compliance with confidence.

For more information about SGS’s RoHS Certification Programme and for your local contact person, please download our free brochure, ‘Analysis of Hazardous Substances in Electrical & Electronic Equipment’ or visit

Download RoHS Folder

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