In mid-December, the EU Commission notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it intends to restrict four additional substances under the RoHS2 directive. The update will bring the number of hazardous substances listed in Annex II of the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances to 10.
The four phthalates, Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) will be added to the directive in March. Phthalates are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity).
The restriction of DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP will be adopted in February/March 2015 and effective from 22 July 2019 for electronic and electrical equipment other than medical devices and monitoring and control instruments; and from 22 July 2021 for medical devices and monitoring and control instruments.
Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), which was recommended for priority review and restriction under Annex 10 or RoHS2 was evaluated but will not be added to the RoHS directive is already restricted under the Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs) treaty and has widely exited the market. DIBP was added to the list of restricted substances because it was a common substitute for the other phthalates restricted. The EU Commission chose to restrict DIBP in order to avoid “regrettable substitution.”