The green label on the left indicates that the product contains no hazardous substance. The orange label on the right side indicates the product contains one of the substances that are declared hazardous by the standard. The number in the center of the orange label identifies the working life of the product; that is, the number of years in which the hazardous substance will not be released while the product is used under normal conditions.
On Nov. 6, 2006, China officially released three standards:
• Marking for the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products
• Requirements for Concentration Limits for Certain Hazardous Substances in Electronic Information Products
• Testing Methods for Regulated Substances in Electronic Information Products
The three standards make up the Control of Pollution from Electronic Information Products standards, often called the China RoHS standards. China RoHS will be formally implemented on March 1, 2007. The standards are said to limit the same substances at the same levels as the European RoHS standards.
Huang Jianzhong, marketing director of the Department of Economy System Reformation & Economy Operation of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), says that the MII will promote the implementation by combining “legislation, standard-formation and administrative management.” He adds that legislation will first seek to control pollution caused by electronic information products before or when the products enter the market—“along with checking on the processes of R&D, design, manufacturing, sale, and import,” he says. “Second, legislation will drive the formation of standards. These standards are the basis for controlling the pollution caused by electronic information products.”
Huang emphasizes that the new rules standardized the methods and forms in China RoHS, to make them more easily carried out by producers and more easily monitored by authorities and the public.
It is said that the outstanding feature of China RoHS is its administrative management component. China RoHS standards include Product Categories and Key Product Categories, which have yet to be defined. Any product that belongs to a Product Category, whether it contains a hazardous substance or not, must be affixed with China RoHS labels when it enters the Chinese market, effective March 1. Products belonging to the Key Product Categories must undergo CCC certification according to the relevant regulations. The details of CCC certification had not been officially declared at the time this issue went to press.
China RoHS is primarily aimed at brown goods—consumer electronics. Other appliances such as white goods and air-conditioners will not be directly targeted by the standard at its launch. However, according to Xing Weibing, deputy chief engineer of China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI), some electronic components of these appliances will fall under the jurisdiction of the new standard. He explains that when these components are supplied directly to the OEM on a business-to-business basis, they need not be labeled; however, when they are sold on a business-to-consumer basis, they must be labeled according to the China RoHS requirements.