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Teleconference tackles European electronics waste compliance

Thousands of electronics suppliers have received letters demanding they prove compliance under Europe's new Restric...


Thousands of electronics suppliers have received letters demanding they prove compliance under Europe’s new Restrictions of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) this year. But how do you gather the data on thousands of parts? What forms do you use?

Electronics makers will have an exclusive opportunity to find out how the world’s top electronics component suppliers and manufacturers are dealing with this complex new challenge at “RoHS: Coping with Data Collection and Reporting Nightmares” (another Take it Back! Teleconference) on September 28, 1:30 pm. The event is organized by Raymond Communications, publisher of the newsletter Recycling Laws International (RLI).

The 2003 EU RoHS directive restricts the use of lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium VI, and at least two brominated flame retardants (PBBs and PBDEs) in a wide range of electrical and electronic products (virtually anything with a battery or a cord) as of July 2006 in Europe. In addition, China, California and several other U.S. states want similar phase-outs in certain products.

The directives (WEEE/RoHS) cover more than 200,000 products — and could require more than 3,000 material declarations to make one computer under RoHS. Moreover, the draft declaration forms, developed by major industry associations, generally include not just seven chemicals, but 40.

“This is the biggest data collection issue the electronics industry has ever faced,” says publisher Michele Raymond. “A lot of smaller electronics suppliers are either not aware of the two electronics directives (WEEE/RoHS), or don’t know where to begin on compliance.”

The teleconference will feature Stephen Marlow, executive vice president of Toshiba Electronic Components, Inc., who will start with the big picture from a semiconductor supplier perspective. Phil De Guzman, TEAC’s manager of quality assurance for memory products, will provide the details.

Steven Boychyn, manager, SCM environmental engineering for electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Celestica will cover RoHS compliance from an EMS perspective.

For the question-and-answer session, an expert panel will also include Paul Quickert, regulatory compliance process manager for Hewlett-Packard Corp., and Jason Linnell, staff director for environmental affairs for the Electronics Industry Alliance. EIA has been active in developing standardized forms for RoHS.

“The entire supply chain needs to be on the same page,” comments Mark Myles of the GoodBye Chain Group, a compliance consultant who is moderating the event.

The speakers and panelists will discuss how they are dealing with RoHS; how they are collecting data; what they expect from their suppliers; how they are verifying information; and how they are in turn supplying brandowners with appropriate information. The panelists will also delve into such issues as how to number new lead-free or RoHS compliant parts, and whether the new forms might influence future EC legislation.

The teleconference will include an online component, and an audio CD will be available for sale after the event.

Raymond Communications publishes RLI and State Recycling Laws Update, and organizes the Take it Back Conferences. The next regular TIB conference will be held March 7-9 2005 in Alexandria VA.

Information please see www.raymond.com or call 301-345-4237.


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