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July 2004

Compliance Help for Electronics Producers

Electronics makers and suppliers puzzling over which products will need to be redesigned to remove heavy metals - and how to prove it under Europe’s stringent new Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive now have help. On July 14, at 1:00pm EST, the first “Take it Back!” teleconference will put manufacturers in direct contact with top experts. The teleconference has been organized by Raymond Communications, publishers of Recycling Laws International.

“RoHS: Critical Compliance Issues” will give attendees a first look at new guidance being drafted by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in an effort to clarify how companies should go about complying with Europe’s complex new electronics recycling laws.

The 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.

Steve Andrews, with the eco-design and product policy unit of the UK DTI in London, will present on the latest clarifications from the European Commission on exactly which products the RoHS applies to, and he will explain how the UK plans to move forward with implementation of the directive. In its efforts to write guidance to support its implementation process, observers hope the UK will become a model for the rest of Europe.

In addition, Mark Newton, senior manager of environmental affairs for Dell Computer, Round Rock, Texas will present on the industry response, providing a status report on efforts of the computer supply chain to phase out heavy metals. Newton has a PhD in polymer electrochemistry, and is chair of the Environmentally Conscious Electronics Committee for the North American Electronics Manufacturing Initiative.

“Electronics designers have many questions about RoHS, as they are up against deadlines for designing new products. July will be the first time we may have some clarification from the EC,” explains RLI publisher Michele Raymond.

More information on the teleconference is available at www.raymond.com.

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