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Committed to Leading the Industry in Minimizing Environmental Impact

As a company, we strive to meet or exceed all environmental legislations–both within the countries we do business in, and around the globe–and we encourage the adoption of similar principles by our suppliers. Our commitment to compliance with environmental directives such as RoHS, R.E.A.C.H., and WEEE–just to name a few–and our ability to provide our customers with the necessary documentation on product compliance upon request, help to make C2G your environmentally friendly choice for all of your cabling and connectivity needs!

Now, as a brand of Legrand, C2G has deepened their commitment to the environment. As an organization, Legrand builds sustainability into everything we do. We're committed to developing solutions that enable high performance buildings, reducing the environmental impact of our own operations and transforming how people live and work–more safely, more comfortably, and more efficiently.

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Historical Background

In 1998, the European Union discovered that alarmingly large amounts of hazardous waste were being dumped into landfill sites. Trends also indicated that the volumes were likely to grow 3–5 times faster than average municipal waste. This highlighted a massive, and growing source of environmental contamination.

In order to address the issues this information raised, the member states of the EU decided to create the Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE) directive, whose purpose was to:
  • Improve manufacturers' designs, to reduce the creation of waste
  • Make manufacturers responsible for certain phases of waste management
  • Separate collections of electronic waste (from other types of waste)
  • Create systems to improve treatment, refuse and recycling of WEEE

The WEEE directive provided the origins of the current forthcoming legislation. However since 1998, a draft proposal called EEE (Environment of Electrical & Electronics Equipment) was also introduced along the same lines. Now, as the implementation of this policy becomes imminent, this policy is generally referred to as the RoHS Directive.

What is RoHS?

The RoHS directive is often referred to as “Lead–Free” legislation. This is not a very accurate nickname, because it extends to other pollutants as well. The proper name for RoHS is: Directive 2011/65/EU

“The restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment” and it applies to the following substances:
  • Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, PBB, and DBE

In order to comply with the EU RoHS legislation, all of these substances must either be removed, or must be reduced within maximum permitted concentrations, in any products containing electrical or electronic components that will be sold within the European Union.

EU member states subject to the RoHS directive include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Who does this affect and how?


European (EU) Manufacturers

Dealers and distributors only supply the components for electrical and electronic products. They are not directly responsible for putting those products onto the market and, as such, are not responsible for meeting the RoHS directive.

Most European dealers and distributors will be heavily involved with customers who make products for the European Market. These customers will soon start accepting only RoHS–compliant components, in order to meet the requirements that will soon be imposed upon them.

Consequently, the dealers and distributors that supply EU–based manufacturers will have to start stocking RoHS–compliant components, or risk losing some or all of their business. It would therefore pay for suppliers to be "ahead–of–the–game" with regards to the RoHS issue.

Non–European (EU) Manufacturers, Dealers and Distributors

Most of the Electrical and Electronics product industry lies outside the existing European Union, the USA and the Far East being the key regions for such activity.

RoHS is a European Union directive. Manufacturers in the USA and the Far East will be unaffected by it, with regards to the products that they sell outside the EU.

However, it's not that simple for non–EU manufacturers…

Many companies who operate and manufacture outside Europe, will still eventually sell their goods inside the EU. Many EU–member states (e.g. the UK) are massive export markets for both Asian and American companies. As such, these companies have to make all the products that they export to the EU compliant with the EU RoHS directive.

What about non–EU Dealers & Distributors?

A non–EU dealer or distributor is perfectly within their rights to supply an EU company with a non–compliant product, unless they have stated that it is compliant when in fact it is not (which raises trade description issues).

So who must ensure compliance when importing/exporting to the EU?

Anybody producing products that are not compliant with RoHS, and who then attempts to sell them on the EU market after the compliance deadline, will be in breach of the EU RoHS directive.

Furthermore, it is ultimately the responsibility of the agent who introduces the goods into the EU, to meet all the necessary requirements. Therefore even if you are selling non–compliant products under a different brand name, it will still be your responsibility to ensure compliance if you wish to sell them in EU countries.

Environmental Responsibility Summary

The manufacturer, or the importing reseller, will always be liable for breaches of the RoHS directive, provided they have not been sold non–compliant products by a distributor who claimed that they were compliant. In this case the distributor is guilty of trade description breaches. If the manufacturer failed to check whether components were compliant or not, then they are responsible for any subsequent issues.

Couriers and freight carriers are excluded from liability. It is the company that is breaching the regulations to profit from the sale of non–compliant goods that will be targeted for indictment, because it is their responsibility.