Do you sell electronic products to Europe? Then it’s time to check your components and wire and cable to determine if they’re RoHS 3 compliant. The latest Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive doesn’t just affect European Union (EU) nations. Rather, it affects anyone who wants to do business within the EU. The deadline for RoHS 3 was July 22, 2019, so don’t wait to make sure you’re in compliance.

What was the original RoHS standard?

The original RoHS standard, known as Directive 2002/95/EC, restricted the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products.

  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)

Since July 1, 2006, all applicable products in the EU market must meet strict requirements for these restricted substances.

What changed in RoHS 2?

RoHS2 or RoHS-Recast, also known as Directive 2011/65/EU, was published in 2011 by the EU. RoHS2 added a CE-marking directive. In other words, electronic (and other) products that have a CE Mark must be RoHS compliant.

Which materials are banned in RoHS 3?

RoHS3, or Directive 2015/863, added four more substances to the list of six in RoHS 1. These newly banned materials are phthalates, chemicals that make plastic soft and flexible but that are also linked to harmful effects on human health. Specifically, the banned materials are:

  • bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a plasticizer in wire and insulation that was also used as a dielectric in high-voltage capacitors. DEHP is a processing aid for rigid polymers and a softener in PVC medical devices, too.
  • butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), a co-plasticizer used in wire and cable. BBP is also used as an additive in adhesives, coatings, and inks.
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a plasticizer in varnishes, paints and coatings. DBP is also used with glass fibers, and to add flexibility to rubber and paint.
  • diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), a plasticizer with similar properties to DPB.

Technically, these four phthalates have been restricted since 2015; however, a grace period enabled manufacturers and electronic designers to specify alternate materials. July 22, 2019 has come and gone, however, so most manufacturers need to be RoHS 3 compliant today.

Are There Any Exceptions to RoHS 3?

Yes, there are. Medical device, monitoring and control instruments have two more years to become RoHS compliant. The deadline is July 22, 2021.

What are some alternatives to the banned materials in RoHS 3?

According to, there are some common alternatives to the four banned materials:

  • Hexamoll DINCH (DINCH)
  • acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC)
  • dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP)
  • 2,2,4-trimethyl 1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate (TXIB)
  • trioctyl trimellitate (TOTM)
  • di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA)

Many suppliers have already begun using these chemicals instead of the banned phthalates, but don’t assume your supply chain is safe. If your electronic products contain banned substances, the EU won’t allow your products as imports – and you could face fines and other penalties for trying. That’s why it’s important to partner with an electronics manufacturer you can trust, and one that adds value to projects.

Choosing the Right Electronics Manufacturer

SHINE is a quality-driven ISO 9001:2015 registered company that specializes in custom cable assembly, wire harnessing, and electro-mechanical assembly. If you sell electronic products to the EU, you’ll be glad to know that SHINE sources connectors, wire and cable, and other plastic products that comply with RoHS requirements. We work with our customers to perform BOM scrubs and can help you identify ways to meet the current RoHS 3 standard.

In addition, all SHINE cables are built and tested to the IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard from the Association Connecting Electronic Industries (IPC) and the Wire Harness Manufacturers Association (WHMA). This is the only industry consensus standard for requirements and acceptance of cable and wire harness assemblies. When you work with SHINE, you’ll discover that our commitment to quality is part of everything that we do.

To learn more about us and how we can serve you, contact SHINE on-line.