The regulated substances include lead (eg, in solders) and a number of fire retardants commonly used in electrical/electronic equipment. In September the Government released for public consultation a draft of new regulations to replace the existing regulations. The two key changes are:

  • Exempted uses will no longer be listed. As soon as a new exempted use is approved by the EU it will automatically apply in the UK. This will avoid the current time lag caused by the need for the UK to amend its existing laws after any new exemption is approved by the EU.
  • Greater enforcement powers. Government will gain the power to issue enforcement notices requiring the withdrawal of any non-compliant equipment from the market and prohibiting the placing of any further such equipment on the market. Such notices will not require a prior court order.

The period for submitting comments on the proposed changes closes on 29 November.

For an overview of the current Restrictions on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006 see our earlier Bulletin.