DIRECTIVE 2002/95/EC OF THE
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 27 January 2003
on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in
electrical and electronic equipment
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,
and in particular Article 95 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (*1),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of Regions (*3),
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251
of the Treaty in the light of the joint text approved by the
Conciliation Committee on 8 November 2002 (*4),
(1) The disparities between the laws or administrative measures
adopted by the Member States as regards the restriction of the
use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic
equipment could create barriers to trade and distort competition
in the Community and may thereby have a direct impact on the
establishment and functioning of the internal market. It
therefore appears necessary to approximate the laws of the
Member States in this field and to contribute to the protection
of human health and the environmentally sound recovery and
disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment.
(2) The European Council at its meeting in Nice on 7, 8 and 9
December 2000 endorsed the Council Resolution of 4 December 2000
on the precautionary principle.
(3) The Commission Communication of 30 July 1996 on the review
of the Community strategy for waste management stresses the need
to reduce the content of hazardous substances in waste and
points out the potential benefits of Community-wide rules
limiting the presence of such substances in products and in
(4) The Council Resolution of 25 January
1988 on a Community action programme to combat environmental
pollution by cadmium (*5) invites the Commission to pursue
without delay the development of specific measures for such a
programme. Human health also has to be
protected and an overall strategy that in particular restricts
the use of cadmium and stimulates research into substitutes
should therefore be implemented. The Resolution stresses that
the use of cadmium should be limited to cases where suitable and
safer alternatives do not exist.
(5) The available evidence indicates that measures on the
collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste
electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) as set out in
Directive 2002/96/EC of 27 January 2003 of the European
Parliament and of the Council on waste electrical and electronic
equipment (*6) are necessary to reduce the waste management
problems linked to the heavy metals concerned and the flame
retardants concerned. In spite of those measures, however,
significant parts of WEEE will continue to be found in the
current disposal routes. Even if WEEE were collected separately
and submitted to recycling processes, its content of mercury,
cadmium, lead, chromium VI, PBB and PBDE would be likely to pose
risks to health or the environment.
(6) Taking into account technical and economic feasibility, the
most effective way of ensuring the significant reduction of
risks to health and the environment relating to those substances
which can achieve the chosen level of protection in the
Community is the substitution of those substances in electrical
and electronic equipment by safe or safer materials. Restricting
the use of these hazardous substances is likely to enhance the
possibilities and economic profitability of recycling of WEEE
and decrease the negative health impact on workers in recycling
(7) The substances covered by this Directive are scientifically
well researched and evaluated and have been subject to different
measures both at Community and at national level.
(8) The measures provided for in this Directive take into
account existing international guidelines and recommendations
and are based on an assessment of available scientific and
technical information. The measures are necessary to achieve the
chosen level of protection of
human and animal health and the environment, having regard to
the risks which the absence of measures would be likely to
create in the Community. The measures should be kept under
review and, if necessary, adjusted to take account of available
technical and scientific information.
(9) This Directive should apply without prejudice to Community
legislation on safety and health requirements and specific
Community waste management legislation, in particular Council
Directive 91/157/EEC of 18 March 1991 on batteries and
accumulators containing certain dangerous substances
(10) The technical development of electrical and electronic
equipment without heavy metals, PBDE and PBB should be taken
into account. As soon as scientific evidence is available and
taking into account the precautionary principle, the prohibition
of other hazardous substances and their substitution by more
environmentally friendly alternatives which ensure at least the
same level of protection of consumers should be examined.
(11) Exemptions from the substitution requirement should be
permitted if substitution is not possible from the scientific
and technical point of view or if the negative environmental or
health impacts caused by substitution are likely to outweigh the
human and environmental benefits of the substitution.
Substitution of the hazardous substances in electrical and
electronic equipment should also be carried out in a way so as
to be compatible with the health and safety of users of
electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).
(12) As product reuse, refurbishment and extension of lifetime
are beneficial, spare parts need to be available.
(13) The adaptation to scientific and technical progress of the
exemptions from the requirements concerning phasing out and
prohibition of hazardous substances should be effected by the
Commission under a committee procedure.
(14) The measures necessary for the implementation of this
Directive should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision
1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the
exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (2),
HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
The purpose of this Directive is to approximate the laws of the
Member States on the restrictions of the use of hazardous
substances in electrical and electronic equipment and to
contribute to the protection of human health and the
environmentally sound recovery and disposal of waste electrical
and electronic equipment.
1. Without prejudice to Article 6, this Directive shall apply to
electrical and electronic equipment falling under the categories
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 set out in Annex IA to Directive No
2002/96/EC (WEEE) and to electric light bulbs, and luminaires in
2. This Directive shall apply without prejudice to Community
legislation on safety and health requirements and specific
Community waste management legislation.
3. This Directive does not apply to spare parts for the repair,
or to the reuse, of electrical and electronic equipment put on
the market before 1 July 2006.
For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions
(a) ‘electrical and electronic equipment’ or ‘EEE’ means
equipment which is dependent on electric currents or
electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment
for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents
and fields falling under the categories set out in Annex IA to
Directive 2002/96/EC (WEEE) and designed for use with a voltage
rating not exceeding 1 000 volts for alternating current and 1
500 volts for direct current;
(b) ‘producer’ means any person who, irrespective of the selling
technique used, including by means of distance communication
according to Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of
the Council of 20 May 1997 on the protection of consumers in
respect of distance contracts (3):
(i) manufactures and sells electrical and electronic equipment
under his own brand;
(ii) resells under his own brand equipment produced by other
suppliers, a reseller not being regarded as the ‘producer’ if
the brand of the producer appears on the equipment, as provided
for in subpoint (i); or
(iii) imports or exports electrical and
electronic equipment on a professional basis into a Member
State.Whoever exclusively provides financing under or pursuant
to any finance agreement shall not be deemed a ‘producer’ unless
he also acts as a producer within the meaning of subpoints (i)
1. Member States shall ensure that, from 1 July 2006, new
electrical and electronic equipment put on the market does not
contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium,
polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers
(PBDE). National measures restricting or prohibiting the use of
these substances in electrical and electronic equipment which
were adopted in line with Community legislation before the
adoption of this Directive may be maintained until 1 July 2006.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the applications listed in the
3. On the basis of a proposal from the Commission, the European
Parliament and the Council shall decide, as soon as scientific
evidence is available, and in accordance with the principles on
chemicals policy as laid down in the Sixth Community Environment
Action Programme, on the prohibition of other hazardous
substances and the substitution thereof by
more environment-friendly alternatives which ensure at least the
same level of protection for consumers.
Adaptation to scientific and technical progress
1. Any amendments which are necessary in order to adapt the
Annex to scientific and technical progress for the following
purposes shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure
referred to in Article 7(2):
(a) establishing, as necessary, maximum concentration values up
to which the presence of the substances referred to in Article
4(1) in specific materials and components of electrical and
electronic equipment shall be tolerated;
(b) exempting materials and components of electrical and
electronic equipment from Article 4(1) if their elimination or
substitution via design changes or materials and components
which do not require any of the materials or substances referred
to therein is technically or scientifically impracticable, or
where the negative environmental, health and/or consumer safety
impacts caused by substitution are likely to outweigh the
environmental, health and/or
consumer safety benefits thereof;
(c) carrying out a review of each exemption in the Annex at
least every four years or four years after an item is added to
the list with the aim of considering deletion of materials
and components of electrical and electronic equipment from the
Annex if their elimination or substitution via design changes or
materials and components which do not require any of the
materials or substances referred to in Article 4(1) is
technically or scientifically possible, provided that the
negative environmental, health and/or consumer safety impacts
caused by substitution do not outweigh the possible
environmental, health and/or consumer safety benefits thereof.
2. Before the Annex is amended pursuant to paragraph 1, the
Commission shall inter alia consult producers of electrical and
electronic equipment, recyclers, treatment operators,
environmental organisations and employee and consumer
associations. Comments shall be forwarded to the Committee
referred to in Article 7(1). The Commission shall provide an
account of the information it receives.
Before 13 February 2005, the Commission shall review the
measures provided for in this Directive to take into account, as
necessary, new scientific evidence.
In particular the Commission shall, by that date, present
proposals for including in the scope of this Directive equipment
which falls under categories 8 and 9 set out in Annex IA to
Directive 2002/96/EC (WEEE).
The Commission shall also study the need to adapt the list of
substances of Article 4(1), on the basis of scientific facts and
taking the precautionary principle into account, and present
proposals to the European Parliament and Council for such
adaptations, if appropriate.
Particular attention shall be paid during the review to the
impact on the environment and on human health of other hazardous
substances and materials used in electrical and electronic
equipment. The Commission shall examine the feasibility of
replacing such substances and materials and shall present
proposals to the European Parliament and to the Council in order
to extend the scope of Article 4, as appropriate.
1. The Commission shall be assisted by the Committee set up by
Article 18 of Council Directive 75/442/EEC (1).
2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7
of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to Article 8
The period provided for in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/ EC
shall be set at three months.
3. The Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.
Member States shall determine penalties applicable to breaches
of the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive.
The penalties thus provided for shall be effective,
proportionate and dissuasive.
1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations
and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this
Directive before 13 August 2004. They shall immediately inform
the Commission thereof.
When Member States adopt those measures, they shall contain a
reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a
reference on the occasion of their official publication. The
methods of making such a reference shall be laid down by the
2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of
all laws, regulations and administrative provisions adopted in
the field covered by this Directive.
Entry into force
This Directive shall enter into force on the day of its
publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Brussels, 27 January 2003.
For the European Parliament
For the Council
Applications of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent
chromium, which are exempted from the requirements of Article
1. Mercury in compact fluorescent lamps not exceeding 5 mg per
2. Mercury in straight fluorescent lamps for general purposes
— triphosphate with normal lifetime
— triphosphate with long lifetime
3. Mercury in straight fluorescent lamps for special purposes.
4. Mercury in other lamps not specifically mentioned in this
5. Lead in glass of cathode ray tubes, electronic components and
6. Lead as an alloying element in steel containing up to 0,35 %
lead by weight, aluminium containing up to 0,4 % lead by weight
and as a copper alloy containing up to 4 % lead by weight.
— Lead in high melting temperature type
solders (i.e. tin-lead solder alloys containing more than 85 %
— lead in solders for servers, storage and storage array systems
(exemption granted until 2010),
— lead in solders for network infrastructure equipment for
switching, signalling, transmission as well as network
management for telecommunication,
— lead in electronic ceramic parts (e.g. piezoelectronic
8. Cadmium plating except for applications banned under
Directive 91/338/EEC (1) amending Directive 76/769/EEC (2)
relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain
dangerous substances and preparations.
9. Hexavalent chromium as an anti-corrosion of the carbon steel
cooling system in absorption refrigerators.
10. Within the procedure referred to in Article 7(2), the
Commission shall evaluate the applications for:
— Deca BDE,
— mercury in straight fluorescent lamps for special purposes,
— lead in solders for servers, storage and storage array
systems, network infrastructure equipment for switching,
signalling, transmission as well as network management for
telecommunications (with a view to setting a specific time limit
for this exemption), and
— light bulbs,
as a matter of priority in order to establish as soon as
possible whether these items are to be amended accordingly.