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What’s RoHS & WEEE


The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) 2002/95/EC was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union (EU). The RoHS directive took effect on July 1, 2006, but it is not a law; it is simply a directive. Each European Union member state will adopt its own enforcement and implementation policies under the directive as a guide. RoHS is often referred to as the “lead-free” directive, but it restricts the use of six substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium VI (also known as hexavalent chromium), and PBB and PBDE (flame retardants used in some plastics).


RoHS is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) 2002/96/EC which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods and is part of a legislative initiative to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic e-waste. The directive applies to equipment as defined by a section of the WEEE directive. These are: large household appliances, small household appliances, IT equipment, consumer equipment, electonics and electrical tools, just to name a few.


For printed circuit boards, RoHS compliance is controlled by two parts: The base material (including solder-stop and marking print) and the surface finish.


The respective manufacturers for different raw materials which A-TECH cooperated with have confirmed the RoHS compliance of base materials without any limitations.


The PCB surface finish is selected by customers. In addition to the HAL(SnPb) surface finish(which contains lead, but it’s still permitted in some cases), there are several lead free surface finish available in A-TECH, include Immersion Gold/Tin/Silver, HAL(Lead Free), OSP etc.


If you have been ordering printed circuit boards with HAL(Tin-Lead) surfaces up to now, you may select one of lead free surface alternatives in the future, the most popular options to replace is Immersion Gold and HAL(Lead Free).


As the manufacturing partners to our customers, at A-TECH we’re committed to ensuring that all of our processes and the assemblies we supply are fully compliant with the latest legislations.


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