The RoHS directive and other environmental legislations are a major challenge for the electronics industry. At CHIPSOURCE Europe, we are committed to offering our partners the best possible support to comply with the European regulation on the electronic Components.

Our dedicated website offers you a centralized access to reliable information and timely updates in order to manage your transition to lead-free / RoHS compliant products.

CHIPSOURCE Europe as a leading independent stocking distributor of electronic components and as a valued supply chain partner to thousands of customers worldwide, we are committed to compliance with global environmental regulations and initiatives. Our market expertise and our connection network allows us to offer a wide variety of services related to the RoHS and other environmental regulations.


The purpose of the RoHS directive is to prevent the following 6 hazardous substances materials from being used in electronics equipment in order to limit the chance of these hazardous substances possibly leaching out and polluting the environment during end-of-life recycling or disposal in landfills

Lead (Pb)
Solders, terminations and PCB
coatings, glasses, electronic
ceramics in both active and
passive devices, etc.
Limb paralysis, anemia, anorexia,
headaches, colic seizures, etc.
Mercury (Hg)
Batteries, fluorescent lamps,
switches, sensors, relays, LCD
backlighting, paint pigments, etc.
Skin and eye irritation, lung
edema, kidney disorders, ataxia, etc.
Cadmium (Cd)
Electroplating, sensors, plastics,
NiCd batteries, arcing contacts,
temperature fuses, paint pigments, etc.
Eye irritation, weakness, dry
retching, kidney disorder, anorexia, etc.
Hexavalent Chromium (Cr )
Coatings on metals, primers for
coated metals, hard chrome,
metallising plastics.
Skin-mucosa ulcer, bronchial
infection, kidney disorder, lung
cancer, etc.
Brominebased Flame-

– Polybromobiphenyl (PBB)
– Polybromodiphenyl (PBDE)
Flame retardants in a variety of plastics.

– Thyroxin disturbance, anomaly, etc.

– Thyroxin disturbance, dioxin-like
toxicity, etc.

The directive does not call for the total elimination of these substances but allows a
Maximum Concentration Value (MCV) based upon weight of
Homogeneous Material.

Hazardous SubstanceMaximum Concentration Value
Lead0.1% by weight
Mercury0.1% by weight
Cadmium0.01% by weight
Hexavalent chromium0.1% by weight
PBB0.1% by weight
PBDE0.1% by weight

What does RoHS and WEEE stand for?

RoHS = Restriction of Hazardous Substances and WEEE = Waste Electronic Electrical Equipment.

What is the difference between lead-free and RoHS compliant?

While lead (Pb) is the most widely used toxic substance in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), the term “lead-free” is often used to refer to all of the substances specified in the RoHS directive. However, RoHS restricts a total of six substances – lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB and PBDE. To be compliant with this legislation, the presence of each of these 6 substances must be reduced below specific maximum concentration values (MCV).

What are Maximum Concentration Values?

Maximum Concentration Values (MCVs) are limits set by the European Commission for the 6 substances banned under RoHS directive. The limits apply to each homogeneous materials in a product.

  • 0.1% by weight maximum for Pb, Hg, Cr6+, PBBs, and PBDEs
  • 0.01% by weight maximum for Cd

What is homogeneous material?

This means the Maximum Concentration Values will be applied at the material level, rather than at the product, board or even component level. Homogeneous material¡± means a material that ¡°cannot be mechanically disjointed into different materials¡±. Thus, considering a component, there would be at least 6 homogenous materials and the MCV would apply to the percentage of restricted substances present, for instance, in the plastic encapsulation, the leadframe, or the wire bonding individually as opposed to the percentage present in the component as a whole.

What does mechanically disjointed means?

The term ¡°mechanically disjointed¡± means that the materials can be separated by mechanical actions. This means that an insulated wire is considered as two homogeneous materials: the metal wire and the plastic insulating material.

What is Due Diligence?

If challenged by authorities, manufacturers are required to demonstrate that they have used due diligence to comply with RoHS. Proof of due diligence should be based on information or material declarations obtained from their suppliers unless the manufacturer has good cause to question the accuracy of the information provided. It means that the manufacturer can show that he did everything a reasonable person would do in order to comply with the law, and that he may be able to show that an infraction was not due to his actions but to someone else’s action or inaction. Material Declarations are used to show due diligence, since they are used to get statements of compliance from suppliers. Once such a document is in the possession of a company, it may be possible to point to the document and state that there was no reason to disbelieve the information given. The directive does not state a compliance method: the concept of self-declaration will apply. Article 8 (Penalties) states “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.”

How manufacturers should document compliance efforts to show due diligence?

They should keep test results, certificates of analysis and material declarations in a safe, accessible place. It is recommended to keep both hard copies and electronic copies. Also, it is important to document any changes made to products, production method, or materials in order to comply with RoHS, and to keep track of costs associated with compliance as well.

What is put on the market?

A product is considered to be put on the market when it is made available for the first time on the European Community market with a view to distribution or use in the Community. The person who first brings the equipment into the European Community for use or sale will therefore have the responsibility to ensure that it complies with the legislation. There doesn’t need to be a financial transaction for this to occur. A product that is donated or given away is still considered to have been put on the market.

Are manufacturers changing their part numbers to indicate RoHS compliant / lead-free components?

The National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) and the International Electronic Manufacturers Initiative (NEMI) strongly support the change of part numbers. However, a recent survey shows that only 50% of the manufacturers are changing part numbers. The others are concerned about the file maintenance impact of adding additional part numbers to their data base, and therefore do not plan to change part numbers to indicate compliance.

Will components used for maintainance or repair need to be compliant after July 2006?

The use of banned substances in spare parts to maintain, repair or upgrade equipment put on the market before July 2006 will be permitted, but will not be allowed in new equipment.