What are the latest trends in the electronics and electricals sector?


    Leigh Stringer
    Business editor
    Chemical Watch

What challenges are businesses in the industry facing? Our business editor, Leigh Stringer, explores the latest trends 

Supply chain communication, tracking chemicals in articles and the international expansion of similar regulations to the EU’s RoHS remain key topics for the electrical and electronics sector.

Supply chain communication

For the electronics sector, communication on chemicals is challenging due to the multiple tiers across a global supply chain. Along with the automotive and aerospace sectors, products manufactured in the electronics sector are often made up of many components, making the task of finding out which substances are contained in each part difficult.

A cross-sector initiative has been set up to address this. The Proactive Alliance, made up of industry representatives, is working to develop a global standard for material data, which would be interoperable with the IT systems used by different sectors.   

Regulatory pressure

This increased pressure has largely come from regulatory developments in Europe. In 2015 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said the 0.1% threshold for notifying SVHCs in articles – known as Article 33 of REACH - applies to “each of the articles incorporated as a component of a complex product” rather than to the entire article.

More recently, companies have been told that they have until the end of 2020 to submit information to an Echa database if they produce, import or sell articles that contain REACH candidate list substances. The agency is required to generate the database as part of an amendment to Article 9 of the waste framework Directive, which obliges suppliers to notify Echa of the presence of SVHCs in articles. It entered into force in July this year.

RoHS expands

Another important development is the consideration and adoption of regulations similar to the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). The latest country to contemplate a similar model is Brazil. A draft has been drawn up, with the aim to closely align the Brazilian regulation with the EU's.