Taiwanese Electronics Sector Faces RoHS Test

Jun 30, 2006 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken, CENS
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Taipei, June 30, 2006 (CENS)--Beginning July 1, Taiwan's electronics industrial sector will face a real test from the Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) directive in view of the inconsistent standards for examinations and sampling among E.U. nations.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, as of the end of June, 90% of the island's products bound for Europe have proven to be RoHS compliant. The ministry estimates the directive to affect 35,000 electrical and electronic manufacturers in Taiwan, or a combined annual production value of NT$244.6 billion (US$7.6 billion at US$1:NT$32).

The directive, effective July 1, forbids imported electrical and electronics parts for being made of six major toxic substances—mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominate. Of Taiwan's household-appliance supplies and electronics component and material suppliers, printed-circuit board makers, information-technology product suppliers, and telecommunications-equipment suppliers are expected to bear the brunt of the impact from the new regulations.

The ministry pointed out that of the island's top-60 European-market exporters, only two had failed to comply with RoHS standards. So far, 192 of the 212 listed local enterprises assisted by the government's RoHS programs have met the standard.

Beginning July 1, E.U. nations will make random spot checks on imported electronics and electrical products, posing Taiwanese suppliers a great challenge, since the nations have not unified examination and sampling standards. For instance, the U.K.'s standard is stricter than the E.U.'s. If their products fail to meet any of the standards, Taiwanese suppliers will be fined and their products recalled.
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