RoHS, WEEE: Is your Product Large-Scale?
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Both Directives 2011/65/EU and 2012/19/EU give the scope of EU RoHS and WEEE on article 2. According to it, most electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) placed in the EU market must comply. However, some electrical and electronic products are merely out-of-scope, such as military or aerospace equipment.
Other excluded products are the so-called large-scale stationary industrial tools (LSSIT) and large-scale fixed installations (LSFI). Are any of your products LSSIT or LSFI? If so, then the EU RoHS assessments and WEEE extended producer responsibilities would not apply to them. Let's find out what these large-scale products are.
Two Types of RoHS and WEEE Large-Scale Exclusions
An out-of-scope large-scale product will either be a stationary industrial tool or a fixed installation.
Large-Scale Stationary Industrial Tools - LSSIT
Article 3 of both EU RoHS and WEEE directives share the same definition of an LSSIT:
large-scale assembly of machines, equipment, and-or components, functioning together for a specific application, permanently installed and de-installed by professionals at a given place, and used and maintained by professionals in an industrial manufacturing facility or research and development facility.
Large-Scale Fixed Installations - LSFI
Articles 3 of EU RoHS and WEEE give very similar definitions of what an LSFI is.
Here is the definition, according to EU RoHS:
large-scale combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled and installed by professionals, intended to be used permanently in a pre-defined and dedicated location, and de-installed by professionals.
EU WEEE gives some additional precisions and slight variations, here in bold character:
large-size combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which:
(i) are assembled, installed, and de-installed by professionals;
(ii) are intended to be used permanently as part of a building or a structure at a pre-defined and dedicated location; and
(iii) can only be replaced by the same specifically designed
What is Considered Large-Scale under RoHS and WEEE?
The LSSIT and LSFI Definitions
Both LSSIT and SLFI definitions leave areas for interpretation. Terms like stationary, fixed, industrial, tools, or installations may not be too difficult to define.
However, what is considered large-scale remains unclear. Is the size of a fridge large-scale, or should it be even bigger? Are there objective criteria to help determine what a 'large-scale' product is?
The European Commission FAQs on RoHS and WEEE
Conscious that the industry has inquired some clarifications, the European Commission (EC) published in 2012 and 2014 two FAQs about RoHS and WEEE, respectively. As a result, the EC addressed most of the common questions, including details on what a large-scale means.
To illustrate, the EC gave examples of LSSIT, like:
- testers of circuit boards and printed wiring boards;
- metal forming presses;
- cranes, etc.
and LSFI, such as:
- production lines;
- railway signaling infrastructure;
- fixed installed air conditioning systems, etc.
Additionally, the EC gave various indicative metrics for LSFI, like:
- Dimensions: is the sum of the product parts larger than 2.71 m x 2.35 m x 2.39 m?
- Weight: is the sum of the product parts over 44 tons?
- Wattage: Does the installation have a rated power above 375 kW?
If the answer is yes to any of the listed criteria, then the fixed-installation may be considered large-scale.
Unfortunately, the EC did not give similar objective criteria for LSSIT. Nevertheless, according to the EC, LSSIT can be significantly smaller than LSFI. Interestingly, the EC recommended that specific guidance metrics should be developed on this matter.
The WEEE2 Guidance Document of LSSIT
In October 2016, the European WEEE Registers Network (EWRN) published such guidance, untitled:
WEEE2 guidance document: Large-scale stationary industrial tools (''LSSIT'')
Among other things, this guidance provides the following scientific criteria for large-scale, applicable to stationary industrial tools:
- Volume: minimum of 15.625 m3; and
- Weight: over 2 tons.
Unlike LSFI, stationary industrial tools must meet both large-scale criteria to be eligible as LSSIT. Although the EWRN guidance is not legally binding, it gives a clear indicative interpretation of LSSIT.
Assess your LSSIT and LSFI Products
According to the RoHS FAQ, the burden of proof is with the manufacturer, the importer, or any other economic operator. Enviropass strongly recommends you to build a technical file detailing why you consider your product as an LSSIT or an LSFI. You would then draw a solid technical file, based on evidence and due diligence.
Still unsure whether your product can benefit from the LSFI or the LSSIT exclusion? Ask Enviropass for an Opinion Letter!