The European Union´s legislative and regulative framework defines the Health, Safety and Environmental requirements for products and substances used in cable production and use. Europacable is actively involved in the debates on REACH, RoHS, WEEE and the EcoDesign Directive to ensure that cable production and usage is at all times full compliant with EU´s environmental, health and safety requirements.
Regulation for ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals’ (REACH) is the EU-wide harmonized tool for chemicals management, including their safe use. The REACH Regulation entered into force on 1 June 2007 and its obligations are now fully in place.
REACH requires the assessment of all existing and new substances in a harmonized way at EU level engaging stakeholders. It also aims to improve flows of information in the supply chain to ensure that chemicals can be handled safely by users. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) runs a centralized information database on chemicals and administers the implementation of REACH requirements, including on authorization and restriction procedures.
The implementation demands a high frequency of monitoring of the respective substance lists in order to identify consequences for cable manufacturers. Europacable members are regularly updated about the status and if necessary co-ordinate stakeholder consultations. In 2013, Europacable participated in the stakeholder consultation for a foaming substance, called “ADCA”. Please consult the Europacable submission to the ECHA consultation on ADCA of 20 September 2013.
Directive 2011/65/EU on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (‘recast RoHS Directive’ or ‘RoHS2’) so far restricts the use of six hazardous substances in certain electrical and electronic equipment. Additional substances are currently under review.
In general “cables” are not included in the scope of RoHS Directive: they are not included in Article 3(a) of RoHS1 and this definition is consistently applied in Article 3(1) of RoHS2.
This said, Article 3(5) of RoHS2 stipulates the inclusion of “cables with a rated voltage of less than 250 volts that serve as connection or an extension to connect EEE to the electrical outlet or to connect two or more EEE to each other”. Europacable firmly believes that cables that fall into this scope should be compliant with RoHS requirements either at the due date of the EEE category they fall in, or in 2019 if not dedicated to any EEE specific category. Furthermore an EU declaration of conformity should be made available to customers at the appropriate due date.
Europacable insists that the exact scope as defined by Article 3(5) is to be applied to the RoHS2 FAQ Guidance Document. Please click here to consult the Europacable Position Paper on the RoHS 2 FAQ Guidance Document.
Please consult the Europacable Communication on Cables and RoHS for an indication which rated voltages and final applications fall into the RoHS scope and which remain outside.
The Directive on Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulates the end of life management of a wide and disparate range of electrical and electronic consumer appliances as well as certain professional equipment.
In principal, producers are responsible for the end of life management of waste electrical and electronic equipment returned to them and consumers are able to return their waste equipment free of charge. On 24 July 2012, the recast WEEE 2 has been published in the Official Journal of the EU and entered into force on 13 August 2012. Implementation of WEEE 2 is in progress.
Although most cable applications are not covered by WEEE 2, certain types of applications are considered to be in the scope depending of the supply route. In these cases, cable manufacturers may have to comply with producer responsibilities.
Europacable recommends monitoring the implementation of national WEEE 2 legislation at Member State level for understanding the detailed obligations and consequences for cable manufacturers.
Please consult the Europacable Communication on Cables and WEEE2
Please consult to access the Europacable Information Sheet on Cables and WEEE2
Directive 2009/125/EC, the so called ´Ecodesign Directive´, creates a framework for the setting of eco design requirements on Energy related Products addressing all environmental aspects from a life cycle perspective.
“Power cables” have been included in the 2012 – 2014 Working Plan under the Ecodesign Directive. Europacable believes that this inclusion is based on incomplete and incorrect information. While we strongly support Europe’s ambition to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency, we take the view that there are many parameters that contribute to the energy efficiency of indoor electrical installations low voltage power cables installed in these installations only offer a marginal contribution to achieving the overall objectives.
Please consult the Europacable Communication on the Revision of the 2012-2014 Working Plan under the EcoDesign Directive.