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Brazil’s RoHS may cover cars

Places - Brazil electronics © Zerophoto - Fotolia.com

Cars may be in scope of a draft regulation on the control and use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in Brazil, according to government sources.

Aiming to align the Brazilian regulation with the EU's Directive on the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) in EEE, the draft would see restrictions on the same chemicals:

  • lead;
  • cadmium;
  • mercury;
  • hexavalent chromium;
  • polybrominated biphenyls (PBB);
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE); and
  • four phthalates – DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP.

But unlike EU RoHS, cars may be in scope because the country does not, and has never, had a regulation covering hazardous substances in vehicles.

In Europe, hazardous substances in cars are covered by the EU’s end of life vehicles (ELV) Directive, which prohibits the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. The ELV Directive predates EU RoHS and so cars were excluded from the latter.

Brazil is therefore considering including cars in RoHS, "even if only to regulate the substances lead, mercury hexavalent chromium and cadmium". This, the sources say, would ensure "complete harmonisation of EU legislation with that of Brazil".

"We are in contact with the national [trade] associations to define the inclusion, or not, of automotive vehicles in Brazilian RoHS," one source said.

Trucks

One government source said that because certain types of trucks are not in scope of the EU’s ELV and RoHS Directives, it would not make sense to include them in Brazil’s RoHS, as this would veer away from regulatory harmonisation.

The source also said that one national vehicle association has "informed us that it will be extremely difficult for this part of the [sector] to comply because they have never had to meet RoHS and ELV requirements in Europe or any other country". Trucks are also the main form of transportation for moving goods around the country.

The draft was presented in Brasilia in July to the working group established by the country's National Chemical Safety Commission (Conasq). The meeting carried out a first joint evaluation of the proposal.

The deadline to finalise the draft is mid-December. This will then be sent to the National Commission for the Environment (Conama) for further consideration.

A final version of the regulation is expected to be published in the second half of 2019.

Last month, Conasq approved a draft law for the industrial chemicals sector, which sets out provisions covering the registration, evaluation and control of chemicals.

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