In Switzerland, the restrictions on hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment are identical to those specified in Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS2) in terms of type of regulated heavy metals and flame retardants, involved appliance categories, exemptions from bans on substances and dates of entry into effect.
Basic legal sources
1. Banned substances
Electrical and electronic appliances, cables and spare parts may not be brought onto the market if they contain mercury, lead, cadmium or chromium(VI), and polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Maximum concentration levels of up to 0.1% are tolerated, while for cadmium the tolerated maximum concentration is 0.01%. The maximum concentration levels relate in each case to homogeneous materials.
2. Involved categories
The term "electrical and electronic equipment" encompasses the following categories:
- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Consumer equipment
- Lighting equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools
- Toys, sports and leisure equipment
- Medical devices
- Monitoring and control instruments, including those for use in industry
- Automatic dispensers
- Other electrical and electronic equipment that cannot be allocated to the above categories.
The following electrical and electronic equipment that still contains the cited heavy metals, decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), with the exception of hexabromobiphenyl, may be placed on the market for the first time until the indicated date:
- In-vitro diagnostics devices until 22 July 2016;
- Industrial monitoring and control instruments until 22 July 2017;
- Equipment that is not governed by Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS1) and would not comply with the requirements of Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS2) until 22 July 2019.
The bans on heavy metals, decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), with the exception of hexabromobiphenyl, also do not apply to:
- Equipment that is necessary for safeguarding the essential security interests of Switzerland, including weapons, munitions and war material
- Equipment designed to be sent into space
- Large-scale stationary industrial tools and large-scale fixed installations
- Means of transport for persons or goods (except non-type-approved electric two-wheeled vehicles)
- Mobile machines that are not intended for use on the roads and are provided solely for professional use
- Active implantable medical devices
- Photovoltaic modules that are intended for use in a system which has been designed, assembled and installed by specialised personnel for permanent operation at a specific location for the purpose of producing energy from sunlight for public, commercial, industrial and private applications
- Equipment that has been designed exclusively for research and development purposes and is only supplied for temporary operation
- Equipment that is specially designed as a component of a type of appliance for which the substance bans do not apply
3. Exemptions for certain materials and components
The bans do not apply to electrical and electronic equipment, cables and spare parts that contain substances listed in Annexes III and IV of Directive 2011/65/EU in the cited applications therein.
4. Obligations on the part of manufacturers and importers
Equipment manufacturers are required to certify that their products comply with the applicable bans by signing a corresponding declaration of conformity. Importers are obliged to ensure that manufacturers comply with this requirement. For the purpose of verifying conformity with RoHS, in accordance with Decision No. 768/2008/EC, manufacturers are obliged to apply Module A (internal production control procedure) as specified in RoHS2. The manufacturer's technical documentation forms the central element of this module. From this documentation it must be possible to determine whether the electrical or electronic equipment concerned meets the requirements of RoHS2. In the case of equipment for which measurements have been carried out on its components, or which have been tested in accordance with EN 50581:2012 (Technical documentation for the assessment of electrical and electronic products with respect to the restriction of hazardous substances), it is assumed that banned substances are not present.
5. Additional information
As before, there are no provisions for the relevant Swiss authorities to grant exemptions upon request from bans for certain areas of application. Furthermore, there are no provisions stipulating that manufacturers or their authorised representatives have to apply a CE label to their products as specified in the EU, since this is not required for other EU-harmonised regulations for such equipment.
Last modification 04.05.2021