1. Key elements
The restrictions on certain heavy metals in vehicle materials and components as well as in vehicles in Switzerland are identical to those in Directive 2000/53/EU on end-of-life vehicles in relation to:
- the nature and extent of the regulated heavy metals
- the categories of vehicle affected
- exemptions from the substance bans
- special labelling
As a result, materials and components for vehicles as well as vehicles themselves that fulfil the EU requirements may also be placed on the market in Switzerland.
Materials and components for vehicles as well as the vehicles themselves may not be placed on the market if they contain mercury, lead, cadmium or chromium (VI). Maximum concentration levels of up to 0.1% are tolerated, for cadmium a maximum of 0.01%. The maximum levels relate in each case to homogeneous materials.
3. Categories of vehicle
Vehicles are defined as private vehicles and light commercial vehicles in classes M1 and N1 of Annex II Section A of Directive 70/156/EEC on the type-approval of motor vehicles.
The bans do not apply to materials and components listed in Annex II of Directive 2000/53/EC under the conditions mentioned there.
Replacement parts are also exempted from the restrictions on materials if they are used to repair vehicles that were brought into service before the ban on materials came into force. However the following replacement parts containing lead are not allowed:
- Balance weights
- Carbon brushes for electric engines
- Brake pads
The bans apply to new materials and components that were placed on the market for the first time after 1 August 2006 (i.e. introduced, made available or supplied). The first time of placing on the market does not relate to Switzerland alone. It may also take place in another member state of the EU or EFTA. For vehicles as such, the first time of placing on the market of their materials and components is decisive.
6. Special labelling
Some components such as lead-acid batteries, nickel-cadmium accumulators or bulbs and instrument lighting that contain mercury must be labelled (Annex 2.16 Section 5.4; annex II of the Directive 2000/53/EU).