China tightens testing for harmful chemicals in electronics

China is changing its testing requirements for hazardous substances contained in electronics to align more closely with international standards.

China has updated its rules for hazardous substances testing for electronics. Picture: Pixabay

China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration said it will adjust its test method standards for the Restriction on the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products (China RoHS).

China RoHS controls the use of six hazardous substances in electronics:  lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium, as well as flame retardants polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated dipheny ethers (PBDEs). 

Under the rule change, China is replacing its current standard GB/T 26125 with eight new standards referred to as the GB/T 39560 standards series.

The new standards requirements come into force next month, although products that have already completed qualification assessment under the earlier standard will only need to confirm once the product requires a certificate renewal or there are changes to the product.

Products that have already been manufactured or imported to China before March 1 do not need to undergo standard conversion.

Other regions of the world already have severe limits on the use of the six hazardous substances that China is now moving to restrict. In the EU, for example, a directive restricting their use in electronics has existed since 2002.