EU – A New RoHS Exemption for Lead in Solders Used in Certain Combustion Engines

​Each engine within scope of the requested exemption is equipped with specific types of sensors, actuators and engine control units that monitor and control its emissions to ensure compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The conditions experienced in and close to such engine and an exhaust system can be so severe in terms of elevated temperatures and vibration levels that they may cause early failure of solder bonds. Currently, for the applications of lead covered by the requested exemption, additional time is needed for testing to ensure the reliability of available lead-free substitutes. Due to the lack of reliable alternatives, a substitution or elimination of lead is scientifically and technically impracticable in certain combustion engines. The requested exemption is consistent with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council and thus does not weaken the environmental and health protection afforded by it. It is, therefore, appropriate to grant the requested exemption by including the applications covered by it in Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU with respect to electrical and electronic equipment of category 11 of Annex I to Directive 2011/65/EU. In Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU, the following entry 44 is added: “Lead in solder of sensors, actuators, and engine control units of combustion engines within the scope of Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 of the European Parliament and of the Council, installed in equipment used at fixed positions while in operation which is designed for professionals, but also used by non-professional users.” Applies to category 11 from May 1, 2020, and expires on July 21, 2024.​