RoHS Deadline Passed: How Many Shopping Days 'Til Christmas?

Electronic Business news has an interesting story about corporate management systems and RoHS compliance -- (short course here) . RoHS has been in effect for more than a month, and yet "65 percent of [200] survey respondents said they wouldn't be able to confidently report compliance." Apparently the lack of confidence by a majority of the survey respondents stems from concerns about how compliance was decided and documented. The inference is that: "When it comes to compliance in general, a large percentage of companies just plain don't understand ". The underlying reality may be that the "compliance" determination was often delegated to a consultant or a service function not integrated into business operations.In either case, the money quote from the article is: "that many companies don't view compliance as a long-term investment when the next requirements come along, they are going to have to deal with them again and again if they haven't dealt with them in a systematic, repeatable way." For example, China's regulations, due soon, will differ from the European Union's RoHS. Next come Japan and some U.S. states.

The likely outcome of this? Right before the Christmas season, some lively NGO will purchase a shopping basket of name-brand, hot-selling electronics, run them through hammer mill, one at a time, and run ltests against the respective RoHS compliance numbers. Then comes the press release, followed by some "restructuring" and supply chain shoving matches.