Below are sites describing some of the more important new product-related regulations. Front and center are the European Union directives on electronic products, namely the WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) the RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Waste and other Substances) and the regulations. These mandatory regulations now apply to all manufacturers selling electronic products in the EU.
Some product types (typically military, core communications and medical equipment) are exempted from these regulations. There is a financial penalty (or advantage) for products that have low (or high) percentages by weight of recyclable materials and constructions.
Many countries also adopted product-recycling laws, including Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. China will likely adopt regulations analogous to the RoHS and WEEE. How long will it take the US (probably starting in California) to do likewise? Designers can inform ourselves (and our bosses and clients) about this important wave of product regulation that moves, inexorably, in our direction.
The International Electro-technical Commission publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies to serve as a basis for national standardization and as references when drafting international tenders and contracts.
Conformity bills itself as the engineer’s guide to worldwide regulatory compliance and offers the latest news, top stories, and compliance event calendar.
The Personal Care Products Council outlines the complex international and technical regulations for cosmetic and personal care products and offers council members services such as an International Regulatory Database and the International Regulatory Resource Manual.
Sustainable Development Laws provides a succinct explanation of environmental laws and regulations both internationally and in the US.
International Organization for Standardization, a network of national standards institutes of 163 member countries offers an online ISO Standards website that integrates both the ISO Catalogue of published standards and the ISO Technical programme of standards.
The European Commission’s website lists the EU’s regulations on energy and energy efficiency.
The U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission gives a searchable database, product tables and manufacturer guidance on the regulations, laws, and current information for consumer safety.
Worldwide Legal Directories offers links to environmental and natural resources law both in the US and international, along with links to organizations and publications working in this area.
Global Trade’s Legal and Compliance portal for International Trade Services is a searchable database for international regulations by continent and by country including corporate law, intellectual property rights, liability, labor law, contracts, dispute resolution, international legal agreements, justice system, standards and business rules and regulations.
Packaging Innovations documents the growing negative impact of packaging waste and emerging regulations in packaging including the Extended Producer Responsibility regulation and the EU packaging directive.
RoHS News provides the latest articles, information and archives pertaining to Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment, including what companies are doing to comply with the regulations.
The British government offers easy to understand information on Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment regulation for importers, manufacturers, the waste management industry, and retailers.
This Electronics Manufacture & Test article highlights significant 2010 revisions to the WEEE regulations.
Rohsguide helps manufacturers understand Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive compliance.
Bureau Veritas offers quality assurance and compliance services to manufacturers, distributors and retailers with public web resources on a variety of industries and regulations.
The Hong Kong based Product Standards Information Bureau offers web resource with links about international standards.
The United Nations Environment Programme site gives up to date regulatory information, publications and news.