Arlington, Va. – Contrary to popular belief, what you don't know can hurt you. In the case of environmental regulations, manufacturers and suppliers of electronics, medical devices, toys and other products must stay aware of laws affecting all target markets or they could find themselves being slapped with harsh penalties, shut out of their strategic markets and pushed aside by the competition as a result. But the task of keeping up with new laws and regulations around the globe is ever-more daunting, as regions, countries, provinces, states and cities introduce their own measures designed to clean up the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To educate companies on increasingly stringent worldwide environmental regulations, TIA has published a series of free white papers (available at tiaonline.org) that address the latest challenges facing manufacturers and marketers on the four most-regulated continents.
Each paper summarizes the main laws governing product import, distribution, packaging, labeling and recycling or end-of-life disposition with special attention paid to restricted substances such as lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and cadmium. The full detail and documents are posted as they emerge on TIA's environmental intelligence analysis service online, EIATRACK.
Europe, and particularly the EU, has led the way in adopting strict regulations governing hazardous substance use in products, as well as testing, reporting, labeling, energy efficiency end-of-life measures such as product take-back. The EU is updating its Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations next year. Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH), which extends the EU chemical law's scope from chemical substances in bulk to products containing chemicals, imposes requirements regarding data gathering and analysis, testing, chemical safety assessment, reporting and communication. The regulation prescribes sanctions for non-compliance. In addition, companies must be cognizant of the Energy-Using Products (EuP) Directive, which aims to optimize environmental performance of products, and the EU Battery Directive, which seeks to minimize the negative impact of battery waste on the environment. Finally, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which imposes on producers and distributors "take-back" and recycling obligations, is under review with new amendments expected this year.
In North America, products are subject to an expanding patchwork of complex legislation. State and local governments in the United States, along with the Canadian provinces, have passed and continue to introduce numerous product-based environmental and safety measures, creating new compliance and marketing challenges for global companies. Some requirements are exceeding comparable mandates in Europe and Asia.
In Asia, the largest push toward product-oriented regulations is evident in China, India and South Korea. Of greatest concern is China's development of more stringent requirements than RoHS and WEEE regulations currently in place in the EU. As the world's largest producing country and one of the largest consuming countries, China has become the region's bellwether jurisdiction for changes in product-oriented regulations.
With a 1.15 billion population moving rapidly into the technological era, India is now mobilizing efforts to create voluntary measures.
Latin America has witnessed an explosion of product stewardship initiatives for electrical and electronic equipment, spurred in part by international legal trends, serious urban waste management challenges, a growing local environmental awareness, and the rise in influence of local and international NGOs. Governments facing limited waste infrastructure capacity, outdated laws and regulations, and insufficient funding to support management and/or regulatory enforcement have turned to product stewardship as an attractive solution, shifting responsibility from the public to the private sector.
TIA's EIATRACK helps companies mitigate the enormous cost of tracking so many jurisdictions. More than 130 companies subscribe, including ADC, Adtran, Agfa, Airbus, AMD, Apple, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Avid, Baxter, Belkin, Belden, BenQ, Best Buy, Boeing, Bose, Brother, Canon, Carestream, Cisco, Corning, Dell, Epson, Extreme Networks, Flextronics, GE, Harmonic, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, JVC, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Lenovo, Lexmark, LG, Mitel, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitutoyo, Molex, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Nortel, Océ, Panasonic, Philips, Pitney Bowes, QLogic, Qualcomm, RadioShack, Ricoh, RIM, Samsung, Sanyo, Sennheiser, Sharp, Shure, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Spirent, Sun Microsystems, Tektronix, Teradyne, Texas Instruments, Thomson, Toro, Toshiba, Unisys, ViaSat and Xerox.
EIATRACK employs highly-respected legal firms and technical experts to monitor and analyze regulations related to the RoHS, WEEE, REACH, EuP Directives, battery disposal, design for the environment, energy efficiency and more, for products that contain electronics, cabling, chips, plastics and other materials that are subject to compliance rules.
For more information about free demos, trials and subscriptions for EIATRACK, contact TIA's Environmental Program Manager Ellen Farmer at +1.703.907.7582 or at firstname.lastname@example.org,
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis. With roots dating back to 1924, TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment and entertainment. TIA co-owns the SUPERCOMM® tradeshow and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Visit tiaonline.org.
TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS, ADC, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, ANDA Networks, ArrayComm, AttivaCorp, Avaya, Bechtel Communications, Inc., Cisco Systems, Corning Incorporated, Ericsson, Inc., GENBAND, Inc., Graybar, Henkels & McCoy, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, Intersect, Inc., LGE, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tellabs, Tyco Electronics, Ulticom, Inc., and Verari Systems. Advisors to the Board include FAL Associates, Orca Systems and Telcordia Technologies.
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