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EU: EC ends certain RoHS Mercury exemptions in lamps

FEBRUARY 2022 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS

The European Commission (EC) published 12 amendments to the EU RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU. These amendments aim to end a wide range of existing exemptions for the use of mercury in lamps and grant exemptions where substitution of alternatives is technically impracticable. The amendments will come into force on 13 March 2022.  

Mercury is one of the restricted substances under the RoHS Directive. This is an element with neurotoxic effects and is used in manufacturing products such as lamps, switches, batteries, etc. Exposure to a high level of mercury can cause damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys and immune system. As of now, mercury-free alternatives are available for lamps. Hence, the EC decided to reject the renewal applications of certain mercury exemptions and allow 12 to 18 months transition periods. Some exemption renewals are granted to allow ongoing effort to find a reliable substitution. A summary of the 12 amendments can be found in Table A. 

Table A: Updates to RoHS mercury exemptions in lamps 

Exemption No.

Exemption

Scope and date of application

Reference

1

Mercury in single capped (compact) fluorescent lamps not exceeding (per burner):

--

Directive (EU) 2022/2761 

Remark: 
Exemptions will not be further renewed.

1(a)

For general lighting purposes < 30 W: 2.5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

1(b)

For general lighting purposes ≥ 30 W and < 50 W: 3.5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

1(c)

For general lighting purposes ≥ 50 W and < 150 W: 5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

1(d)

For general lighting purposes ≥ 150 W: 15 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

1(e)

For general lighting purposes with circular or square structural shape and tube diameter ≤ 17 mm: 5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

1(f) – I

For lamps designed to emit mainly light in the ultraviolet spectrum: 5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2027

Directive (EU) 2022/2812 

Remark:  
Exemptions renewed.

1(f) – II

For special purposes: 5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2025

1(g)

For general lighting purposes < 30 W with a lifetime equal or above 20 000 h: 3.5 mg

Expires on 24 August 2023

Directive (EU) 2022/2773 

Remark: 
Exemption will not be further renewed.

2(a)

Mercury in double-capped linear fluorescent lamps for general lighting purposes not exceeding (per lamp):

--

Directive (EU) 2022/2844 

Remark:  
Exemptions will not be further renewed.

2(a)(1)

Tri-band phosphor with normal lifetime and a tube diameter < 9 mm (e.g. T2): 4 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

2(a)(2)

Tri-band phosphor with normal lifetime and a tube diameter ≥ 9 mm and ≤ 17 mm (e.g. T5): 3 mg

Expires on 24 August 2023

2(a)(3)

Tri-band phosphor with normal lifetime and a tube diameter > 17 mm and ≤ 28 mm (e.g. T8): 3.5 mg

Expires on 24 August 2023

2(a)(4)

Tri-band phosphor with normal lifetime and a tube diameter > 28 mm (e.g. T12): 3.5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

2(a)(5)

Tri-band phosphor with long lifetime (≥ 25 000 h): 5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

2(b)(3)

Non-linear tri-band phosphor lamps with tube diameter > 17 mm (e.g. T9): 15 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023; 10 mg may be used per lamp from 25 February 2023 until 24 February 2025

Directive (EU) 2022/2825 

Remark:  

Exemption is renewed.

2(b)(4)- I

Lamps for other general lighting and special purposes (e.g. induction lamps): 15 mg

Expires on 24 February 2025

Directive (EU) 2022/2876 

Remark:  
Exemptions are renewed.

2(b)(4)- II

Lamps emitting mainly light in the ultraviolet spectrum: 15 mg

Expires on 24 February 2027

2(b)(4)- III

Emergency lamps: 15 mg

Expires on 24 February 2027

3

Mercury in cold cathode fluorescent lamps and external electrode fluorescent lamps (CCFL and EEFL) for special purposes used in EEE placed on the market before 24 February 2022 not exceeding (per lamp):

--

Directive (EU) 2022/2747 

Remark:  
Exemptions are renewed.

3(a)

Short length (≤ 500 mm): 3.5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2025

3(b)

Medium length (> 500 mm and ≤ 1 500 mm): 5 mg

Expires on 24 February 2025

3(c)

Long length (> 1 500 mm): 13 mg

Expires on 24 February 2025

4(a)

Mercury in other low pressure discharge lamps (per lamp): 15 mg

Expires on 24 February 2023

Directive (EU) 2022/2808 

Remark:  
Exemptions are renewed.

4(a)-I

Mercury in low pressure non-phosphor coated discharge lamps, where the application requires the main range of the lamp-spectral output to be in the ultraviolet spectrum: up to 15 mg mercury may be used per lamp

Expires on 24 February 2027

4(b)

Mercury in High Pressure Sodium (vapour) lamps for general lighting purposes not exceeding (per burner) in lamps with improved colour rendering index Ra > 80: P ≤ 105 W: 16 mg may be used per burner

Expires on 24 February 2027

Directive (EU) 2022/2839 

Remark:  
Exemption 4(b) is renewed but 4(b)-I, II, III will not be further renewed.

4(b)-I

Mercury in High Pressure Sodium (vapour) lamps for general lighting purposes not exceeding (per burner) in lamps with improved colour rendering index Ra > 60: P ≤ 155 W: 30 mg may be used per burner

Expires on 24 February 2023

4(b)-II

Mercury in High Pressure Sodium (vapour) lamps for general lighting purposes not exceeding (per burner) in lamps with improved colour rendering index Ra > 60: 155 W < P ≤ 405 W: 40 mg may be used per burner

Expires on 24 February 2023

4(b)-III

Mercury in High Pressure Sodium (vapour) lamps for general lighting purposes not exceeding (per burner) in lamps with improved colour rendering index Ra > 60: P > 405 W: 40 mg may be used per burner

Expires on 24 February 2023

4(c)

Mercury in other High Pressure Sodium (vapour) lamps for general lighting purposes not exceeding (per burner):

--

Directive (EU) 2022/27510 

Remark:  
Exemptions are renewed.

4(c)-I

P ≤ 155 W: 20 mg

Expires on 24 February 2027

4(c)-II

155 W < P ≤ 405 W: 25 mg

Expires on 24 February 2027

4(c)-III

P > 405 W: 25 mg

Expires on 24 February 2027

4(e)

Mercury in metal halide lamps (MH)

Expires on 24 February 2027

Directive (EU) 2022/27811 

Remark:  
Exemption is renewed.

4(f)-I

Mercury in other discharge lamps for special purposes not specifically mentioned in this Annex

Expires on 24 February 2025

Directive (EU) 2022/27912 
 
Remark:  
Exemptions are renewed.

4(f)-II

Mercury in high pressure mercury vapour lamps used in projectors where an output ≥ 2000 lumen ANSI is required

Expires on 24 February 2027

4(f)-III

Mercury in high pressure sodium vapour lamps used for horticulture lighting

Expires on 24 February 2027

4(f)-IV

Mercury in lamps emitting light in the ultraviolet spectrum

Expires on 24 February 2027



[1]  Directive (EU) 2022/276

[2]  Directive (EU) 2022/281 

[3]  Directive (EU) 2022/277 

[4]  Directive (EU) 2022/284 

[5]  Directive (EU) 2022/282 

[6]  Directive (EU) 2022/287 

[7]  Directive (EU) 2022/274 

[8]  Directive (EU) 2022/280 

[9]  Directive (EU) 2022/283 

[10]  Directive (EU) 2022/275 

[11]  Directive (EU) 2022/278 

[12]  Directive (EU) 2022/279


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