EN 50581 - Guiding Standard for Compliance with RoHS2 Requirements for Technical Documentation

Since RoHS2 is a CE Marking Directive, manufacturers need to provide technical documentation according to Decision 768/2008/EC Annex II Module A[1] to demonstrate RoHS compliance. The European Commission initiated a process to develop a harmonized standard to guide manufacturers on their way to correct technical documentation. This standard EN 50581:2012 was made available on September 21, 2012 by CENELEC[2] and will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union soon.

SGS summarizes the basic facts about the new EN 50581 standard for RoHS2 technical documentation.

Including RoHS restrictions in the technical documentation of Electric and Electronic Equipment is one of the challenges arising from the RoHS2 CE marking requirements. In principle manufacturers are free to choose whatever approach (e.g. pure supply chain management, pure chemical testing or a combination of both) is suitable to their needs as long as is satisfies Directive 2011/65/EU Articles 4(1), 13, and 14 for RoHS compliance and CE marking requirements.  It is stated in Directive 2011/65/EU Article 16 (2) that an assessment performed on the basis of a harmonized standard will be presumed to be conforming to the RoHS2 directive.


The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) was given a mandate in October 2011 by the European Commission to develop a standard manufacturers may use for RoHS2 technical documentation. This project resulted in the (to be harmonized) standard EN 50581:2012 Technical documentation for the evaluation of electrical and electronic products with respect to restriction of hazardous substances.


Standard EN 50581The aim of the standard is to specify the technical documentation a manufacturer will have to collect for applicable substance restrictions in order to demonstrate compliance with the directive. The standard’s key elements of the technical documentation are

•    A general description of the product

•    Documents for materials, parts, and/or sub-assemblies

•    Information connecting the technical documents and respective materials, parts and/or sub-assemblies

•    A list of harmonized standards and/or technical specifications used to prepare the technical documents.


The most important and critical part is obviously the documentation of materials, parts, and/or sub-assemblies with relevance to restricted substance information. The standard gives guidance on

•    What tasks a manufacturer needs to engage in

•    How to decide on relevant information

•    What relevant information to gather

•    How to evaluate the information

•    What review processes to follow


Additionally the document shows a process scheme a manufacturer shall follow for the technical documentation as well as the relationship between Directive 2011/65/EU Article 7(b), standard EN 50581, and the technical documentation.


About SGS Electrical & Electronics Services

As the world’s leader in third party testing, SGS has established procedures to cover a large variety of legal requirements, such as RoHS, related to your products. The global footprint of SGS will provide solutions wherever you are. The SGS experts may support you in product compliance with consumer product related requirements. Regardless if you are in need of chemical testing or services in the fields of inspection, certification, compliance assurance, outsourcing, training or auditing, SGS is dedicated to satisfy your needs. Providing service to help your products to be fit for the market requirements of the future – whatever the legal frameworks might be.







Should you require more information on RoHS2 and the EN 50581 standard, please contact the SGS experts.


Contact details:


SGS Consumer Testing Services

Dr. Udo Krischke

RSTS Global Technical Manager

Im Maisel 14, 65232 Taunusstein, Germany

t: +49 (0)6128 - 744 235




SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.


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