Eleven senior officials from the Chinese Ministry of Information Industries (MII) addressed over 250 high-tech attendees in Silicon Valley on the new China Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations, which go into effect March 1, 2007. The Silicon Valley program was the culmination of a 10-day visit by these senior officials under the sponsorship of AeA. In addition to AeA, the delegation was also sponsored by Agilent Technologies, AMD, Apple, Cisco Systems, Dell, GE, HP, Honeywell, Intel, Motorola, Sun and Teradyne. The delegation visited Washington, DC, Austin, TX and Silicon Valley, CA. AeA’s purpose in hosting the trip was for US high-tech companies to hear first hand from the officials responsible for the promulgation of the new regulations, and for Chinese officials to hear the comments and suggestions of US companies about the proposed regulations.

“This is an unprecedented visit by such high-level representation from the government of China,” said William T. Archey, president and CEO, AeA. “Their presentations provided participants with valuable insights into the Chinese regulatory process, and useful updates on the development of these new regulations.”

For over two years, the AeA China RoHS Steering Committee, led by Liz Moyer of Texas Instruments and David Towne of Sun Microsystems, has been working with MII to provide technical expertise and advice on the concerns US companies had as the regulations were developed. The new regulations will restrict the use of certain hazardous substances, such as lead, in the production of products manufactured and sold in or imported into China.

“The China RoHS will have a major impact on our industry,” noted Liz Moyer, Environmental, Safety and Health Public Affairs Manager, Texas Instruments. “While our products are a very small percentage of the overall waste stream, we in the electronics industry work hard to assure our environmental impact is as small as possible. Because the China RoHS is different in some ways from the EU version, it is important for everyone in industry to understand their responsibilities under this regulation. The MII officials speaking at the AeA conference were the best source for understanding these requirements.”

“The use of certain materials in electronics products has begun to be regulated by international legislation, and the PRC is simply the latest to do this,” said David Towne director, Engineering Technologies and Services, Sun Microsystems. “With the MII as the author of the China RoHS requirements that take effect in March next year, their presence and participation in the AeA-sponsored conference was a unique opportunity for many companies to participate, interact and learn about how the China RoHS requirements will affect their electronics products.”