Managing Critical Substances

NI is committed to producing environmentally friendly products and complies with all applicable environmental and supply chain responsibility laws.

RoHS Compliance

The EU Directive on Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) (2011/65/EU) restricts the use of harmful substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium in products. It applies to 11 categories of electrical and electronic equipment. NI products fall under Industrial Monitoring and Control Instruments within Category 9, which came into scope July 22, 2017. NI fully complies with the RoHS directive.

 

The Directive (2015/863/EU) amended Annex II to the EU RoHS Directive (2011/65/EU) to add four phthalates on the list of restricted substances. This requires that each homogeneous substance in a part contain a maximum concentration level of less than 0.1 percent by weight of bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP).

 

Products in Category 9, Industrial Monitoring and Control Instruments, are given a grace period to comply by July 22, 2021. Consequently, most of NI's products are outside the scope of the RoHS Directive (2015/863/EU) until that date. Currently, NI is surveying our supply chain to determine the presence of the four new substances in our products. By 2019, NI plans to be able to certify compliance with the RoHS Directive and Annex II for most of our products.

Challenges

In addition to the far-reaching impact on the supply chain, NI faces the following challenges in the process of eliminating hazardous substances from its products:

  • Organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that the replacement options for certain hazardous substances may have an environmental impact equal to or worse than the original hazardous substance. To mitigate this issue, NI is actively involved with numerous trade organizations around the world. Through involvement with these organizations and close relationships with suppliers, NI stays at the forefront of both advanced technological developments in materials and compliance with worldwide regulations of hazardous substances. 
  • Regulations in this area evolve rapidly. NI is a member of the Test and Measurement Coalition and works through this organization to refine legislation.

 

View the full text of the RoHS Directive. For more information about NI compliance with RoHS, contact rohs@ni.com.

Resources

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals)

In 2006, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). One of the regulation’s primary objectives is to protect the environment from harmful substances.

Goals of REACH

Under REACH, manufacturers and importers of chemicals are required to register this information in a central database. REACH also gives responsibility to industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide users in the supply chain with safety information on the substances.

 

Producers of articles must notify customers of all Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) contained in volumes >1 tonne/year, in concentrations above 0.1 percent of the product weight, and from which exposure cannot be excluded. Under REACH, companies using targeted chemicals in any product will have to ask for a specific authorization and provide justification for using the substance. The identification of a substance as a SVHC and its inclusion in the Candidate List can trigger certain legal obligations for the importers, producers, and suppliers of an article that contains such a substance.

NI’s Position and Obligations

As a global manufacturer and supplier, NI constantly reviews existing and upcoming international legislation. NI also stays abreast of global requirements through memberships and involvement in recognized organizations such as EPPA and standards bodies such as IEC.

 

As a test and measurement equipment manufacturer in the EU, NI does not produce or import chemical substances in excess of 1 tonne/year. Any materials purchased for use in our EU manufacturing facilities, such as solder, are purchased within the EU and comply with current registration requirements. In addition, NI products do not release any substances into the environment during normal and foreseeable conditions of use.

 

All NI products including accessories and packaging are considered “articles” under REACH. NI confirms, based on information gathered through the supply chain, that its electronic instrument products contain none of the substances identified as SVHC, above a concentration of 0.1 percent by weight of product, other than those on the NI SVHC Product Listing. NI regularly reviews the Candidate List published by ECHA and responds to any SVHCs found in NI products. In addition, NI receives information from the supply chain and will provide updated information to customers of any changes required for continued safe use of products. In support of REACH goals, NI provides appropriate substance use information to its material vendors. Suppliers of an article must, under certain conditions, communicate information down the supply chain. This information can help our vendors in correctly recording our substance use case in the event they are required to register per REACH requirements.

 

For specific product information related to REACH, contact reach@ni.com.

Conflict Minerals Trade Act

In 2010, the United States enacted Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to address humanitarian concerns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The concerns stem from four minerals obtained from rebel-controlled mines in the DRC region: gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten. The law and subsequent rules published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) require publicly traded companies to disclose the following information starting for fiscal year 2013:

  • Which products require the four minerals for functionality or manufacturing
  • The presence of any of the four minerals that originate from conflict sources
  • The efforts taken to determine the origin of the minerals used in products

 

NI has a responsible sourcing policy to avoid purchasing components that contain minerals obtained from conflict sources. Moving forward, NI will assess all its new suppliers for their ability to provide reliable data regarding the country of origin for conflict minerals. In the event that minerals from conflict sources are found in the NI supply chain, appropriate actions will be taken in a timely manner to resolve the situation. NI expects its suppliers to react in a similar way and has communicated this policy to all suppliers.

 

For additional information on NI compliance with the Conflict Minerals Trade Act, contact customer.requests@ni.com. Download the latest version of the Conflict Minerals reporting template.