What is RoHS?
On July 1, 2006, the countries of the European Union (EU) adopted the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive. This restricts the use of six substances (some heavy metals, PBB's and PBDE's) to very small parts per million concentrations in all electrical and electronic products sold in the EU (with a few exceptions). In effect, it amounts to a ban on these substances. A good overview can be found at the UK's National Measurement Office (NMO).
Does the RoHS directive apply to thermal transfer ribbons?
The short answer is yes. In the world of thermal transfer ribbons (TTR), RoHS applies to printers and other hardware, as well as ribbons. In practice, however, your customer might not want to have these distinctions spelled out, and might have an end user who wants immediate confirmation that these substances are absent. The first thing to say is that these substances are indeed absent from all DNP thermal transfer ribbons. If that is not enough, offer them a Restriction of Hazardous Substances Conformance Declaration from DNP.
Does RoHS affect my thermal transfer ribbon business?
While the RoHS directive is for electrical and electronic products sold in the EU, United States VARs and Resellers should have a basic understanding of the directive, especially if you plan sell to any US manufacturers who export globally or have plans to export globally.