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The End of JGPSSI & JIG-101

Intressting post from Michael Kirschner, President and founder, Design Chain Associates

Manufacturers will no longer have to suffer the Japanese Green Procurement Survey Standardization Initiative (JGPSSI) form, according to a note posted on the JGPSSI Webpage. Instead, JGPSSI will dissolve, and JIG-101 — a guide for consistent materials declaration — will no longer be updated and maintained.

JIG-101 (the latest and final version is 4.1) is a very broadly used “guide” within the electronics industry.

    [It] establishes the framework that the industry may use to report a substance content declaration. The Guide establishes the substances to be reported as well as their reporting thresholds, agreed by the industry to govern substance content disclosures for electrotechnical products due to regulatory or market requirements.

The guide accomplishes this by consolidating regulatory and standards-based substance restriction and disclosure requirements that impact “electrotechnical products” (though it does not explicitly define that scope) into a single, maintained document.

JIG-101 was initially conceived by JGPSS as an effort among Japan’s large electronics companies to standardize — as one might guess — their requirements for supplier disclosures of component and material composition. In order to harmonize at least the basis for the surveys (if not the surveys themselves) across the greater electronics industry, JGPSSI partnered with European electronics trade association EICTA and the now-defunct US electronics trade association EIA to produce the first “Joint Industry Guide,” with “Joint” referring to the three entities: JGPSSI, EICTA, and EIA. EICTA dropped out before the first official release and was replaced by JEDEC for the first version, released in April 2005, nearly two years after the first drafts were produced.

Today, JIG-101 is on version 4.1 (issued in May), is updated biannually, and is sponsored by no less than eight electronics industry associations: DigitalEurope (the rebranded EICTA), CEA, JGPSSI, IPC, ITIC, ECA, JEDEC, and TIA.

According to the JGPSSI site, JGPSSI will dissolve and JIG-101 will no longer be updated and maintained. Press releases from the CEA and DigitalEurope confirm this. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard IEC 62474, “Material Declaration for Products of and for the Electrotechnical Industry,” covers JIG-101 substances and reporting/restriction requirements and will be the relevant industry standard moving forward. While this is not a free standard like JIG-101 was, IEC was sensible enough to put up a Website that provides free access to the crucial information the standard covers.

Why IEC? I honestly have no idea, but suspect that perhaps having too many cooks in the kitchen — and maybe threats that more would enter — was problematic for the JIG. IEC solves that problem by imposing extensive bureaucracy. Each country has a committee comprised of experts from manufacturers and service providers and anyone else who can afford to participate that comprise a national committee. Each national committee participates in a technical committee, in this case TC 111. Each national committee gets one vote and standards proceed through the process if they garner more than 75 percent approval at the key stages of the standard development lifecycle.

That said, the list of declarable and restricted materials will be updated separately from the byzantine system that is required to update the standard. Contrast this with JIG-101, which is revised every six months when new substances are added (but have an admittedly less torturous approval process). So this, in theory, should result in the 62474 list being more current and timely. But it will never be current and timely enough, so manufacturers must continue to watch the REACH candidate list of SVHCs, for example, since it will change without giving manufacturers time to implement (Article 33 disclosure requirements go in to effect the same day the candidate list of SVHCs is updated).

Many manufacturers in the electronics industry reference JIG-101 in their internal environmental specifications and supplier requirement documents. All of those documents should be revised and updated to refer instead to IEC 62474 at this time.

By the way, if you are not having enough fun yet you may want to review JIG-201, which defines substance restrictions and disclosure for packaging. Version 1.1 is due out later this month. I personally do not know what the future portends for this standard since I am not on the committee (or any of the JIG or relevant IEC committees at this time). Stay tuned. Any comments or enlightenment on these issues are welcome.


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