The IMDS (International Material Data System) is used for archiving, exchanging and managing the material data required in vehicle construction. Based on this system, a material data sheet is created which provides information about all the materials contained in a component, in such detail that all the necessary data is available for subsequent recycling.

Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers must be able to reconstruct the material composition and determine the different hazard levels, as they are responsible for the product life cycle from manufacture to disposal. Whereas up to January 1, 2006 it was 85 % of the average vehicle weight, by January 1, 2015 the vehicle industry already has to recycle and recover 95 % of the weight.

The EU directive WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) was put into force in Germany by the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act and serves to reduce and dispose of electronic scrap. In combination with the RoHS Directive, it is intended to reduce the impact on human health and the environment.

The WEEE does not concentrate on the production and reduced use of hazardous substances, but on the recycling and environmentally compatible disposal of electrical and electronic equipment.

The Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL) is a list containing possible substances used in automotive parts. The list is the result of years of worldwide efforts by representatives of the automotive industry to facilitate communication and information exchange regarding the use of certain pure chemical substances in automotive parts.

The GADSL contains certain substance bans and serves as an aid for the implementation of further measures, especially with regard to the later recycling of end-of-life vehicles.

REACh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is an EU regulation that entered into force on 1 June 2007. It is valid in all member states and is intended to simplify the existing chemicals legislation. The registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals is to be based on the principle of industry's own responsibility and improve the protection of human health and the environment. The manufacturers and importers of substances will be held responsible, so that only chemical substances that have been previously registered will be put on the market. In addition, REACH is intended to expand communication in the supply chain, giving downstream users (such as compounders) certain tasks and obligations. The downstream users must inform the upstream manufacturers or importers of the substances subject to registration which further use is intended for the substances. The manufacturer or importer can thus recommend risk reduction measures which the downstream user must also comply with. Accordingly, the safety data sheet continues to play an important role.

RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances) serves to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances mainly in the electronics sector. Due to the significant increase in disposable electronics, problematic components that are poorly degradable and thus accumulate in the nature must be banned from products.

The problematic substances are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. As it is not always possible to completely exclude these hazardous substances from production, certain limit values have been set. However, the production standards are to be gradually adapted and substitute products are also to be developed, so that the regulations of the RoHS directive are reviewed again at certain intervals and adapted to the current state of the art.