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Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Apple to halt sale of some products in Europe

Apple Computer will be forced to discontinue the sale of several products in Europe next month because they fail to meet compliance with a European Union directive that will go into effect on July 1st, AppleInsider has learned.

In 2003, the European Union adopted the Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, also known as the RoHS directive.

Effective July 1, 2006, the directive prohibits the sale of electronics that contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants.

"Because of our precautionary approach to substances, Apple was able to meet many of the RoHS restrictions long before the deadline of July 1, 2006," the company said in a statement on its environmental materials Web site.

However, sources tell AppleInsider that a handful of Apple products will not meet all the requirements and will therefore be withdrawn from sale in Europe. These products include the iSight, AirPort Base Station With Modem, AirPort Base Station Power Over Ethernet & Antenna, iPod shuffle External Battery Pack and all versions of the eMac all-in-one desktop computer.

Sources say Apple will not accept new orders for the aforementioned products beyond June 23 in order to assure that all orders ship prior to the RoHS deadline.

Although the products will no longer be available through Apple Europe after June 23, they may continue to be sold in through the company's retail channels for as long as existing inventory lasts, sources added.