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IMDS stands for "International Material Data System". IMDS ( was developed by automobile manufacturers to collect the composition of the materials used in cars, parts, assemblies and systems to identify the  individual material components of each car or a sub-group (e.g. motor).

With the entry into force of the ELV Directive (06/21/2003), suppliers to the automotive industry are obliged to report their product ingredient data within IMDS for determining the rate of recovery in the disposal. The material and chemical compositions of components, semi-finished products and materials are to be declared, for example:

  • PCBs
  • populated PCBs
  • components

ZVEI and the Automotive Industry have signed a Cooperation on the declaration of material data:

The Electronic Components and Systems Division and PCB and Electronic Systems Division within the ZVEI - German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association have developed an efficient concept for the material data declaration of electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCB). The material data can be captured by forming cross-company product groups with typical values.

These material data sheets, so - called Umbrella Specifications, greatly simplify the declaration without any noticeable loss of accuracy. This concept has been successfully applied by the automotive industry since 2004.

In order to apply the Umbrella Specifications together with the IMDS-System the recommendation 019 “PrintedCircuit Boards (PCB)” has been released by IMDS. This recommendation describes the method for the input of materials content of populated PCBs.

Excerpt from clause 5. Standard rules and guidelines for E/E (PCB components) of the IMDS Recommondation 019: “Reports on PCB components in IMDS, Umbrella Spec, IPC1752 or similar format are accepted, if agreed between the business partners.”

Umbrella Specifications for IMDS, developed by ZVEI with PCB manufacturers:
A dynamic program makes it simple to calculate the substances contained in printed circuit boards of any size. The surface and number of layers are freely selectable. The standard technologies are stored in a database.

[April 2017]: Until further notice, the Umbrella Specifications are no longer supported by the ZVEI. The Umbrella Specifications (Recommendation 019) remain valid.

[March 2020]: On February 10th 2020, the IMDS Steering Committee published a letter on the Recommendation 019 in the IMDS system. It states that the material data sheets in Rec019 will lose their validity on July 1, 2020. It is not yet known how to proceed with the data sheets.

[June 2020]: The IMDS steering committee has published an update to deactivate Recommendation 019, according to which they will be deactivated with IMDS Release 13.0 (planned for March 10th 2021).

[August 2021]: As of May 19, 2021, Recommendation 019 is no longer permitted in the automotive sector. All parts (materials/components) must be registered individually in the IMDS. See also

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