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Ecolabel

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Ecolabel

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • It concerns the European Union (EU) Ecolabel which is a voluntary environmental labelling scheme.
  • By means of transparent ecological criteria, it enables consumers to make conscious choices without compromising on the quality of the products.

KEY POINTS

  • The EU Ecolabel may be awarded to products and services which have a lower environmental impact than other products in the same group. The label criteria were devised using scientific data on the whole of a product’s life cycle, from product development to disposal.
  • The label may be awarded to all goods or services distributed, consumed or used on the EU market whether in return for payment or free of charge, on condition that the ecological criteria have been clearly established. It does not apply to medicinal products for human or veterinary use, or to medical devices.
  • The system was introduced by Regulation (EEC) No 880/92 and amended by Regulation (EC) No 1980/2000. This Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 aims to improve the rules on the award, use and operation of the label.

Award criteria

  • The label is awarded in consideration of European environmental and ethical objectives. It also promotes the EU’s transition to a circular economy, supporting both sustainable production and consumption. In particular:
    • the impact of goods and services on climate change, nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, pollution, emissions and the release of hazardous substances into the environment;
    • the substitution of hazardous substances by safer substances;
    • durability and reusability of products;
    • ultimate impact on the environment, including on consumer health and safety;
    • compliance with social and ethical standards, such as international labour standards;
    • taking into account criteria established by other labels at national and regional levels;
    • reducing animal testing.
  • The label cannot be awarded to products containing substances classified by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 as toxic, hazardous to the environment, carcinogenic or mutagenic, or substances subject to the regulatory framework for the management of chemicals.

Competent bodies

  • EU countries must designate one or more bodies responsible for the labelling process at national level. Their operations shall be transparent and their activities shall be open to the involvement of all interested parties.
  • They are specifically responsible for regularly checking that products comply with the label criteria. Their remit also includes receiving complaints, informing the public, monitoring false advertising and prohibiting products.

The procedure for award and use of the label

  • In order to be awarded the label, economic operators shall submit an application to:
    • one or more EU countries, which will send it to the competent national body;
    • a non-EU country, which will send it to the EU country where the product is marketed.
  • If the product complies with the label criteria, the competent body shall conclude a contract with the operator, establishing the terms of use and withdrawal of the label. The operator may then place the label on the product. The use of the label is subject to payment of a fee when the application is made, and an annual fee.
  • The European Commission has created a catalogue of products which have been awarded the label.

The European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB)

A 2010 Commission decision (Decision 2010/709/EU) establishes the EUEB. Its members are appointed by the Commission. It is composed of representatives from the EU countries and the European Economic Area, as well as from certain European organisations representing, for example, consumers, business and environmental concerns. The Commission consults the EUEB when developing or revising the award criteria and requirements of the label.

Ecological criteria

  • The Commission has adopted a series of decisions establishing ecological criteria for the awarding of the EU Ecolabel to different types of products; for several of these, the validity period expired by the end of December 2016.
  • The Commission also adopted Regulation (EU) No 782/2013 replacing Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 and amending the maximum fees allowed for financing the evaluation and processing of requests for the Ecolabel made by product manufacturers.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 19 February 2010.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the EU Ecolabel (OJ L 27, 30.1.2010, pp. 1-19)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Decision 2010/709/EU of 22 November 2010 establishing the European Union Ecolabelling Board (OJ L 308, 24.11.2010, p. 53)

Commission Regulation (EU) No 782/2013 of 14 August 2013 amending Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the EU Ecolabel (OJ L219, 15.8.2013, pp. 26-27)

Commission Decision (EU) 2016/2003 of 14 November 2016 amending Decisions 2009/300/EC, 2011/263/EU, 2011/264/EU, 2011/382/EU, 2011/383/EU, 2012/720/EU and 2012/721/EU in order to prolong the period of validity of the ecological criteria for the award of the EU Ecolabel to certain products (OJ L 308, 16.11.2016, pp. 59–61)

last update 31.01.2017

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