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The European Union Ecolabel is a voluntary environmental labelling system. It enables consumers to recognise high quality eco-friendly products.
Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the EU Ecolabel.
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 Community market whether in return for payment or free of charge. 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 (EEC) No 66/2010 aims to improve the rules on the award, use and operation of the label.
The label shall be awarded in consideration of European environmental and ethical objectives. 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.
Member States shall 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 Member State(s), which will send it to the competent national body;
- a third State, which will send it to the Member State where the product is marketed.
The Commission has created a catalogue of products which have been awarded the label.
The European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB)
The Commission shall establish a committee representing the national competent bodies. The Commission shall consult the EUEB when developing or revising the award criteria and requirements of the label.
Regulation (EC) No 1980/2000 is repealed. However, it shall continue to apply to contracts concluded before the current Regulation entered into force, until the date of expiry specified in the contracts.
|Key terms of the Act|
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
Regulation (EC) No 66/2010
OJ L 27, 30.1.2010
- The EU Ecolabel website
- The Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan on the website of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment