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Ecolabel

The European Union Ecolabel is a voluntary environmental labelling system. It enables consumers to recognise high quality eco-friendly products.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the EU Ecolabel.

SUMMARY

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.

Award criteria

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.

Competent bodies

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.

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 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.

Context

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
  • Product group: a set of products that have a similar purpose, use or properties, and are similar in terms of consumer perception.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 66/2010

20.2.2010

-

OJ L 27, 30.1.2010

RELATED ACTS

Commission Decision 2010/709/EU of 22 November 2010 establishing the European Union Ecolabelling Board (notified under document C(2010) 7961) Text with EEA relevance
This Directive establishes the European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB). Its members are appointed by the Commission. It is composed of representatives from the European Union Member States and the European Economic Area, as well as from national and European competent organisations.

Last updated: 16.02.2011

See also

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