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Ecodesign for energy-using appliances

This Directive aims at protecting the environment by reducing the environmental impact of energy-using products.

ACT

Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products (Text with EEA relevance).

SUMMARY

This Directive establishes ecodesign * requirements for energy-related * products in the European Union.

This Directive shall not apply to means of transport for persons or goods.

Ecodesign parameters for products

Ecodesign parameters relate to different phases in the product life cycle:

  • raw material selection and use;
  • manufacturing;
  • packaging, transport, and distribution;
  • installation and maintenance;
  • use;
  • end-of-life.

For each phase, the following aspects of the product must be assessed:

  • predicted consumption of materials, of energy and of other resources;
  • anticipated emissions to air, water or soil;
  • anticipated pollution (noise, vibration, radiation, electromagnetic fields);
  • expected generation of waste material;
  • possibilities for reuse, recycling and recovery of materials or of energy, taking into account the Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Placing on the market and CE marking

All products covered by implementing measures * must bear CE marking before being placed on the market.

Market surveillance is to be carried out by competent authorities designated by Member States that have the task of:

  • verifying product conformity;
  • requiring the parties concerned to provide the necessary information;
  • taking samples of products and subjecting them to compliance checks.

Free movement

Member States may not hinder the placing on the market of a product which complies with ecodesign requirements.

If the product does not fulfil ecodesign requirements, Member States must take suitable measures which may go as far as the prohibition of the placing on the market of the product. In this case, the Member State in question shall inform the European Commission of its intentions if non-compliance is due to:

  • failure to satisfy the requirements of the applicable implementing measure;
  • the incorrect application of harmonised standards;
  • shortcomings in harmonised standards.

Conformity assessment

Before being placed on the market, all products must undergo conformity assessment concerning all of the ecodesign requirements.

Once the product has been placed on the market, the manufacturer or its authorised representative shall keep all documents relating to the conformity assessment issued in order to facilitate inspections by Member States that are likely to take place in the ten years following the product’s manufacture.

Presumption of conformity

Products bearing the Community eco-label are presumed to comply with the ecodesign requirements stated in the applicable implementing measures. The Commission also has the power to decide whether other eco-labels are equivalent to the Community eco-label.

Harmonised standards

If harmonised standards do not entirely satisfy the provisions of this Directive, the Member State concerned or the Commission shall inform the Standing Committee set up under the Directive on information procedures in the field of technical standards and regulations. The Committee will then give an opinion, which the Commission shall take into account.

Small and medium-sized enterprises

The Commission can assist small and medium-sized enterprises and very small firms in integrating environmental aspects, in particular energy efficiency, when designing their products.

Consumer information

Manufacturers must be able to provide consumers with information on the role that they can play in the sustainable use of the product concerned, as well as the ecological profile of the product and the advantages of ecodesign.

This Directive repeals Directive 2005/32/EC.

Context

There are still too many disparities between Member States in terms of the ecodesign of energy-related products and this hinders the proper functioning of the internal market. This Directive therefore endeavours to improve the harmonisation of national legislation in this field whilst extending its scope to all energy-using products.

Key terms of the Act
  • Ecodesign: the integration of environmental aspects into product design with the aim of improving the environmental performance of the product throughout its whole life cycle;
  • Energy-related product: any good that has an impact on energy consumption during use which is placed on the market and/or put into service, and includes parts intended to be incorporated into energy-related products covered by this Directive which are placed on the market and/or put into service as individual parts for end-users and of which the environmental performance can be assessed independently;
  • Implementing measures: measures adopted pursuant to this Directive laying down ecodesign requirements for defined products or for environmental aspects thereof.

REFERENCE

Act Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2009/125/EC

20.11.2009

20.11.2010

OJ L 285 of 31.10.2009

Last updated: 02.02.2010
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