The Ecodesign directive does not set binding requirements on products by itself: it provides a framework (rules and criteria) for setting such requirements through implementing measures. The Commission prepares implementing measures only for products which have significant sales and trade in the EU (indicatively more than 200,000 units a year) and a significant environmental impact and potential for improvement. These products are listed in Article 16(2) of the Ecodesign Directive and in the Ecodesign Working Plan.
Self-regulation by industry is a valid alternative to binding legislation, under certain conditions (detailed in Annex VIII of the Directive). In particular, voluntary agreements by industry have to achieve the same objectives as binding legislation (more quickly and at lesser expense), include staged and quantified objectives and be open to new participants.