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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Top Ten

Which products can be awarded the EU Ecolabel?

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Every product and service placed on the market in the European Economic Area (European Union plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) that meets the EU Ecolabel criteria set for that product or service category can be awarded the EU Ecolabel. Criteria are currently established for a wide range of non-food and non-medical product groups, including detergents, paper towel rolls, laptops, clothing and tourist accommodation services. Discover more detailed information about EU Ecolabel product groups.

Who can apply for the EU Ecolabel?

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Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers and wholesalers placing their products and/or services on the European Economic Area market can all apply for the EU Ecolabel. Retailers can also apply for products placed on the market under their own brand name.

How to apply for the EU Ecolabel

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First, we would encourage you to have a look at the different product groups that are currently covered by the EU Ecolabel scheme. Have a look at the associated criteria document and the application manual for your product group. For a short overview of the criteria, you can also have a look at the factsheets in this section.

If you cannot find any product group corresponding to your product(s) or service(s), please refer to the question, "What should I do if a product I produce isn’t covered in the EU Ecolabel product groups?".

Second, you should contact your national Competent Body. It is there to provide technical support throughout the application process.

Depending on the product group, you may need declarations, documents, data sheets and test results to prove compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria. The User Manual for each product group explains what you need to provide. For more information about tests on products, refer to the question, “Where can businesses have their products tested?”.

The application should be submitted online using the Ecat_admin tool, and the complete dossier should be sent by post to the relevant Competent Body to be assessed.

Please consult the section on the application procedure for more information.

Who’s responsible for developing the assessment criteria and how is it done?

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EU Ecolabel assessment criteria are developed in a transparent multi-stakeholder process.

Scientists, industry, experts across a wide range of sectors and impartial non-governmental organisations participate in the development of rigorous environmental and fitness-for-use criteria. Every set of criteria undergoes several rounds of discussion between these stakeholders. Criteria are finally adopted through a Decision of the European Commission.

Please consult the section The Criteria development/revision process for more information.

Visit the Joint Research Centre for more information and to participate in the ongoing developments and revision of EU Ecolabel criteria.

How much does it cost to apply for the EU Ecolabel and am I entitled to any reductions?

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Reductions are available for micro enterprises and SMEs, companies from developing countries and companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001. Find more information on the application and annual fees.

Find your Competent Body.

What should I do if a product I produce isn’t covered in the EU Ecolabel product groups?

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If you want a product to be included in the EU Ecolabel scheme, you can either submit a proposal for a product group to be included, or if you want to get more involved, you can also lead the criteria development process.

Submit a proposal for new EU Ecolabel Product category

If you would like the European Commission to consider a new product or service category to be included in the EU Ecolabel scheme, fill out the form below. Answer the questions provided to explain the reasons for your proposal and give useful data to support the application.

Please note that developing the criteria for new EU Ecolabel product groups is a complex process requiring expert working groups and widespread consultation (for the entire details see Annex 1 of the Regulation on the EU Ecolabel). The criteria themselves then have to be agreed upon by the EU Ecolabelling Board, European Commission, Member States and Parliament, so the process can take time. For more information on the criteria development process, consult section 3.1 Criteria development and revision.

Standard form for new product group proposal

The completed form should be submitted directly to the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk. The European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB) and the European Commission, after scrutinising all proposals, will select priority product groups for which the criteria will be developed in the following years.

Lead the product group criteria development process

You can also apply to lead the product group criteria development process. If you are interested, please download and fill in the form below and send it to the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk. Please note that you must demonstrate expertise in the product area, as well as the ability to lead the process with neutrality involving several stakeholders, and in line with the aims of the EU Ecolabel Regulation. You will be contacted directly if your proposal is to be considered for implementation.

Standard form for leading a product group criteria development/creation process

What types of products and services have been awarded the EU Ecolabel logo so far?

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The scheme is currently open to all products and services, except for food, drinks, pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Discover the full list of established product groups. So far, thousands of products across a huge range of product groups, including textiles, soaps and shampoos, and tourist accommodation have already received the EU Ecolabel. Discover the number of EU Ecolabel products so far.

How can I find out which EU Ecolabelled products and services are available in my country?

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You can search the products and services available in your country using the E-Catalogue. Search by product type and country to find out which products are available.

Is there a centralised database where I can search for specific EU Ecolabelled products?

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Yes.

The E-Catalogue is an online database created for this purpose. The E-Catalogue contains all the products and services that carry the EU Ecolabel logo. Please use the database to search for manufacturers, producers and service providers that have been awarded the EU Ecolabel for their products or services. Retailer information may also be available if provided by the applicant during registration.

Where can I find more information about using the EU Ecolabel logo?

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Download the Guidelines [EN] / [FR] for the use of the new EU Ecolabel logo. These help producers and manufacturers understand how to make best use of the logo. Before using the logo for a brochure, article or publication, you must contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk or your national Competent Body with a draft of the text with which you would like to use the logo.

If you are a producer or retailer that recently was awarded the EU Ecolabel for some of your products and you would like to obtain the logos in high resolution, please contact your Competent Body.

General

What exactly is an ecolabel?

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An ecolabel is a voluntary environmental performance certificate that is awarded to products and services. These products and services have to meet specific, identified criteria depending on the product groups, which reduce overall environmental impact. The EU Ecolabel fits the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) definition for a Type 1 Ecolabel. This means the EU Ecolabel is voluntary, based on multiple criteria, where a third party awards the use of the label to indicate overall environmental preferability within a particular product category based on life cycle assessment.

Can the EU Ecolabel be trusted?

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With environmental claims on products being so common, it can be difficult to tell the difference between “green washing” and reliable claims. EU Ecolabelled products and services can be trusted because, from production to use and disposal, they have been assessed to reduce their environmental impact. Scientifically sound criteria are developed in a transparent way involving scientists, NGOs and stakeholders to enable consumers to make environmentally responsible choices. The EU Ecolabel is moreover awarded by independent third-party organisations.

Why is it good to buy EU Ecolabelled products?

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The EU Ecolabel logo is a guarantee to consumers that the product they are considering for purchase has a lower environmental impact in comparison to similar products on the market. By buying EU Ecolabel, consumers are making a commitment to the future of the environment. This is because products have to follow tough criteria before they receive the EU Ecolabel. By buying these products, you may also encourage other producers and retailers to offer Ecolabelled products.

How do consumers recognise products and services awarded the EU Ecolabel?

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Once approved for an EU Ecolabel, the producer can place the EU Ecolabel logo (see below) anywhere on the product and packaging.

EU Ecolabel (www.ecolabel.eu)

Are consumers interested in EU Ecolabelled products?

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A survey conducted by Eurobarometer in April 2009 shows that 40% of European respondents are aware of the EU Ecolabel. More than 80% of respondents stated that they pay attention to environmental aspects when buying and 47% said that they tend to pay attention to ecological labelling. Clearly, labels play a major role in their purchasing behaviour.

What types of products and services have been awarded the EU Ecolabel logo so far?

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The scheme is currently open to all products and services, except for food, drinks, pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Discover the full list of established product groups. So far, thousands of products across a huge range of product groups, including textiles, soaps and shampoos, and tourist accommodation have already received the EU Ecolabel. Click here to see figures on the number of EU Ecolabel products so far.

Is there a centralised database where I can search for specific EU Ecolabelled products?

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Yes.

The E-Catalogue is an online database created for this purpose. The E-Catalogue contains all the products and services that carry the EU Ecolabel logo. Please use the database to search for manufacturers, producers and service providers that have been awarded the EU Ecolabel for their products or services. Retailer information may also be available if provided by the company during registration.

Which products can be awarded the EU Ecolabel?

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Every product and service placed on the market in the European Economic Area (European Union plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) that meets the EU Ecolabel criteria set for it can be awarded the EU Ecolabel. Criteria are currently established for a wide range of non-food and non-medical product groups, including detergents, paper towel rolls, laptops, clothing and tourist accommodation services. Discover more detailed information about EU Ecolabel product groups.

Can the EU Ecolabel be awarded to food products?

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Currently, there’s no product group for food or feed products.

Following the publishing of a feasibility study to evaluate the possibility of including food and feed products in the EU Ecolabel scheme in the future, the EU Ecolabel Board concluded in March 2012 that it would be valuable to extend the EU Ecolabel to food and feed products. Currently though, the board agreed it was not feasible from a methodological and technical point of view. The board also concluded that synergies with other existing labels (e.g. EU Organic logo) should also be analysed further.

Discover more information on the study.

The Organic Farming scheme is also managed by the European Commission. To find information about the EU Organic logo, please visit the Organic Farming website.

How is the EU Ecolabel being monitored to prevent wrongful use?

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Each successful applicant to EU Ecolabel needs to agree to a contract covering the terms of use of the label.

Competent Bodies can provide copies of a standard contract to potential applicants.

The Competent Body may also request the necessary documentation from the holder in order to monitor the compliance with the product's criteria and the terms of use set out in the contract. The Competent Body may also visit the holder's premises.

The EU Ecolabel Scheme

Why do we need the EU Ecolabel scheme?

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Consumers have become more concerned about the environment and research shows that people want to take real action by choosing products that cause less damage to the environment. But many are confused by - and often very sceptical about - the countless green claims made by manufacturers and retailers for their products.

Launched in 1992, the EU Ecolabel scheme promotes the production and consumption of products that have a reduced environmental impact in comparison to existing products on the market. Because the scheme works on a European level, it goes beyond the pre-existing national ecolabels that are often only known within national borders.

EU Ecolabel guarantees a high level of transparency, reliability and scientific credibility, which meets customers’ green demands. And, unlike other environmental information or labelling, no technical understanding is required to read and understand the label. By choosing Ecolabelled products, it is easy for consumers to make an environmentally friendly choice.

The EU Ecolabel logo is used for all the different product groups. This makes it easier to recognise quality products with better environmental performance, protecting the interests of consumers, producers and the environment.

Who manages the scheme at national level?

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Each state of the European Economic Area designates a Competent Body, an independent and impartial organisation that implements the EU Ecolabel scheme at national level. Competent bodies play a central role in the work of the EU Ecolabel scheme and are the first point of contact for applicants. They specifically assess applications and award the EU Ecolabel to products that meet the criteria set for them. As such, they are responsible for ensuring that the verification process is carried out in a consistent, neutral and reliable manner by a party independent from the operator being verified, based on international, European or national standards and procedures concerning bodies operating product-certification schemes.

Find your Competent Body.

Where can consumers and businesses get more information about the EU Ecolabel scheme?

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Discover more detailed information about the scheme. On the E-Catalogue you‘ll also find the complete list of EU Ecolabelled products and contact details of EU Ecolabel holders.

Further information can be found in the fact sheets aimed at producers.

You can also contact your national Competent Body to learn more about the scheme at the national level, submit your application or ask any questions you might have about the application process or the scheme in general. Competent Bodies.

Who’s responsible for developing criteria and how is it done?

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EU Ecolabel criteria are developed in a transparent multi-stakeholder process. Scientists, industry, experts across a wide range of sectors and impartial non-governmental organisations participate in the development of rigorous environmental and fitness-for-use criteria. Every set of criteria undergoes several rounds of discussion between these stakeholders. Criteria are finally adopted through a Decision of the European Commission.

Please consult the section The Criteria development/revision process for more information. Visit the Joint Research Centre for more information and to participate in the ongoing developments and revision of EU Ecolabel criteria..

What is the relationship between the EU Ecolabel and other national ecolabels such as the Blue Angel, the Nordic Swan, etc.?

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Alongside the progression towards a single market, the EU Ecolabel was established to serve as a common instrument that prevents confusion amongst consumers and producers because it is valid all over Europe and stands for the same criteria, no matter where you are or where the product is produced.

The EU Ecolabel and national ecolabels coexist well and are developing a policy of cooperation and coordination. Article 11 of the EU Ecolabel Regulation introduces measures to encourage harmonisation between ecolabel schemes, particularly in the selection of product groups and the development and revision of the criteria. When new criteria are developed for the EU Ecolabel, it is mandatory to take into account already existing criteria for other officially recognised ecolabelling schemes in the Member States. Newly developed criteria under these schemes should be at least as strict as existing EU Ecolabel criteria. When a product has been awarded with both national and EU ecolabels, you will find the two logos displayed side by side on the product.

What is the relationship between the EU Ecolabel and environmental management schemes such as EMAS and ISO 14001?

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Producers can show their environmental commitment in many ways. One of them is the adoption of an independently verified environmental management system, such as EMAS or ISO 14001.

Like EU Ecolabel, the European Union Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, EMAS, is another EU voluntary scheme. EMAS certified organisations have committed themselves to improving their environmental performance and providing relevant information to the public.

The difference between the two types of schemes is that environmental management schemes are focused on the general environmental performance of the company, while ecolabelling schemes like the EU Ecolabel focus on the specific products or services of the firm.

There are many synergies between these voluntary schemes;, benefits include:

  • Reductions in annual fees - Applicants to the EU Ecolabel scheme who have already received certification under EMAS or ISO 14001 can be granted reductions of up to 20% on the annual fee.
  • Recognition of environmental commitment - Competent Bodies are advised to take into account the implementation of recognised environmental management schemes, such as EMAS or ISO 14001 while assessing applications and monitoring compliance with the EU Ecolabel's ecological criteria.

Visit the EMAS website for more information on this scheme.

What synergies exist between the EU Ecolabel and other EU policies, for example on GPP and ECAP?

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The European Commission recognises great synergies between the EU Ecolabel and other EC policies and especially with Green Public Procurement (GPP) and the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs (ECAP).

EU Ecolabel - GPP

Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured. GPP is a voluntary instrument, which means that Member States and public authorities can determine the extent to which they implement it. Since 17% of EU GDP is spent on public goods and services, public authorities represent a major sector of consumption for Europe. GPP provides the opportunity for public offices, which collectively spend 2 trillion Euros each year, to consume products that are scientifically guaranteed to have a reduced environmental impact with verifiable and ambitious results.

The EU Ecolabel can facilitate GPP, e.g. use of EU Ecolabel criteria in technical specifications, which can serve as proof of environmental selection criteria. Read more on how ecolabels can be used in GPP.

EU Ecolabel - ECAP

The European Commission understands the pressures faced by small businesses and is taking action to assist them. It has launched an Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme (ECAP) to make it easier for SMEs to comply with their obligations and improve their environmental performances.

SMEs could consider the EU Ecolabel as a first step in this area - and many EU Ecolabel holders are SMEs. ECAP is a good way to explore a reliable tool to green their business, discover the advantages of being environmentally compliant and be in coherence with their green philosophy. Similarly, SMEs (without any environmental initiative) may discover the competitive advantage by becoming environmentally compliant and thus decide to move to the next step by adhering to the EU Ecolabel for some of their products and services. This has become even more important in this time of global financial crisis where green growth is increasingly being considered as an economic and competitiveness advantage factors. Visit the ECAP website.

What is the difference between the EU Ecolabel and Carbon labels?

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The EU Ecolabel is a multi-criteria label certifying excellent environmental performances of a product throughout its life-cycle.

The most widely used carbon labels provide information on only one environmental aspect - carbon or greenhouse gas emissions during the life-cycle of a product.

What if I am aware of an EU Ecolabelled product/service on the market that does not comply with the EU Ecolabel criteria?

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If you are aware of a product/service on the market displaying the EU Ecolabel logo that does not comply with the EU Ecolabel criteria, please send us a complaint form. Download the form and discover more in the Do you have a complaint? section.

Ecolabel Products and Criteria

Are EU Ecolabel products more expensive than other products?

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Not necessarily – they may even cost less. Moreover, because EU Ecolabel means reduced environmental impact alongside guaranteed high performance, a great deal of value is added to your products.

Where can I find EU Ecolabelled products?

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Thousands of products bearing the EU Ecolabel are now available on the European market. EU Ecolabel products available in each country, together with the information on the licence holders, can be found on the E-Catalogue.

Consumers should look out for the logo in shops and supermarket shelves, as well on tourism accommodation and campsite services.

How can I find out which EU Ecolabelled products and services are available in my country?

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You can search the products and services available in your country using the E-Catalogue. Search by product type and country to find out what products are available.

What criteria are used for ecolabelled products?

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Key experts, in consultation with main stakeholders, develop the criteria for each product group in order to decrease the main environmental impacts over the entire life cycle of the product. Because the life cycle of every product and service is different, the criteria are tailored to address the unique characteristics of each product type.

Every four years on average, the criteria are revised to reflect technical innovation such as evolution of materials or production processes, as well as factors like emission reduction and changes in the market. Because of this, you can be sure that EU Ecolabel continues to stand for the highest environmental performance.

What is the procedure to develop or revise product group criteria?

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The procedure for the development of criteria is as follows:

  • The party responsible for criteria development/revision sets up an Ad-Hoc Working Group (AHWG), bringing together all stakeholders: industry, experts, NGOs, public authorities and other interested parties.
  • The AHWG meets about three times a year in order to draft the criteria according to the results of the preparatory work. The preparatory work includes feasibility, environmental and market studies, improvement analysis and revision of existing life cycle analysis or implementation of new analysis where necessary.
  • The European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB) discusses the drafts during the criteria development process.
  • A draft of the criteria is circulated among the relevant services of the European Commission for approval.
  • The draft of the criteria is approved by the EUEB.
  • A vote is taken by a Regulatory Committee of national authorities.
  • Criteria are adopted through a Commission Decision.
  • The Commission Decision is published in the Official Journal.

For more information on the procedure for the development of criteria, please refer to section 3.1 of the website (link to 3.1 Criteria development and revision) and to Annex I of the Regulation on the EU Ecolabel.

Visit the Joint Research Centre for more information and to participate in the ongoing developments and revision of EU Ecolabel criteria.

Which types of products are going to be eligible for the EU Ecolabel in the future?

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Criteria development is currently underway for several new product groups, for example office buildings, detergents for professional use and taps and shower heads. See the full list.

Are EU Ecolabelled products tested on animals?

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Currently, there are no specific criteria forbidding animal testing. However, the European Commission and Competent Bodies are committed to limiting animal testing. This commitment has been the subject of an inscription in Article 6 of the Regulation on the EU Ecolabel, mentioning that the criteria development process will try to include “as far as possible the principle of reducing animal testing”. In 2012, the EU Ecolabelling Board began brainstorming on how to include social and ethical concerns into the criteria development process, including animal testing. A task force to contribute to these efforts has been already launched.

How long is the EU Ecolabel valid for a product before it needs to be renewed?

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Product group criteria are usually valid for a period of three to five years, depending on the Commission decision for each product group. This allows the criteria to reflect technical innovation, such as evolution of materials or production processes, and emission reductions and changes in the market. Ecological criteria are reviewed prior to their expiration and may be revised. If criteria are revised, licence holders need to renew their contract. However, if criteria are extended, their contract is automatically renewed as long as the criteria remain valid for a product. Holders may use the EU Ecolabel starting from the date it is awarded until the end of the period of the validity of the criteria.

Is there a transition period for existing license holders to comply with the new criteria?

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Yes.

A 12-month transition period is usually given to the existing licence holders to comply with the new criteria. For example, if in June 2014 a new European Commission decision on textiles were enforced, the end of transition period under the old criteria would be June 2015. The existing licenses would be prolonged until the end of the transitional period. The length of the transitional period may vary, depending on the product group.

Producers can also sell the remaining stock of products complying with the former criteria, for another six months beyond the transitional period. Therefore, in case the transition period is 12 months, the date of validity of the licence on the award certificates should be 12 months after the expiration date of the EC decision when it refers to the period of production of Ecolabelled products. When the date of licence validity refers to marketing/selling the products, the validity of the licence should be 18 months after the expiration date of the EC decision (these periods can vary for different product groups).

Is it possible to have one EU Ecolabel award for a product sold under two brand names?

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Yes, and if your product is sold under two brand names, you only need to submit one application.

Some older criteria documents state that the use of the "Box 2", including criteria statements on the packaging is mandatory. The new regulation and logo guidelines, however, make this box optional. What do I have to do?

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If applicants wish, they can simply use the Ecolabel logo alone or, optionally, use the box with the accompanying criteria statements.

Applying for EU Ecolabel

Who can apply for the EU Ecolabel?

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Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers and wholesalers placing their products and/or services on the European Economic Area market can all apply for the EU Ecolabel. Retailers can also apply for products placed on the market under their own brand name.

How do you apply for the EU Ecolabel?

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First, we would encourage you to have a look at the different product groups that are currently covered by the EU Ecolabel scheme. Have a look at the associated criteria document and the application manual for your product group. For a short overview of the criteria, you can also have a look at the factsheets in this section.

If you cannot find any product group corresponding to your product(s) or service(s), please refer to the question, “What should I do if a product I produce isn’t covered in the EU Ecolabel product groups?.

Second, you should contact your national Competent Body, which is available to provide technical support throughout the application process.

Depending on the product group, you may need declarations, documents, data sheets and test results, to prove compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria. The User Manual for each product group explains what you need to provide. For more information about tests on products, refer to the question, “Where can businesses have their products tested?”.

The application should be submitted online using the Ecat_admin tool and the complete dossier should be sent by post to the relevant Competent Body to be assessed.

Please consult the section on the application procedure for more information.

Can a producer or manufacturer from a non-European country apply for the EU Ecolabel?

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Yes, any product or service that is supplied for distribution, consumption or use in the European Economic Area market can be awarded the Ecolabel, regardless of the origin of the product. The Regulation on the EU Ecolabel allows manufacturers, producers and retailers coming from non-European countries to apply for their products to be awarded the EU Ecolabel on the condition that they meet the criteria for their respective product group.

The application can be made to the Competent Body of the country where the products are produced (if inside the EEA) or will be sold (if outside the EEA).

Can a service provider from a non-European country apply for the EU Ecolabel?

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According to Article 9 of the new Regulation on the EU Ecolabel, owners/managers of tourist accommodation or campsite services belonging to non-European countries can apply for the EU Ecolabel. Their application can be made to the Competent Body of the European Economic Area country where the services are or will be placed on the market, e.g. commercialised by a “tour operator”.

According to the Regulation of the EU Ecolabel (Article 9 1. c), it is obligatory for non-European applicants to have their services placed on the European market. Otherwise, service providers are not entitled to apply for the EU Ecolabel.

Find your Competent Body.

How much does it cost to apply for the EU Ecolabel and am I entitled to any reductions?

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Find more information on the application and annual fees.

For more detailed information on fees and possible fee reductions, we advise you to contact your Competent Body. Click here to find the list of Competent Bodies.

How much does it cost to apply for the EU Ecolabel from outside the European Economic Area?

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The EU Ecolabel is designed to be as low cost as possible for businesses interested in the scheme. As the costs of running the scheme vary slightly between Competent Bodies and from one product to another, fees vary accordingly. These fees include a one-off application fee, as well as an annual fee. The application fee ranges from €200 to €600 for micro and SMEs and up to €1200 for all other enterprises. Annual fees also vary. Reduced fees are available for SMEs, micro-enterprises and companies from developing countries. Please note that Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau are not eligible for a fee reduction.

How long does it take to have a product Ecolabelled?

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This varies from case to case. A Competent Body must consider each application carefully before notifying the European Commission of its decision to award the EU Ecolabel for a product. Within two months of receipt of an application, your Competent Body will assess your product against the criteria set for it. However, if documentation is missing, you will be informed and you will need to provide additional information, which can delay the assessment process.

What are the benefits of the EU Ecolabel for businesses, including small- and medium-sized companies?

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The purpose of the EU Ecolabel is to make the customer’s choice in favour of your product easy. This holds true for business purchasers, as well as shoppers. It’s also recognised across Europe, making it easy for you to sell your products across the continent.
It’s not an environmental label for industry by industry. The scheme involves compliance checks, as well as independent verification, and is trusted by consumers. In addition, the EU Ecolabel adds value to your business and your products because it enhances reputation, indicates corporate social responsibility and increases sales. Finally, the application process is simple, and can be done online. There are special discounts for SMEs, micro-enterprises, applicants from developing economies and companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001.

Discover the reductions on the fees for SMES.

If you are an SME, you might also be interested in the Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme for SMEs, ECAP. Visit the ECAP website for more information on the programme.

Where can businesses have their products tested?

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Competent Bodies will inform potential applicants of which test results must be provided and how the testing should be carried out. The test laboratory should be preferably accredited under ISO 17025 or equivalent. Discover more about testing methods.

A list of accredited laboratories for most European countries is available on the European Accreditation Corporation’s website.

Who should I send my application to?

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Any company/business wishing to obtain the EU Ecolabel, should apply to the relevant Competent Body (find your Competent Body) in accordance with the following rules:

(a) If a product originates in an EEA state, the application should be presented to a Competent Body of that country;
(b) If a product originates in several states within the EEA (in the same form), the application can be presented to a Competent Body in any one of the countries in which it originates;
(c) If a product originates outside the EEA, the application should be presented to a Competent Body in any of the Member States in which the product is going to be placed on the market.

For more information on how to make an application, refer to “How to apply for Ecolabel”.

Selling and promoting EU Ecolabel

In which countries can EU Ecolabelled products be sold?

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EU Ecolabelled products can be sold and marketed in any of the EEA states (EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

Where can I find more information about using the EU Ecolabel logo?

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There are guidelines [EN] / [FR] for the use of the new EU Ecolabel logo. Before using the logo for a brochure, article or publication, you must contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk or your national Competent Body with a draft of the text with which you would like to use the logo. If you are a producer or retailer that recently was awarded the EU Ecolabel for some of your products and you would like to obtain the logos in high resolution, please contact your Competent Body.

Does the European Commission provide marketing support for ecolabelled products?

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There is a range of marketing, promotional and communication material available, which you can use to help market your product. Once the EU Ecolabel is awarded to your product, the product will be displayed on the E-Catalogue, the new marketing tool that replaced the previous Green Store and gives you the opportunity to get through to your customers. We strongly recommend you make the best use of this tool by updating the information and pictures about your products.

The monthly EU Ecolabel News Alert and biannual Flower Newsletter often feature outstanding companies, providing a great marketing opportunity. Contact the Helpdesk, if you want to highlight an outstanding initiative of your company in the context of the EU Ecolabel.

Keep informed by checking this website for news, and make use of the marketing guide to discover what you can do to best promote your products using the EU Ecolabel. Don’t forget to advertise your Ecolabelled products at the point of sale or through your own promotions and communication channels.

How many retailers already sell EU Ecolabelled products?

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Every year, more and more retailers begin selling Ecolabelled products. Current retailers include Kesko, Auchan, Carrefour, 3 Suisses, Colruyt, Delhaize, AccorGroup and Lidl. Look on the shelves of the shops in your area!

Does a retailer need to apply for the EU Ecolabel to sell EU Ecolabelled products?

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If the product has already been awarded the EU Ecolabel, the retailer only needs to market the product (without making any modifications or changes that would not be agreed by the supplier or are not allowed by the EU Ecolabel Competent Body.
Retailers can also submit applications for products marketed under their own brand name and you can find more about the application procedure.

How can retailers obtain EU Ecolabelled products to stock on their shelves?

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As a retailer, you can request, or even insist that your suppliers apply for the EU Ecolabel. In this way, you will contribute to providing environmentally friendly products to your clients.

How can retailers obtain more information?

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If you are a retailer, contact EUROCOMMERCE, the official representative of all European retailers in the European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB).
For more details on the EU Ecolabel, please contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk or your Competent Body.

Can retailers selling EU Ecolabelled products appear in the E-Catalogue?

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Retailers selling products under their own brand name can have their own profile on the E-Catalogue.
If a retailer sells EU Ecolabelled products but not under its own brand name, this retailer cannot have its own profile. However, this retailer can appear in a dedicated box on the product page, if the applicant provides the relevant information.

Can producers market EU Ecolabelled products with different packaging and under a different name and trademark than originally presented when they were awarded the EU Ecolabel?

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If the composition of the product stays the same and only the names of the products change, the producer does not have to apply again. The producer will however need to contact the Competent Body to inform it of their marketing initiative. Find your Competent Body.

Can the EU Ecolabel logo still be used on my product if some of the characteristics of my product have changed?

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You will not need to submit a new application if the new characteristics do not affect compliance with the criteria. However, the Competent Body that issued EU Ecolabel licence should be notified of any modifications.

Must marketing and sales promotional packages (e.g. samples, promotional items, nostalgia packaging) for an EU Ecolabelled product respect the EU Ecolabel packaging criteria?

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Yes, compliance with EU Ecolabel packaging criteria is obligatory. It is prohibited to use the EU Ecolabel on products if they do not comply with all the criteria in the criteria documents. This also applies to packaging criteria for commercial samples to be given away for free.

Can businesses use the logo on a magazine or on a brochure that is made of EU Ecolabelled paper?

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No, the logo cannot be used on printed matter. Instead, you may use the statement “Printed on paper awarded the EU Ecolabel” and add the registration number of the paper next to the statement. The registration number can be obtained by asking the producer. Please note that the statement “Printed on paper awarded the EU Ecolabel” is a transitional statement.

Printed on paper awarded the EU Ecolabel

Specific issues relating to individual product types

All purpose cleaners - Hand dishwashing detergents

In criterion 4c the indication of concentration limit for fragrance substances refers to substances in the fragrance or substances in the product?

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The concentration limit of 0,010 % (100 ppm) indicated in criterion 4c refers to substances in the final product.

All-purpose cleaners and cleaners for sanitary facilities

What qualifies a product to be EU Ecolabelled under the product group all-purpose cleaners (APCs)?

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A product can apply for EU Ecolabel as an APC if it is marketed as an APC and not only as a cleaner for specific areas. Furthermore, the all-purpose cleaning function should be the primary function of the product (communicated to consumers via the packaging, for instance). The secondary function can then be something else.

Is it necessary to undertake a calcium carbonate removal test when assessing a window cleaner’s “fitness for use”?

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No.

For window cleaners, only tests for stripe-less drying are required.

Is it possible to register a car windscreen cleaner in the category all-purpose cleaners (APCs) and cleaners for sanitary facilities?

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As long as the producers declare the product as a window cleaner and not as a special cleaner for cars only, it can be awarded the EU Ecolabel in the APCs and cleaners for sanitary facilities product group.

Can a trigger spray be awarded with the EU Ecolabel under all-purpose cleaners (APC) and cleaners for sanitary facilities?

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Yes. But all-purpose cleaners packaged in trigger sprays must be sold as a part of a refillable system.

Can sanitary cleaners (e.g. bathroom cleaners) in concentrated form be awarded with the EU Ecolabel ?

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Yes, but they have to fulfill the criteria in their concentrated form. Reference dosage will be 100g of the undiluted product and the fitness for use has to be for the recommended dosage.

Can microorganisms be used for all-purpose cleaners (APCs)?

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In accordance with the criteria adopted 28 June 2011, the product “must not contain microorganisms that have been deliberately added by the manufacturer”. This applies regardless of the lifecycle stage of the microorganisms at the time of the product application (including spores).

Is the derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 also valid for other biocides that are less hazardous?

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The derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 is also valid for Biocides meeting the criteria for classification as 52/53 and also 50 alone and 53 alone, irrespective of the value of their bioaccumulation potential.

Detergents for dishwashers

In criterion 2d the indication of concentration limit for fragrance substances refers to substances in the fragrance or substances in the product?

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The concentration limit of 0,010 % (100 ppm) indicated in criterion 2d refers to substances in the final product.

Is the derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 also valid for other biocides that are less hazardous?

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The derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 is also valid for Biocides meeting the criteria for classification as 50 alone and 53 alone irrespective of the value of their bioaccumulation potential. Biocides R 52/53 are explicitly derogated provided that their bioaccumulation potentials are characterised by log Pow (log octanol/water partition coefficient) < 3,0 or an experimentally determined bioconcentration factor (BCF) ≤ 100.

Hand dishwashing Detergents

Is the derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 also valid for other biocides that are less hazardous?

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The derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 is also valid for Biocides meeting the criteria for classification as 52/53 and also 50 alone and 53 alone, irrespective of the value of their bioaccumulation potential.

Laundry Detergents

In criterion 4d the indication of concentration limit for fragrance substances refers to substances in the fragrance or substances in the product?

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The concentration limit of 0,010 % (100 ppm) indicated in criterion 4d refers to substances in the final product.

Is the derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 also valid for other biocides that are less hazardous?

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The derogation for Biocides R 50/53 and 51/53 is also valid for Biocides meeting the criteria for classification as 50 alone and 53 alone irrespective of the value of their bioaccumulation potential. Biocides R 52/53 are explicitly derogated provided that their bioaccumulation potentials are characterised by log Pow (log octanol/water partition coefficient) < 3,0 or an experimentally determined bioconcentration factor (BCF) ≤ 100.

Copying and graphic paper

In the criteria for this product group, I find the following sentence misleading: “The ecological criteria do not cover the transport, conversion and packaging of the pulp, paper or raw materials are not included.”

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The correct interpretation is: “Transport, packaging of the pulp, paper or raw material, and conversion of the paper are not included.”

Tissue paper

Do allergenic substances used in lotions/fragrances need to be declared on the packaging if they are used in concentrations of less than 0.01% according to Criterion 4 (f)?

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Substances meeting the requirements for classification as R42 and R43 cannot be used in EU Ecolabel tissue paper. During the application process, a declaration of non-use is required for documentation. As a result, only substances/fragrances, regulated by Directive 2003/15/EC (7th amendment to Directive 76/768/EEC, Annex III, part I), that do not meet the requirements for classification with one of the above-mentioned risk phrases, can be added with a concentration limit of 0.01%.

Paints and varnishes

Can anticorrosive primers be awarded the EU Ecolabel under indoor paints and varnishes or outdoor paints and varnishes product groups?

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No.

According to Article 1 of both indoor and outdoor paints and varnishes criteria, anti-corrosion finishes and primers are not eligible to be awarded the EU Ecolabel.

Can UV paints be used under the EU Ecolabel?

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Industrial paints and varnishes used in factories are not part of the scope of the paints and varnishes product group. UV paints are thus excluded from the product group.

Is it possible to request an exemption for providing formaldehyde (HCHO) measurement on inorganic raw materials?

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Producers of paint or raw material may not be exempted from formaldehyde donator’s tests. The procedure where the producer of raw material could declare whether the product contained free formaldehyde / formaldehyde donators or not, and only require a test if they declared a formaldehyde content from formaldehyde donators, does not comply with the criterion regarding formaldehyde.

It is possible to test the formaldehyde content either from formaldehyde donators in the final product or in each raw material.

Can the following combinations, R48/20, R48/21 and R/22, be allowed in the criteria for paints and varnishes?

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Substances classified with R48 and its combinations with R20, R21, R22, R23, R24 and R25 are not allowed.

Televisions

Is it permissible to use the flame retardant BDP (CAS No. 5945-33-5) in TVs?

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This substance (CAS No. 5945-33-5) is listed in Tables 3.1 and 3.2 of Annex VI of the CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) regulation (Regulation No. 790/2009) with the R53 risk phrase (legally binding 1 December 2010).
Regulation No. 790/2009 became legally binding as of 1 December 2010, and this substance is also prohibited by Criterion 5b in the Annex to the Commission decision of 12 March 2009 establishing the revised ecological criteria for the award of the Community Ecolabel to televisions (2009/300/EC).

Tourist accommodation services and campsites

Can service providers from a non-European country apply for the EU Ecolabel?

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According to Article 9 of the new Regulation on the EU Ecolabel, owners/managers of tourist accommodation or campsite services belonging to non-European countries can apply for the EU Ecolabel. Their application can be made to the Competent Body of the European Economic Area country where the services are or will be placed on the market, e.g. commercialised by a “tour operator”. According to the new regulation (Article 9 1. c), it is an obligatory condition for non-European applicants to have their services placed on the European market. Otherwise, service providers are not entitled to apply for the EU Ecolabel.

Find your Competent Body.

Can cruises apply for the EU Ecolabel under Tourist accommodation services?

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No, cruises are currently not covered by the EU Ecolabel scheme.

Can LEDs be considered as energy-saving light bulbs when counting the energy saving light bulbs rate?

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According to the Criterion 9 of the tourist accommodation services and campsite services criteria, 100% of light bulbs that are situated where they are likely to be turned on for more than five hours a day shall be Class A energy-efficient (as defined by Directive 98/11/EC), as well as at least 80% of all light bulbs in the campsite/accommodation. This does not apply to light fittings whose physical characteristics do not allow use of energy-saving light bulbs.

Directional LEDs can be excluded from the total light bulb counting only when the physical characteristics of the light fittings do not allow use of energy-saving light bulbs. Please note that non-directional LEDs should not be included in the counting.

Can I obtain a fee reduction for my hotel or camping site as dictated in the current tourist accommodation services (TAS) and campsite services criteria?

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No.

The new Regulation takes precedence over the TAS criteria, even if the TAS criteria remain valid. Tourist accommodation services’ and camping sites’ holders will pay the same fee as all other holders for the use of the EU Ecolabel.

Wooden furniture

Are metallic components of wooden furniture considered under technical team and fittings? If so, should the metallic components be excluded from the total weight of the product?

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Metallic components should be excluded only if they have a function as technical team and fittings. For instance, for a chair with metallic chair-legs, the legs are not technical team and fittings, but are part of the chair. However, the screws that hold the legs to the chair are considered as fittings. In a closet with a metal frame door as ornament, the metal is not considered as technical team and fittings. However, metallic components that secure the closet door or the track system on which the doors slide would be considered technical team.