How to apply for EU Ecolabel
Step 1: Getting Started
You first need to check whether your product is eligible and if your company can apply.
Which products and services are eligible?
Every product or service supplied for distribution, consumption or use in the European Economic Area market (European Union plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) and included in one of the established non-food and non-medical product groups is eligible for EU Ecolabel. Discover the full list of established product groups and the related product criteria.
Who can apply?
Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers and retailers. Retailers can apply for products placed on the market under their own brand name
Step 2: Getting Advice
Once you have found the right product group and would like to start the application, we would advise you to contact your Competent Body immediately (see below Who is your Competent Body?)
The Competent Body is the independent organisation that will treat your dossier. The Competent Body is responsible for evaluating your application and awarding the EU Ecolabel. It is also on hand from the moment you begin your application to give you technical support and to answer your questions about meeting the criteria. Your Competent Body can also give you further information about your fees schedule.
The Competent Body will provide you with assistance throughout the application process. It also awards the EU Ecolabel and may help you market your products. If you have any questions at all, you can contact your Competent Body before, during and after the application process.
Who is your Competent Body?
Your product is made in one of the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA):
Contact the Competent Body of the country in which the product originates
Your product is made outside the EEA
Contact the Competent Body in the country, or one of the countries, where your product will be placed on the market
Step 3: Starting the application
To get your EU Ecolabel licence, it is mandatory that you apply using the online application tool, Ecat_admin. You’ll need to register at the following address: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/ecat_admin
Download the E-Catalogue User Manual. It will help you navigate the online system. If you have any problems using the system, contact your Competent Body.
Step 4: Collecting the Evidence
In order to prove compliance to the criteria for your product group, you will have to provide a dossier made up of the declarations, documents, data sheets and test results. The User Manual for each product group explains what you need to provide. You can find each of the user manuals in the full list of established product groups. The EU Ecolabel checklist is a useful tool to help you manage your dossier. Download the checklist.
Your Competent Body is also on hand to help you figure out which documents and test results you need, as well as which laboratories qualify to carry out the testing.
Product Testing – General Guidance
- The applicant should meet the costs of testing and assessment of conformity with the EU Ecolabel criteria.
- The test laboratory should be preferably accredited under ISO 17025 or equivalent. You can download information on testing methods or contact your Competent Body. A list of accredited laboratories for most European countries is available on the European Accreditation Corporation’s website.
- The applicant must submit all the required information about the laboratory to the Competent Body, which must approve the laboratory.
Step 5: Submitting the Application
Once you’ve submitted the online application, you’ll need to submit the required paper file to your Competent Body.
Within two months of receipt of an application, your Competent Body will assess your product against the criteria set for it. If documentation is missing, you will be informed and you will need to provide additional information.
Your competent body may also organise a visit or audit to your manufacturing facility.
How Much Does it Cost?
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. Reduced fees are available for SMEs, micro-enterprises and companies from developing countries. A 20% reduction is foreseen for companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001. Please check the table below and contact your Competent Body (see below) for a more precise cost estimate.
|Type of applicants*||One-off application fee (€)**||Annual fee (€)|
|SMEs and firms from developing countries***||200-600||Maximum 750|
|All other companies||200-1200||Maximum 1500|
** 20% reduction for companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001
*** Discover the complete list of developing countries. Please note that Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau are not eligible for a fee reduction.
Step 6: Ecolabel awarded
If you meet the criteria and your dossier is complete, the Competent Body will award the EU Ecolabel to your product by creating a contract with you.
Once that’s complete, you can use the EU Ecolabel logo on all the products that have met the criteria and on the associated promotional material.
Once you become a licence holder, it is your responsibility to stay compliant with EU Ecolabel criteria. Your Competent Body will explain how often it will need test samples of your product.
From time to time, the Competent Body may carry out factory inspections and product tests. This ensures that the environmental excellence is maintained for consumers.
You (or your supplier) will need to keep a journal on the test results and all the relevant documentation. This documentation should be available at all times.
If the Competent Body receives evidence that during the validity period, the product no longer complies with the criteria, it will prohibit the use of the EU Ecolabel on that product.
Step 7: Marketing your product with the EU Ecolabel
Take full advantage of the EU Ecolabel through advertising and communication. Have a look at the logo guidelines below to understand exactly how to make best use of the logo. Your Competent Body can help and the European Commission also promotes the scheme. 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 communication channels.
- Guidelines for the Use of the EU Ecolabel Logo [EN] / [FR]
- Marketing guide
- Presentation: EU Ecolabel Masterclass by Solitaire Townsend, Futerra Sustainability Communications Ltd. (September 2009)
- Eurobarometer Survey “Europeans’ attitudes towards the issue of sustainable consumption and production” (April 2009)