Legal compliance

Unlike other EMS certifications, the EMAS regulation requires legal compliance with all relevant environmental legislation. This compliance is determined by third-party auditors and ensured by government supervision.

In a 2014 survey of over 400 EMAS registered organisations in Europe, a majority of respondents identified "improved legislative compliance" and "reduced risk of environmental sanctions" as the top benefits they received from EMAS.  

EMAS can help organisations to identify, evaluate and comply with ever-changing and more demanding environmental regulations - and even to go beyond them in a cost-effective manner!

A number of Member States give benefits to EMAS organisations in recognition of their high level of legal compliance. Examples:

For existing measures in your country, please contact your national Competent Body.

Primarily because of EMAS's requirement for independently certified legal compliance, Austria's Federal Procurement Agency gives EMAS registered organisations extra points in certain bidding evaluations  in comparison to ISO 14001 companies or non-certified companies.

France exempts EMAS registered organisations under the Industrial Emissions Directive from environmental inspections  provided they have demonstrated legal compliance in their environmental statements. Other Member States, including Poland, Malta and Spain, have either reduced or are in the process of reducing inspections  for EMAS registered organisations under their laws transposing the IED.

Tuscany’s Law 79/2013 on the reorganisation of tax cuts for businesses affecting the regional tax on productive activities (IRAP) reduces the IRAP tax for EMAS organisations by 0.6 %.

Based on EMAS’s guarantee of independently verified legal compliance through a government-approved verifier,  Poland exempts EMAS registered organisations from the fee required to enter the country's mandatory waste registry. This discount is only available to EMAS registered organisations and not those with other certified EMS.

Portugal has accepted EMAS registration as proof that EMAS registered nature tourism organisations meet ecological criteria  required by national law.

Environmental permits for Greek EMAS registered manufacturing organisations are now valid for 14 years rather than 10, based on EMAS’s transparency and legal compliance. Those with only ISO 14001 have inspections every 12 years.