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EU Finalizes New Ecodesign Regulation

The last stage in the adoption of the ESPR has been taken: the European Council has adopted the text of the proposal.

Tamara Ciochina

Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)

The Council of the European Union has approved the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), advancing the EU's Green Deal goals. This new regulation, replacing the 2009 directive and enlarges its scope, beyond energy products, to all kinds of goods placed in the EU market. This includes batteries, toys, detergents, and packaging, with only a few exceptions such as cars or defense and security-related products. Sectors like food, feed, and medicinal products are also exempted.

A key feature is the Digital Product Passport (DPP), which will improve transparency and help consumers make informed choices about product sustainability.

The DPP introduces additional transparency and sustainability requirements for CE marking. Producers need to provide detailed environmental information, such as product durability, reparability, maintenance, recycled content, and and environmental footprints. The DPP specifications also detail the types of data carriers to be used, accessibility requirements, and actors who can introduce or update information. This ensures products meet the updated CE marking standards, supporting better market oversight and consumer confidence.

Support for SMEs

The regulation includes measures to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in complying with ecodesign requirements. Member States are required to facilitate SMEs' adaptation by providing one-stop shops for information, financial support, access to finance, specialized training, and technical assistance. These measures aim to ensure that SMEs can effectively participate in the transition to more sustainable production practices.

Steps for Producers

To implement the DPP, producers should:

  • Collect Data: Include detailed sustainability information.
  • Ensure Transparency: Make information accessible and clear.
  • Comply with Standards: Follow ESPR regulations.
  • Integrate Technology: Use tools like QR codes for digital access.
  • Maintain Security: Protect data integrity and privacy.

These steps will help enhance transparency and promote a circular economy. Producers and stakeholders should start preparing now to ensure compliance and take full advantage of the benefits this regulation offers - significant energy savings and environmental benefits by 2030.