The Ecodesign Directive only gives broad criteria for the selection of product groups to be regulated in the future. The Working Plan establishes a set of product groups selected by the European Commission and discussed in the Consultation Forum. Every three years a new working plan is defined. So far, a number of product groups plus two horizontal issues (standby and network standby losses) were selected for the first two working plans.
More information on the Working Plan.
For the implementation of the Labelling Directive, so-called delegated acts according to art. 290 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union are adopted. These delegated acts can be compared with the implementing measures under the Ecodesign Directive. They can e.g. have the form of a Commission Regulation.
For the purpose of product labelling, the details relating to the label and the fiche for each product group are laid down in delegated acts.
An implementing measure determines the minimum requirements for a product or product group. Implementing Measures are mandatory requirements in the form of regulations which come into force without further implementation into national laws.
The requirements (as specified in Annex 1 and 2 of the Ecodesign Directive) can cover several aspects like limits for energy and/or resources consumption, limits of hazardous substances in the product or requirements on mandatory consumer information.
"Energy-related product" according to the Ecodesign Directive is defined as "any good that has an impact on energy consumption during use which is placed on the market and/or put into service, and includes parts intended to be incorporated into energy-related products covered by this Directive which are placed on the market and/or put into service as individual parts for end-users and of which the environmental performance can be assessed independently". The definition provided in the Labelling Directive is nearly identical.
Both Directives exempt means of transport from their scope.
The European Commission
The European Commission is the driving force for the implementation of the Ecodesign and the Labelling Directive. For the Ecodesign Directive, it adopts the Working Plan and defines implementing measures under reconcilement with the Consultation Forum and the Regulatory Committee. In the implementation of the Labelling Directive, the Commission also leads the discussions and finally adopts the delegated acts.
Within the European Commission the Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER; formerly Energy and Transport) is in charge. The Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) and the Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV) are also involved.
The Consultation Forum is a group of about 50 experts, including representatives from each Member State, acceding country and qualified organisations selected by the Commission. The selection by the Commission is drawn on the basis of Article 18 of the Ecodesign Directive which foresees participation to the Forum of Member States and all interested parties, including
- SMEs and craft industry
- trade unions
- environmental protection groups and
- consumer organisations
In the course of implementing the Ecodesign Directive, the Consultation Forum contributes in particular to
Conformity assessment procedures
All conformity assessment activities are targeted at testing or proving that the product complies with the requirements of the implementing measure.
The conformity assessment procedures shall be specified by the implementing measures and shall leave a choice to the manufacturers between an internal design control and a harmonised standard management system (e.g. EMAS or ISO 14001). The management system must conform to the product-related requirements and include the design function.
Products which have been awarded a European eco-label (the EU-Flower) shall be presumed to comply with the ecodesign requirements of the applicable implementing measure with the assumption that those requirements are met by the eco-label.
For the purpose of the presumption of conformity the European Commission may decide on a case-by-case basis that a national eco-label (for example the "blue angel") also complies with the eco-design requirements of an implementing measure.
Declaration of conformity
The declaration of conformity is a declaration by the manufacturer that the product complies with the relevant ecodesign requirements. The manufacturer or its authorised representative must demonstrate that his product complies with all relevant provisions of the applicable implementing measure. Only products which carry the CE mark and a declaration of conformity can be sold on the European internal market. Declaration of conformity includes
- the name and address of the manufacturer;
- an unambiguous description of the product such as the model number;
- the applicable implementing measure;
- the harmonized standards or other technical specifications met;
- the identification and signature of the person empowered to bind the manufacturer.
Declarations may be issued for individual products or for part families and must be kept on file by the manufacturer.
The Ecodesign Directive provides for Member States to carry out market surveillance and to create a point of contact for customers and interested parties.
The scope of the Ecodesign Directive covers all energy-related products / product groups (excepting all means of transport) which:
- have a significant volume of sales and trade, indicatively more than 200,000 units per year all over Europe
- have a significant impact on the environment and
- have a high potential for improvements in terms of their environmental impact
The criteria for selection of product groups for delegated acts under the Labelling Directive are similar:
- considering the quantities placed on the Union market, the products shall have a significant potential for saving energy and, where relevant, other essential resources,
- products with equivalent functionality available on the market shall have a wide disparity in the relevant performance levels.
The Regulatory Committee is an assembly of one representative for each EU Member State and one delegate of the European Commission. The Committee is consulted by the Commission during the periodic modification of the working plan and votes on draft implementing measures.
Self-regulatory initiatives (including, among other options, so-called voluntary agreements) are mentioned in the Ecodesign Directive as an alternative to legally binding implementing measures. The following requirements must be taken into account for such a self-regulatory initiative, according to Annex VIII of the Ecodesign Directive:
- openness for participants from third countries
- better environmental performance of the product
- representative relevance for the affected branch of industry
- verifiable goals and mid-goals
- transparency towards interested parties
- monitoring system working efficiently with independent auditors
- comparativeness of administration costs between a self regulative initiative and an implementing measure
- accordance with the political aims of the Ecodesign Directive as well as economic and social political aspects of sustainable development
To further substantiate these criteria, the European Commission has published guidelines for voluntary agreements under the Ecodesign Directive. These guidelines are currently (2013) under revision. A new draft called "Guidelines on the self-regulation measures concluded by industry under the Ecodesign Directive" is available.
These studies have to follow a common structure and methodology elaborated and described in a methodology report (MEEuP) finalized in 2005 on behalf of the European Commission. This report was amended in 2011 in order to extend it to energy-related products (MEErP) and to improve a number of additional aspects. To the product groups.