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Obtaining EU Ecolabel   

Businesses’ FAQ 

1. What criteria apply to EU Ecolabel products? 

As stated in Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel system, the EU Ecolabel award criteria are based on the best products available on the European Economic Area (EEA) market in terms of environmental performance throughout the product's life cycle, corresponding, as an indication, to the best 10-20% of products available on the EEA market in terms of environmental performance at the time of their adoption.  

In addition, they cover the main environmental impacts of the product and its technical performance, including health, safety, social and ethical aspects, where applicable. The criteria promote the substitution of hazardous substances with safer ones, promote durability, reusability, recyclability and the increase of recycled material in products, include fitness-for-use requirements and ensure compliance with current EU legislation.  

EU Ecolabel award criteria are regularly reviewed to keep up with technological developments and are adopted in the form of EU Decisions. You can find information on the existing groups of products and services and the associated criteria on the European Commission's website

2. What is the procedure to develop or review product group criteria? 

The development/revision of the EU Ecolabel allocation criteria is a multi-stage process involving different stakeholders, carried out in accordance with Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel system

After consulting the EU Ecolabel Committee (EUEB), the European Commission, its Member States, competent bodies and other interested parties may initiate and lead the development or revision of the EU Ecolabel allocation criteria. 

The team initiating and leading the development or revision of the EU Ecolabel award criteria produces various documents, including a proposal for criteria, a technical report supporting the proposal, a preliminary report, a final report, a manual for potential users of the EU Ecolabel and competent bodies, as well as a manual for public procurement authorities. These materials are submitted to the European Commission and the EUEB. 

If criteria have already been developed under another ecolabel scheme that meets the requirements of EN ISO 14024 "Environmental labels and declarations" for a product group for which EU Ecolabel criteria have not been established, a simplified criteria development procedure may apply.  

The criteria applicable to the product group are normally valid for a period of three to seven years, depending on the European Commission Decision for each product group. By being reviewed regularly, the criteria reflect technical innovations such as developments in materials or production processes, emission reductions and changes in the market. The criteria may be extended if they remain appropriate in the light of current technical and/or technological developments, or they may be reviewed before they expire. 

If the criteria for a product group are reviewed, the respective EU Ecolabel licence holders will have to submit a new application if they wish to keep them. When the validity of the criteria for the applicable product group is extended, the term of the respective EU Ecolabel allowances is automatically extended. Licence holders may use the EU Ecolabel from the date of licence awarding until the end of the validity period of the respective criteria. 

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

You can consult the full list of criteria under development in the "EU Ecolabel product group criteria under development" section on the European Commission's website. For more information on the criteria development process, see the Joint Research Center (JRC) website

4. What should I do if a product I produce isn’t covered by the existing EU Ecolabel product groups? 

New product groups can be identified with a view to developing EU Ecolabel criteria. Priorities for the development of new criteria are defined in the EU Ecolabel strategic work plans. In principle, any interested party can submit a proposal for a new product group if they want a product to be included in the EU Ecolabel system. For more information see the section "Proposing a new EU Ecolabel product group" on the European Commission's website

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

Yes, any product or service supplied for distribution, consumption or use on the EEA market can obtain an EU Ecolabel licence, regardless of its origin. The EU Ecolabel regulation allows manufacturers, producers and retailers established in third countries to apply for the EU Ecolabel, provided that they meet the criteria applicable to the respective product group and that the product is sold on the EEA market, in accordance with Article 9 "Award of the EU Ecolabel and terms and conditions of use" of Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 on the EU Ecolabel scheme


6. Who can apply for the EU Ecolabel? 

Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers and stockists who place their products and/or services on the market in the European Economic Area (EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) can apply for the EU Ecolabel. Retailers can also apply to the EU Ecolabel for products placed on the market under their own brand. 

7. What is the added value of the EU Ecolabel award? 

The EU Ecolabel is recognized in the European Economic Area and aims to promote consumer choice (B2C or B2B) for sustainable products. EU Ecolabel products are presented in the European catalogue of EU Ecolabel products or the European catalogue of EU Ecolabel tourist accommodation, both called ECAT, increasing the visibility of the respective companies and their products.  

The EU Ecolabel is not an ecolabel awarded by industry to industry. It therefore includes independent compliance checks and promotes consumer confidence. In addition, the EU Ecolabel adds value to the company and its products by improving its reputation, promoting social responsibility and increasing the potential market for the product/service.  

The EU Ecolabel also contributes to saving resources and money, for example by reducing the consumption of raw materials, water and energy, reducing waste production and/or the carbon footprint. In addition, you can benefit from marketing activities carried out by the European Commission and competent bodies and become eligible for Green Public Procurement.

8. How well known are the EU Ecolabel and Ecolabel products in general among consumers? 

A survey carried out by Eurobarometer in September 2023 revealed that 38% of European citizens recognize the EU Ecolabel logo, an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the results of the survey carried out in 2017. The same percentage of respondents reported that they usually buy or sometimes buy EU Ecolabel products. 

73% of respondents reported that in the decision-making process for the products they buy, they assess their environmental impact as "very important" or "rather important" and 60% reported that they have already bought products specifically because of their lower environmental impact. 

The report with the full analysis of the data from the 2023 study is available here, as well as an infographic with the data from Portugal

9. Where can I find more information about the use of the EU Ecolabel logo?  

Please refer to the EU Ecolabel logo guidance document. The guidance here helps licence holders understand how best to use the logo. Before using the logo for a flyer, article or publication, please contact the EU Ecolabel helpdesk or DGAE. 
If you are a licence holder with a product/service that has recently been awarded the EU Ecolabel and you are having difficulties obtaining the EU Ecolabel logos in high definition, you should contact the DGAE team at rotulo.ecologico@dgae.gov.pt

If you have not found the answer you are looking for on this page or in the consumer FAQs, please contact the DGAE team at:  rotulo.ecologico@dgae.gov.pt

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