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Knowing EU Ecolabel 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for consumers 

  1. Are EU Ecolabel products tested on animals? 

According to Article 6 of the EU Ecolabel Regulation, the criteria development process will seek to include "as far as possible, the objective of reducing the number of animal tests". This provision is considered in the EU Ecolabel award criteria for "animal care products" adopted in 2021. In addition, we inform that the European Commission has banned animal testing for ingredients in cosmetic products since March 2009. However, to determine toxicity in the aquatic environment, this ban only concerns tests on fish (not invertebrates). 

2. Are EU Ecolabel products more expensive than other products? 

By choosing products with EU Ecolabel, you are making a practical and economical choice. These products are designed to last longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements and/or repairs. With EU Ecolabel, you can enjoy high-quality, more durable products that save you money in the long run. The EU Ecolabel aims to reduce negative environmental impacts while increasing quality and performance, thus ensuring added value to the product. 

3. What is an ecolabel?

An ecolabel is a voluntary environmental label for products and/or services (generally referred to as "products"). These products should meet specific criteria related to reducing their overall environmental impact, depending on the product group. The EU Ecolabel is governed by Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 and falls under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) definition for an ISO 14024 - Environmental labels and declarations. This means that the EU Ecolabel is awarded on a voluntary basis, based on a multi-criteria analysis of the product's life cycle carried out by an independent third party. 

 4. Why do we recommend purchasing EU Ecolabel products? 

The EU Ecolabel is a reliable label, awarded by a third party (the Competent Bodies), which covers all the main environmental, social and health issues. Its reliability is ensured through a transparent process of defining the criteria for awarding the EU Ecolabel. The EU Ecolabel thus helps consumers make more informed choices and opt for environmentally friendly products, boosting the market for sustainable products in a circular economy. 

5. What if I am aware of an EU Ecolabel product/service on the market that does not comply with the EU Ecolabel criteria? 

If you are aware of such a situation, you should fill in and send to the European Commission a complaint form, available on the European Commission's website in the “Do you have a complaint?”


6. Who is responsible for developing criteria and how is it done? 

The development/revision of the EU Ecolabel award criteria is a multi-stage process involving various stakeholders and is carried out in accordance with Annex I of the EU Ecolabel Regulation (No 66/2010)

The process of developing the EU Ecolabel award criteria is carried out by the Joint Research Center. The analysis of each group of criteria goes through several rounds of discussion. The criteria are finally adopted by a decision of the European Commission. See the section on the criteria development and review process on the European Commission's website for more information. 

7. What does the licence number on EU Ecolabel products mean?  

A licence represents a contract stablished between the competent body and the licence holder, covering one or more products belonging to the same product/service category. A licence number has the following form: XX/YY/ZZZ, where XX refers to the country of registration, YYY to the product group and ZZZ to the number assigned by the competent body to the product/service. If the licence holder submits a new application for the same product group (i.e. a licence extension), it is issued under the same licence number. 

If you haven’t found the answer you are looking for on this page or in the Businesses' Frequently Asked Questions, please contact the DGAE team at: rotulo.ecologico@dgae.gov.pt


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